Loss of sensation in your feet may be caused by
several different factors. However, if you are diabetic, numb or
tingling feet may be an indication of nerve damage caused by diabetic
Diabetic neuropathy is a complication of diabetes
in which high blood sugar (glucose) levels damage the nerves. Nerve
damage may be temporary or permanent and can involve a range of symptoms
including foot pain, numbness, muscle weakness, and muscle cramps.
Other nerves throughout the body such as those that control bodily
functions may also be affected.
Diabetic neuropathy typically occurs 10 to 20
years after you are diagnosed with diabetes. If you are a diabetic and
do not have your blood sugar levels well-controlled, you have an
increased risk for diabetic neuropathy.
Causes of diabetic neuropathy
Nerve damage associated with diabetic neuropathy
is caused by high glucose levels. However, other factors that contribute
to the disorder include abnormal blood fat levels, low insulin levels
and a genetic predisposition to nerve disease. The risk of diabetic
neuropathy increases the longer you have diabetes. However, diabetics
who have not kept their blood sugar level under control and those who
smoke or consume alcohol are more likely to suffer nerve damage.
Diabetic neuropathy symptoms
Symptoms of diabetic neuropathy affecting the feet include:
Loss of sensation
The disorder may also affect the nerves that control bodily functions and cause other symptoms including:
Treatment of diabetic neuropathy
While there is no cure for diabetic neuropathy,
the condition can be managed. Treating diabetic neuropathy begins by
controlling blood sugar levels. This can be done by taking insulin and
medication as prescribed. It is also important to maintain a healthy
weight by eating a well-balanced diet and exercising regularly.
The next step is to treat the symptoms associated with the condition.
Pain can usually be treated with oral medications
that block the nerve sensations. Dr Rettig has extensive experience
in using medications for this pain condition.
Since the feet often become numb as a result of
nerve damage, it is important to protect them from injury and check them
regularly for cuts or sores. If a sore develops, wash the area and keep
it clean to prevent infection. If there are any signs of infection seek
medical attention as soon as possible.
It is important for those suffering from
diabetes, especially when there are complications such as diabetic
neuropathy, to be under the care of a medical professional. Consult your
doctor for more information about the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy
and the treatment options available.