Thursday, 10 October 2013

Timely treatments for foot conditions related to diabetic neuropathy

Diabetes is one silent killer which affects different body organs slowly, till the patient condition turns irrecoverable. According to data released by the National Diabetes Fact Sheet in the year 2011, a total of 25.8 million children and adults, i.e., 8.3% of the total United States population is affected with this scary disease. It indeed sounds quite intimidating! The worst thing is that diabetes brings along with it several unwanted health conditions like peripheral vascular disease and neuropathy. Patients get easily exposed to infections which can’t be cured easily.

What is diabetic neuropathy?

It is basically a kind of nerve disorder which is caused due to diabetes. With rising glucose level, nerves throughout the body fail to function properly. While nerve problems can affect any body organ but foot conditions are quite prevalent among aged diabetic patients. Again the risk level is higher for those suffering from diabetes since long. A study shows that approximately 60 to 70% of diabetic patients are suffering from some kind of neuropathy. 

Diabetic neuropathy is classified into four basic types, i.e., peripheral, autonomic, proximal and focal. While the peripheral neuropathy can be directly associated with feet, legs and toe problems, proximal neuropathy basically affects thighs, hips or buttock portion thus causing weakness in legs. Peripheral nerves of the body which connect brain and spinal cord to muscles, internal organs, glands and skin are impaired due to peripheral neuropathy, which is why this type of neuropathy is dreaded the most.

Symptoms of diabetic neuropathy

Patients who have gone through this condition complain of numbness and loss of feeling, especially in feet and hands. Sometimes it may start as pin or needle pricking sensation which is followed by a burning feeling. You may feel as if your foot is on fire!  Even the slightest touch leads to screams of agony. Many patients complain of electric shock kind of sensation or as if they are walking on broken glass.  Does this sound agonizing? Yes, this is what patients have to say about severe foot conditions arising out of diabetic neuropathy. 

Loss of normal sensation of the foot makes patients susceptible to frequent cuts, blisters, scrapes or pressure sores. If not treated in time, minor injuries can turn into ulcers or conditions even more serious. 

How to overcome diabetic neuropathy

The best answer is to control diabetes i.e. blood sugar and blood pressure levels. By following proper diet and healthy lifestyle it is possible to keep your diabetes at check. Those who are prone to foot injuries should keep a close watch on their feet. If the pain is too much, then doctors may suggest painkillers, though these are not long term solutions.

Take a closer look at your footwear. Is it comfortable enough or enhancing feet irritation and pain? If so then shift to comfortable footwear or foot orthotic, designed for diabetic foot care. If foot conditions prevail then it is always advisable to get in touch with an expert podiatrist. Leave it up to the expert to decide what will be the best treatment for your diabetic feet.

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