Diabetic Neuropathy

I want to talk to you about Neuropathy. A neuropathy is “nerve death” and that means that the nerves in the foot die to the point where the feet become numb, usually starting from the toes and working up toward the ankle and up toward the knee. Most commonly in my office we’re seeing this as a result of advanced diabetes. The sugar causes a metabolic breakdown in the nerves which eventually leads to complete numbness in the feet and even in the legs. Usually this starts as tingling, burning pain, especially at night, even pins and needles in the feet. Now the reason this is so dangerous is because when a diabetic becomes Neuropathic, that means that they don’t feel a minor cut or a minor bruise until it becomes a major problem such as an ulcer. And in fact, most of the problems that we hear about in diabetics such as the horrible things; amputations and loss of limbs, are in diabetics who have already developed neuropathy. Currently there are no treatments available to reverse the damage of diabetic neuropathy.  So, what can you do? First of all, keep your sugar in as tight control as possible.  Second, there are treatments available for the pain of diabetic neuropathy, the burning pain which often keeps patients up at night.  And even if you’re already taking a medication for diabetic neuropathy, there may be other, more effective treatments with a more favorable side effect profile.  So, if you or a loved one has diabetic neuropathy and has the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy, it’s critical that you make an appointment today to have your feet evaluated so we can construct a treatment regimen specifically for you to keep you comfortable and to prevent any future foot complications of diabetic neuropathy.