Neuropathy in the feet is a common problem for people with diabetes. If you’re experiencing pain, numbness, or unpleasant sensations in your feet because of neuropathy, visit Christiaan Goebel, DPM, and Weston Packard, DPM, at Salt Lake City Foot and Ankle Clinic in Utah. Serving the entire Salt Lake City community and surrounding areas at their offices in Holladay and West Jordan, the experienced podiatrists offer effective treatments and superior diabetic foot care. To find out how they can help with your neuropathy symptoms, call Salt Lake City Foot and Ankle Clinic today or request an appointment using the online form.
Neuropathy affects the peripheral nerves around your body that transmit information to and from your brain and spinal cord (central nervous system). Peripheral nerves have several roles. They transmit signals to your brain so you feel sensations like hot, cold, pain, and pleasure. They also receive messages from your brain that they pass on to your muscles and organs.
Neuropathy affects this communication system, causing the peripheral nerves to malfunction. It can affect any nerves around your body, but in your feet, diabetic peripheral neuropathy is the main problem.
Diabetes develops when you have high levels of sugar in your blood. Without treatment, these high sugar levels damage your nerves, especially those in the feet. The nerves can’t communicate properly with your brain, so you might feel pain in your feet even when there’s no injury. Or, when you do have an injury, you might not feel any pain.
Neuropathy in the feet typically causes either sharp pain or numbness. You might get tingling, prickling, itching, or burning sensations. These symptoms can spread across the whole foot, or you could have a combination of symptoms affecting different areas of your foot.
These symptoms can be distressing enough, but the problem doesn’t end there. If you have diabetic peripheral neuropathy that numbs your foot, you might not notice a wound. A cut, puncture, ingrown toenail, or fungal nail might become infected, leading to complications.
Diabetes reduces your circulation, which means foot injuries don’t receive all the oxygen, nutrients, and healing cells they need to repair the damage. Infection can often spread, and open wounds (diabetic ulcers) start to form. They can be resistant to healing, causing prolonged pain and disability.
To treat neuropathy in the feet successfully, it’s important to determine what’s causing the nerve damage. Diabetes is the most common cause, but other conditions might also cause neuropathy in the feet.
Medications like low-dose tricyclic antidepressants and anticonvulsant medications help to reduce foot pain and other unpleasant sensations. If your neuropathy is due to diabetes, managing your condition properly and regularly checking your blood sugar levels reduces the risk of your neuropathy worsening.
Your podiatrist at Salt Lake City Foot and Ankle Clinic plays an invaluable part in caring for your feet when you have neuropathy. They can treat wounds, nail problems, and corns. They can also trim your toenails correctly and use sterilized tools to remove any calluses.
Diabetic socks, custom orthotics, and diabetic shoes can help too. Talk to your podiatrist about your options and which best suits your feet. Salt Lake City Foot and Ankle Clinic has an in-office shoe store on-site and provides a custom orthotics design service.
For expert relief of your neuropathy symptoms, call Salt Lake City Foot and Ankle Clinic today or book an appointment online.