According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention, diabetes affects 26 million people in the U. S. What is more, diabetes-related problems can initially be noticed in your feet. In fact, diabetes affects the body in numerous ways. With the feet, issues generally arise from lack of blood circulation. This often causes diabetic nerve pain and damage. In addition, open sores and infections are slow to heal.
Therefore, prompt consultation and treatment with American Foot and Leg Specialists is imperative to catching the early signs of diabetes. In fact, early diagnosis can actually help prevent diabetic nerve pain and other issues.
The type of treatment can be conservative or advanced depending on the problem. Minor concerns include care for the toes, open sores, calluses and corns. Surgical procedures are generally to help prevent foot abnormalities from getting worse or progressing.
Diabetic Nerve Pain
According to WebMD, approximately half of the people with diabetes will develop nerve damage. The two basic types are as follows:
Autonomic neuropathy – affects the nerves that support the autonomic system which controls a variety of functions like sweating, heart rate, blood pressure and sexual arousal.
Peripheral neuropathy – affects the nerves that have the farthest reach on the body such as the hands and legs.
If diabetic nerve damage progresses, there can be severe health problems. However, most diabetic neuropathy issues can be preventable. For instance, keeping blood sugar levels at a healthy rate can decrease your risk of developing neuropathy by as much as 60%. As well, it can improve symptoms and limit the damage. This is why it is crucial to recognize the symptoms at the early stages.
Peripheral Neuropathy Symptoms
Peripheral neuropathy is the most common type of diabetic nerve pain. As a rule, it affects the feet first. Symptoms can be from mild to severe and are generally worse at night. It is best to consult a physician if you have any of these symptoms in your feet, hands, arms or legs:
• Jabbing or sharp pain
• Loss of balance or coordination
• Trouble walking or muscle weakness
• Great sensitivity even to a light touch
• Feet issues like infections, pain or ulcers
• Loss of sensation or numbness making heat, cold or pain difficult to feel
• Burning, tingling or prickling that often starts in the balls of the feet or toes and spreads upward
Rendering the Mayo Clinic, there are actually four main types of diabetic neuropathy; peripheral neuropathy, autonomic neuropathy, radiculoplexus neuropathy (diabetic amyotrophy) and mononeuropathy. You can have symptoms from only one type or symptoms from a combination of several types. However, the issues are gradual and oftentimes go unnoticed. If at any time you have one or more symptoms, do not hesitate to consult with a specialist.
American Foot and Leg Specialists
One of the most well known diabetic neuropathy specialists in the Atlanta area is American Foot and Leg Specialists. It is a highly professional clinic that can address issues like diabetic nerve pain, hammer toe or other problems related to diabetes. The expert team of physicians at American Foot and Leg Specialists utilize the most advanced surgical and diagnostic technology. What is more, the specialists are always working hard to detect, prevent and treat a large variety of acute and chronic foot and ankle problems.
For your convenience, American Foot and Leg Specialists also has four locations in Georgia: Fayetteville, Forest Park, Locust Grove, and Stockbridge.