Peripheral neuropathy is a very serious and potentially dangerous nerve issue. It is often found in people living with diabetes, and adds a unique problem to an already scary disease. People who suffer from neuropathy are often unable to feel pain signals in their limbs. This means taking extra special precautions with your feet and checking them daily for anything out of the ordinary.
What Is Peripheral Neuropathy?
The peripheral nervous system works as a messenger to send sensation signals (pain, pleasure, etc.) from your body to your brain. Your brain is then able to interpret these and, in turn, lets you know what is happening. This is important because if you are in pain you must get the problem fixed. When peripheral neuropathy occurs it is because the nerves have been damaged or destroyed by an underlying cause. This sends the whole system out of whack and can cause you to feel pain when there is nothing wrong, and, even more disturbingly, not to feel pain when there is a serious problem. To fix the problem it is important to know what the underlying condition is that causes the nerve issue.
What Causes Neuropathy?
The most common cause of nerve damage and neuropathy is unmanaged diabetes. Diabetes can wreak havoc on your body due to high blood sugar levels and high blood pressure. It’s crucial to manage your disease by keeping your blood sugar levels low and your weight in a healthy range. However, this is not the only cause of neuropathy. There are other diseases (kidney disease, hypothyroidism, chronic inflammation, and problems due to vitamin deficiencies) that can cause nerve damage.
Injury is another frequently seen cause of neuropathy. This is often in the case of a fall or a car accident where a fracture may have occurred. If you happen to be an alcoholic, you may notice that you have lost some feeling in your extremities over time. Alcohol acts as a toxin on your body when consumed in large quantities and can completely destroy your nerves. Other reasons include exposure to toxins, autoimmune diseases, and certain kinds of medication. If none of these applies to you it would be highly recommended to see a doctor to find out the reason for your neuropathy.
What You Can Do for Yourself
People who suffer from peripheral neuropathy have to be very careful with their bodies. If you have diabetes it is essential to keep your disease managed with a healthy diet, regular exercise, and maintaining blood sugar levels. You should also be in the practice of checking your feet daily. Do it at the same time every day so you never forget and check them thoroughly (between the toes, by the ankles, and around the nail beds). The end of the day, right before going to bed, is an excellent time to do this. If you can’t manage to see various places of your feet on your own, then use a mirror or the help of a loved one. If you notice anything out of the ordinary call your local podiatrist immediately to get the treatment you need. Even the smallest sore left untreated can become a diabetic foot ulcer and may ultimately require amputation.
Getting a Doctor’s Help
If you have diabetes accompanied by a nerve issue like peripheral neuropathy you need to be under a doctor’s care. Fixing Feet Institute is here for you and ready to help you manage the disease. If you have any questions, call Dr. Peyman Elison at (623) 584-5556 to schedule an appointment at our Surprise, AZ office.
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