Diabetic neuropathy affects 60%-70% of people with diabetes at some point in their lives. While not everyone experiences pain due to neuropathy, nerve pain is a common symptom of this condition. Professional treatment can help you deal with this pain and manage the areas that hurt — including your feet.
We have many of locations in Northern California, and chances are, there’s a location near you that can help you get the diabetic foot care you need. Diabetics need extra care when it comes to their podiatry, so you shouldn’t drag your feet.
What is diabetic neuropathy?
Diabetic neuropathy, also called peripheral neuropathy, refers to the nerve damage caused by high blood sugar. It occurs in people with diabetes, and most often affects the feet and legs. While some people only suffer mild symptoms like numbness or tingling, others can have disabling pain and other problems.
How does diabetic neuropathy affect my feet?
Many people with diabetic neuropathy can’t feel their feet. They might cut, burn, or scrape their feet without noticing. Diabetics also report issues with poor blood flow in these areas, leading to slow healing, ulcers, infections, and even amputation.
However, many diabetics experience nerve pain in their feet — even if they can feel nothing else. Up to 50% of people with diabetes experience nerve pain due to peripheral neuropathy.
How to manage diabetic neuropathy
There isn’t a permanent cure-all for neuropathy. Nerves can’t be replaced, but diabetic neuropathy can be managed and treated. The first step to managing your condition is to keep your blood sugar balanced. This can prevent the neuropathy from worsening.
Over-the-counter pain relievers can treat nerve pain, though your doctor may prescribe something else if the pain is persistent or severe. Some lotions and prescription medications are also used to treat nerve pain in those suffering from diabetic neuropathy.
The most important part of managing neuropathy is to take quality care of your feet. You can do this by:
- Always wearing properly fitting shoes
- Breaking in new shoes slowly
- Wearing thick socks and slippers often
- Soaking, washing, and moisturizing your feet daily
- Regularly examining your feet for wounds
- Always cleaning and disinfecting foot/ankle wounds
- Getting cuts or wounds inspected when they don’t heal
You should have a podiatrist on call for wounds and basic foot care. They can help you manage cuts, ulcers, and other issues with your feet before they worsen. Our Providers have experience in diabetic foot care, and they can provide checkups and wound treatment for those with peripheral neuropathy. To get in touch, contact us via phone or request an appointment online.