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LIVING WITH DIABETIC NEUROPATHY

The word “Neuropathy” means pathology or disease of the nerves. Diabetic patients who do not keep their blood sugars in range (70-110mg/dl) on a daily basis, have a greater chance of developing abnormal nerve function.  This can cause symptoms such as tingling, burning pain, numbness and sharp shooting pain in the toes and legs and even the fingers.  These symptoms can be very distracting and interfere with sleep.  Many people are not aware of the how significant their loss of sensation actually is and if they injure themselves they only become aware of it when swelling, redness or infection bring it to their attention.

As a podiatrist specializing in Diabetes, I find it extremely important to educate my patients on the causes of neuropathy and how to live with neuropathy so that in jury, infection and loss of limb to do not occur. Daily inspection of the feet is very important in detecting problems but preventing problems is key.  Activities such as never walking barefooted, always wearing socks, drying carefully between the toes, never attempting to cut a callus and seeing a podiatrist routinely are instrumental in maintaining foot and limb health.  I see Diabetic patients who have neuropathy every 2-3 months to help detect problems before they occur and recommend changes accordingly.  I also perform a detailed lower extremity Diabetic Evaluation exam once a year on all of my Diabetic patients to continue the education necessary to support good health