According to the American Diabetes Association, one in nine people living in Arizona suffer from diabetes. Phoenix hosts a variety of events to raise awareness and promote healthy lifestyles for diabetics. Upcoming events including Dion Pride Tribute Show on Friday, March 18th, The Phoenix Tour de Cour on Saturday, March 19, and the American Diabetes Association Alert Day on Tuesday, March 22 are just a few examples. Diabetes impacts nearly every organ in your body and can lead to many adverse health issues such as skin infections, glaucoma, cataracts, and neuropathy.
Neuropathy is damage to the nerves affecting about half of those with diabetes and is a common concern for podiatrists particularly when it involves the feet. It is seen more commonly in those who have suffered from diabetes for a number of years. When diabetes leads to nerve damage, sensations in your feet are altered. This nerve damage may range from painful to complete numbness. It is not uncommon for this pain to prevent sleep or disrupt daily routines. Awareness and proper management of diabetic neuropathy is crucial to the prevention of foot ulcers, infections and amputations.
Signs and Symptoms of Diabetic Neuropathy in your feet:
- Feeling of pins and needles
- Burning, stabbing, or shooting pains
- Tingling or Stinging
- Foot numbness
- Unsteady while walking or standing
- The inability to feel hot or cold sensations
Unfortunately there is no cure for nerve damage, however, slowing the progression of the neuropathy, relieving pain and managing complications can be achieved. Keeping your blood glucose in the proper range can help prevent the progression of the disease. Some medications may help relieve pain and manage symptoms. It is important to wear proper fitting footwear that will protect your feet. Visually inspecting your feet for ulcers, blister, or cuts each day is important step to preventing complications.
Taking control of your diabetes can help prevent nerve damage and it’s complications. You can start by visiting one of the many diabetes awareness events hosted in the Phoenix area. If you suffer from nerve damage in your feet, or suspect you might, please consider making an appointment with Dr. Jay C. Larson at Sole Foot and Ankle Specialists in Glendale, Arizona.