Diabetes is a lifelong disease and there is currently no cure. However, the great news is it can be managed via a combined effort between the patient and their doctor. Properly managed diabetes decreases the risks of complications and significantly improves patient outcomes.
Managing diabetes takes a team. This team consists of the patient, their primary care doctor, podiatrist and a variety of other specialists. One of the more common complications of diabetes is Diabetic Neuropathy. Neuropathy typically has a slow onset and first presents as pain, tingling and numbness of the extremities. Not everyone with diabetes will develop neuropathy; however, all diabetics should keep an eye out for these symptoms since between 60-70% of diabetic patients will develop some type of neuropathy.
Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy is often diagnosed during a routine foot examination by a podiatrist. Many patients may not even notice the sensory deficit until this exam is performed. If a patient is unaware of their neuropathy it can lead to a variety of more serious problems such as lesions and ulcers.
Any diabetic patient, whether experiencing symptoms of peripheral neuropathy or not, should work together with their podiatrist to come up with a treatment plan. diabetic neuropathy cannot be reversed; however, its progression can be slowed. Patient education is very important in the treatment and progression.
If you think you have any complications related to diabetes, or if you think you might have diabetic peripheral neuropathy, please schedule an appointment with Dr. Jay Larson at Sole Foot and Ankle Specialists to have your feet checked out.