When hands, feet and legs tingle and burn, or seem to lose sensation altogether, it could be a sign of neuropathy, such as diabetic or peripheral neuropathy. Over half of all neuropathies are caused by elevated blood sugar levels from diabetes.
Nerve damage results when the blood sugar levels remain consistently high. When the nerves become damaged they do not properly convey pain messages to the brain. Feet and hands can be burned, cut or bruised, without a patient knowing it.
Diabetics and others with peripheral neuropathies must be diligent to search their extremities for injuries, such as a cut or bruise. Left undetected, these areas can cause problems like ulcers or infections. It is important that diabetics be aware of these injuries. Without proper care, infections can quickly lead to serious complications and even amputations.
With the limited blood flow and sensation, people may experience a number of symptoms of neuropathy…or they may feel nothing at all. Changes usually do not happen overnight. Over the years a person may notice some tingling or a burning sensation. They may feel stabbing or numbness. Most people will pass this off as a result of the aging process.
Noticing and treating the symptoms is critical to saving fingers, toes and even limbs from amputations or permanent damage. There are treatments available to slow down the peripheral or diabetic neuropathies.
Exercise, a healthy diet, properly taking medications and wearing the right shoes are all ways to help prevent or lessen the effects of neuropathy. People noticing the following symptoms should alert their doctor immediately:
People with neuropathy, especially diabetic neuropathy, can lead normal, healthy lives. Proper understanding of the diabetic and peripheral neuropathy is the first step.
At Pain & Spine Center of Charlottesville, we provide treatment options for patients suffering from Diabetic or Peripheral Neuropathy. Call us today at 434-328-2774 to schedule your appointment!