Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Did you know that foot burning may be due to diabetic neuropathy?

Burning feet!

When you hear the term burning feet, the image that jumps to mind is ‘feet on fire’. Well, you won’t be too far wrong. People who suffer from burning feet actually feel their foot getting warm and in severe cases, the feet feel as though they are burning up.

Burning feet is usually associated with neuropathy due to diabetes. There are a number of other reasons why people could suffer from burning feet. Some of them include Lyme disease, alcohol abuse, AIDS, thyroid problems, kidney disease, vitamin deficiencies, hypertension etc. One of the most common reasons for burning feet is neuropathy caused by diabetes.

Diabetic neuropathy induced burning feet

If diabetic neuropathy has been diagnozed as the primary cause of burning feet, the diabetes which is the cause of the burning feet has to be treated. When a person suffers from diabetes, he/she should be careful with their sugar levels and keep their diabetes under control. If not controlled, diabetes could leave to nerve damage or neuropathy. The many symptoms associated with neuropathy are numbness, pins and needles, burning sensation etc.

The first object of the doctor’s treatment will be to bring the diabetes under control to stop further nerve damage. Numbness and burning feet are just the first stages of nerve damage. If left untreated, it could lead to permanent nerve damage.

Reasons why diabetics are more prone to neuropathy

Though high sugar levels can be the cause of diabetic neuropathy, other factors can hasten it. These factors include substance abuse, kidney disease, vitamin deficiency, hypothyroidism etc. Any of these could increase the chances of a diabetic getting neuropathy. So, it is important for diabetics to not only take care of the sugar levels but also take holistic care of their bodies.

Symptomatic treatment of burning feet

There are quite a few over the counter oral medication and topical creams to help deal with burning feet. But if you are a diabetic and your burning feet is due to diabetic neuropathy, it would be better to seek the advice of a doctor before taking any medication. The doctor will be able to prescribe medication for your burning feet which will not interfere with your ongoing treatment of diabetes. These medications should help relieve the pain of burning feet.

Holistic treatment of burning feet

Burning feet are the symptoms of a more dangerous cause like diabetes. So to treat burning feet, the underlying cause which is diabetes should be treated. One of the first things a person should do if they suffer from burning feet, is to get themselves checked for diabetes. If diabetes is ruled out, other tests can be done to ascertain the underlying problem. If the cause is diabetes, then see a doctor to find out how high your sugar levels are and what kind of treatment is needed.

If your sugar levels are not very high, your doctor may put you on a diet regimen to control the diabetes. If your diabetes is more advanced you may have to start taking medication for it. Whether you have burning feet or not, if you are a diabetic, you should visit a podiatrist regularly because diabetics are prone to a number of foot problems. Diabetics can get numbness of the feet which means that if your feet get injured, you may not realize it. There are many products to help people with diabetic neuropathy protect their feet. 

By taking certain protective measures, you can safeguard your feet against the side effects of diabetic neuropathy.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Solutions to prevent bunion

What are bunions?

Bunions are called hallux abducto valgus in medical terms. They are an enlargement and a deviation of the large toe which could be accompanied by swelling and lesions. Bunions occur due to a variety of reasons. They could be hereditary. They could be caused by wearing ill fitting, uncomfortable shoes for long periods of time. When ill fitting shoes are worn there is friction between the shoe and the large toe which leads to bunions. The toe is pushed inwards at the end causing the knuckle of the toes to seemingly protrude out giving a triangular shape to that part of the foot. In severe cases the inward deviation of the big toe could be so severe that it actually goes over or under the second toe.

Symptoms of bunions

The signs and symptoms of a bunion include swelling, redness or soreness around your big toe joint, persistent or intermittent pain, a large protrusion on the side or base of your large toes and appearance of corns and calluses on the big toe. Thickening of the skin at the base of the big toe and restriction of the movement of your big toe accompanied by intense pain are other symptoms. If the bunion has been forming for a while, the patient could be in so much pain that even walking could get difficult.

Bunion Prevention

Bunions form over a long period of time. Even for people who have protruding knuckles, the formation of a bunion can be prevented by wearing shoes that can accommodate the protrusion. When people who already have protruding knuckles wear close fitting shoes, the friction will be more and the formation of bunions will be swifter. Taking care of the feet during childhood and the teenage years can help control the formation of bunions for a long time.

Simple foot exercises can strengthen your feet and help you avoid bunions. Wear shoes that fit properly and that do not cramp or pinch your toes. Wearing high heels or pointed toes should be kept to an absolute minimum or not at all.

Treatment of bunions

If you already suffer from bunions, here are a couple of things that you can do to help lessen the pain.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that have enough toe space
  • Open toes sandals which are not constricting is a good idea, at least till the swelling and pain of the bunion comes down.
  • Wear socks if you have to wear shoes, so that there is less friction between the toe and the shoe.
  • Have a warm foot soak with Epsom salts and moisturize your feet regularly to keep it soft and to prevent chaffing.
  • If you have to wear closed shoes to work, take them off and air your feet a couple of times a day.
Surgical Options for bunions

If you are suffering from a severe case of bunions and are in a lot of pain, the podiatrist may suggest a surgical procedure to remove the bunion. Most foot doctors use surgery only as the last measure. They will try to help you cope with the symptoms of bunions with preventive care and oral and topical treatments as much as they can. Only in rare cases do podiatrists consider surgery.

As in most cases, prevention is better than cure. If you do have a history of bunions, then you should take care to wear footwear that does not aggravate the bunion. If you see any symptoms related to bunions, see a doctor immediately. The faster it is detected, the swifter the treatment would be.