What Is Diabetic Nerve Pain Or Diabetic Neuropathy
Neuropathy is an over-arching term that means nerve pain. There are four types of neuropathy, including:
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Radiculoplexus neuropathy
Peripheral neuropathy refers to nerve pain that is experienced on the periphery of your body, like the hands and feet. This area is enervated by the peripheral nervous system .
There are many conditions that can result in nerve pain in the farthest reaches of the body, including:
- Vitamin deficiencies
- Certain medications
The most common cause of peripheral neuropathy, though, is poorly controlled diabetes.
The hallmark of diabetes is a nearly constant fluctuation of the blood sugar, with spiky highs and cavernous lows. This constant fluctuation damages the capillary walls responsible for delivering blood to the nerves, especially in the hands and feet. As the capillaries become more damaged, diabetic neuropathy symptoms begin to appear.
Make Sure Your Shoes Fit Well
It’s an investment worth making. Even the slightest rubbing or misfit shoe can cause a blister that turns into a sore that becomes infected and never heals.
Buy better-fitting shoes, or try different socks, even at the most minor signs of redness or irritation, since you may not be able to feel when it’s getting worse. Before buying or putting on the shoes check your shoes for rough seams, sharp edges or other objects that could hurt your feet. And break your shoes in gradually.
Diabetes Can Be A Game Changer When It Comes To The Treatment Of A Sprained Ankle
But many diabetics do not realize just what could happen if they have a certain condition that diabetes often causes.
You Sprained Your Ankle and You Have Diabetes
If a person has well-controlled diabetes without neuropathy or impaired sensation, then treatment is not much different than an ankle sprain in a nondiabetic patient, says Peter D. Highlander, DPM, Reconstructive Foot & Ankle Surgeon, Director, Wound Reconstruction Center, The Bellevue Hospital, Bellevue OH.
Dr. Highlander continues, Neuropathy is a game-changer because the person cannot sense pain normally. The ankle sprain may actually be a more serious injury that could require surgery.
Pain is our built-in protective mechanism against danger. Pain tells us to remove our hand from the hot stove, for example.
Losing pain sensation as in the case of neuropathy places us at higher risk to injure ourselves.
If someone with neuropathy twists their ankle, it is difficult for that person to differentiate pain typical of an ankle sprain versus pain associated with a broken ankle.
Did you fall? Check your ankles! Make this an automatic response to any fall.
Its not about what you feel its about what you SEE.
A broken bone will not go without swelling and bruising.
However, when an ankle bone breaks, theres usually torn ligaments as well, and these will cause immediate swelling. Discoloration will be right behind.
If your ankle looks normal, chances are its not broken.
Recommended Reading: Is Type One Diabetes Considered A Disability
Does Gabapentin Cause Weight Gain Learn More About The Side Effects
Gabapentin is a prescription drug that is used to treat various medical conditions such as seizures, restless legs syndrome, and nerve pain and it belongs to a class of anticonvulsant medication. Gabapentin works by decreasing the number of seizures you have, relieving pain, and improving your sleep among several other benefits. If you take gabapentin you also may experience weight gain as a side effect. In this article, we will discuss how gabapentin causes weight gain, how to stop it, and other potential risks associated with taking this medication.
Who Gets Charcots Foot
Charcots foot is most commonly seen in diabetic patients, but it can also be caused by other factors. These include injuries to the nerves or blood vessels of the lower legs and untreated high blood pressure which results in poor circulation.
The condition mostly affects people who have had diabetes for a while , although it can occur earlier.
Read Also: Normal Glucose Level In Pregnancy
How Does Diabetes Cause Leg Foot And Toe Pain
If you are experiencing pain in your toes, it could be due to your diabetes.
Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the way your body processes blood sugar.
One of the complications of diabetes is diabetic neuropathy, which is a condition that can cause chronic pain and numbness in your legs, feet, and toes.
In this article, we will discuss the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy and the effective treatment options available for those who suffer from the condition while also highlighting its causes and giving you tips on how to prevent it.
Fix Bunions Corns And Hammertoes
If your big toe slants sharply in toward your other toes, with a big bump on the knuckle of your big toe, you’ve got a classic bunion. Corns are spots of thick, rough skin, where the tissue builds up on toes constantly barraged by too much rubbing or pressure. A buckled-under toe, called a hammertoe, can result from muscle weakness caused by diabetic nerve damage. All of these make it hard to fit shoes comfortably.
A good podiatrist can help you fix these problems and take better care of your feet.
You May Like: What Foods Should A Diabetic Eat To Lose Weight
All About Diabetic Neuropathy
High blood glucose levels go hand-in-hand with nerve conditions. This is because the high blood sugar levels injure nerves, resulting in pain, tingling, and even complete loss of sensation.
There are different types of diabetic neuropathy that affect different parts of the body.
Dr. Baravarian discusses diabetic nerve damage
Is Diabetic Neuropathy Preventable
Unfortunately, there is no surefire way to prevent diabetic neuropathy as it is still not clear what causes the condition in the first place.
However, you can lower your risk of developing diabetic neuropathy, delay its onset, or stop its progression by managing your diabetes which includes maintaining good blood sugar control, exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, and taking any medications as prescribed by your doctor for optimal care.
You need to also see your doctor or podiatrist regularly for diabetic foot exams.
Besides these options, other ways to prevent diabetic neuropathy include:
- Checking your feet daily for any cuts, sores, or irritations
- Wear shoes with clean socks everywhere, including inside the house, and avoid going barefoot
- Keep your feet away from extreme temperatures
- Trim your toenails carefully straight across to avoid ingrown nails
- Choose low-impact exercises that will not bother your feet as much such as biking, swimming, or walking
By following these health tips, you can prevent, delay the onset of, or stop the progression of diabetic neuropathy and the pain it causes you.
Don’t Miss: A1c 5.2 Average Blood Sugar
Complications Of Charcot Foot
Your bones might break and move out of place as they become weaker. When this happens:
- Your foot may lose its shape. The arch in your foot may fall until the bones are lower than your heel or toes. This is known as rocker bottom by doctors.
- Your toes may curl.
- Your ankle might become twisted and unsteady.
- Bones may press against your shoes. Its important to keep your diabetic foot properly moisturized. Sores can develop on your skin as a result of not doing so.
- Your circulation may be restricted, which makes it more difficult for infections to heal. If this persists for an extended period of time, you may require amputation of your foot.
What Causes Diabetic Neuropathy
What causes diabetic neuropathy is unknown although it is thought to be a result of uncontrolled blood glucose levels although more research is needed.
There are a few different risk factors besides poor glucose control that can contribute to diabetic neuropathy such as high blood pressure and smoking. It is also more common if you have had diabetes for a longer period of time.
According to one study, if you have type 2 diabetes you are more likely to develop diabetic neuropathy than if you have type 1 although nearly a quarter of the participants in the study with type 1 diabetes still developed diabetic neuropathy.
Finally, obesity and being overweight can also be risk factors as can kidney disease.
Read Also: What Is A Smart Insulin Pen
Keep An Eye On Your Feet
Early warning signs occur most often in the feet. Check your feet daily for blisters, cracks, ingrown toenails, or wounds that are slow-healing or getting worse.
The American Diabetes Association recommends an annual foot exam, but daily foot checks are crucial for early detection and treatment. If you are unable to bend down to see the soles of your feet, use a mirror or ask a family member to help.
Talk To A Professional Podiatrist About Your Diabetic Neuropathy
When Peripheral Neuropathy affects the legs and feet, a licensed podiatrist can help. Being knowledgeable on your condition and seeking the advice of a professional early on is your best chance at recovering successfully. If youre suffering from leg and/or foot discomfort related to Diabetic Neuropathy, dont put it off any longer call us at or click the button to request an appointment today!
Read Also: What Is A Good Glucose Number For A Diabetic
What Are The Treatment Options For Diabetic Neuropathy
The best way to treat diabetic neuropathy is to keep your blood sugar levels in a healthy range.
If you are already diabetic, this means working with your doctor on a diabetic treatment plan that works for you.
The most common ways to manage your blood glucose levels include eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, taking any medications for diabetes as prescribed by your doctor, and maintaining a healthy weight.
Other treatments are available depending on the severity of your symptoms including:
Control Your Blood Sugar
The best prevention for nerve pain, ultimately, is to manage your diabetes well. In fact, a 2006 study by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases showed that strict blood glucose control with intensive insulin therapy lowered the chances in people with type I diabetes of having symptoms of peripheral neuropathy — tingling, burning, and pain — by 64%. These results have also been shown to hold true in type II diabetes, too.
The two most important determinants of whether you get diabetic neuropathy are how many years you have had diabetes and how well you control your blood sugar. Other factors, including controlling blood pressure and blood fats and not smoking are also important to prevent diabetic neuropathy.
Controlling your blood glucose also helps reduce the symptoms of diabetic nerve pain. So the good news is that controlling your glucose levels with diet, exercise, and if needed, medications can not only help prevent diabetic peripheral neuropathy, but they can also help ease its effects.
Don’t Miss: How Much Sugar Can A Diabetic Have In A Day
Nerve Compression In Foot
Diabetes can also result in nerve compression. In regular nerve compression, one nerve in the arm or leg becomes constricted or compressed. This results in numbness in that single region.
Diabetic nerve compression is the result of a metabolic imbalance that causes nerves to become swollen. This inflammation influences tightness in the surrounding area and increased pain. A diabetics nerves are susceptible to compression because the nerves are swollen.
What Causes Toe Numbness
Your body contains a complex network of sensory nerves that provide your sense of touch. When nerves are pressed, damaged, or irritated, its as if a telephone line has been cut and the messages cant get through. The result is numbness, whether temporary or long-lasting.
A number of medical conditions can cause toe numbness, including:
Recommended Reading: How Does An Insulin Pump Attach
How Can I Prevent The Problems Caused By Peripheral Neuropathy
You can prevent the problems caused by peripheral neuropathy by managing your diabetes, which means managing your blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol. Staying close to your goal numbers can keep nerve damage from getting worse.
If you have diabetes, check your feet for problems every day and take good care of your feet. If you notice any foot problems, call or see your doctor right away.
Remove your socks and shoes in the exam room to remind your doctor to check your feet at every office visit. See your doctor for a foot exam at least once a yearmore often if you have foot problems. Your doctor may send you to a podiatrist.
Prediabetes Weight Loss: Can It Help
If you have prediabetes, you are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes because prediabetes means that your blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as type 2 diabetes. Fortunately, prediabetes can often be treated with weight loss. In this article, we will explore the relationship between prediabetes and weight loss and find out if losing weight is an effective treatment for prediabetes. We will also cover all other treatment options available to you if you have prediabetes and what causes it.
Don’t Miss: Can You Get A Cdl With Diabetes
How Is Toe Numbness Diagnosed
Your doctor will first take an inventory of your medical history and symptoms before conducting a physical examination. If youre experiencing stroke- or seizure-like symptoms, the doctor may recommend a CT or MRI scan. These can detect bleeding in the brain that could indicate a stroke.
MRI and CT scans are also used to detect abnormalities in the spine that could indicate sciatica or spinal stenosis.
Your doctor will perform a comprehensive foot exam if your symptoms seem to be concentrated in the feet themselves. This includes testing your abilities to sense temperature and other sensations in the feet.
Other tests include nerve conduction studies, which can detect how well electric current is transmitted through the nerves. Electromyography is another test that determines how muscles respond to electrical stimulation.
Why Is Diabetic Neuropathy So Painful
The nerves carry chemical messages to and from the brain about what we can feel. When the nerves are damaged these messages cannot be sent properly which leads to a change in sensation or feeling. This can lead to feelings of numbness, tingling, burning, discomfort or shooting pains. Sometimes these sensations can be worse at night. We are not sure exactly why this is, but could be to do with cooler temperatures in the evening, stress at the end of a long day and fewer distractions in the evening meaning you notice the pain more. Living with any type of long-term pain , can be very distressing and have a negative impact on your mental health and general wellbeing. If you are experiencing regular or frequent pain which you are struggling to cope with you should contact your GP for advice and support. You can also contact our helpline or reach out on our forum.
You May Like: How Can People Get Diabetes
Diabetic Nerve Pain In Ankle Feet And Legs
It is important to be aware of diabetic neuropathy and the ways it can affect your feet, ankles, and legs if you have diabetes, also called diabetes mellitus.
Diabetic neuropathy is a condition that results from damage to the nerves due to high blood sugar levels and nerve damage can cause a wide range of symptoms including pain, numbness, tingling, burning sensations, and weakness. In some cases, diabetic neuropathy can lead to serious complications such as diabetic foot ulcers.
There are several treatment options available for diabetic neuropathy that range from physical therapy to medications and we will discuss them all.
However, by following your doctors advice and taking steps to manage your diabetes, you can help prevent diabetic neuropathy or slow its progression.
If You Suffer With Diabetic Foot Pain Call 480 497
Nerve damage is just one of many conditions that can cause diabetic foot pain symptoms like those mentioned. Therefore, they are all worth bringing to the attention of a healthcare professional. If youre diabetic or at risk for diabetes, its especially important to address these issues early before they develop into more serious problems.
Recommended Reading: When Is The Best Time To Test Blood Sugar
Keep Diabetes From Damaging Your Feet And Ankles
For many baby boomers, diabetes is a common problem that is often neglected or undertreated, and it can lead to serious foot and ankle problems, according to Kevin Miller, D.P.M., a podiatrist with NorthBay Healthcare.
“As a podiatrist, I work with patients to help prevent the foot and ankle problems that diabetes can cause,” Dr. Miller says. “I focus on three basic tenets of care with my patients. The first is helping them understand the disease in general, including why and how it works with their physiology. Second, I share how diabetes can affect their feet and how to recognize dangerous signs and symptoms. Lastly, I focused on prevention of the long-term effects.”
According to the National Institute of Health, diabetes affects 29.1 million Americans. That is 9.3 percent of our population, and 8.1 million of these people do not know they have the disease. This is a staggering statistic when you think about how the untreated disease can affect your health.
Diabetes is a disease of the endocrine system that affects how your body uses blood glucose, commonly called blood sugar. Glucose is a vital source of energy for the cells that make up your muscles and tissues and for your brain. If you have diabetes, you have too much glucose in your blood, which can lead to serious health problems. The disease is treated with either oral medication or insulin.
Dr. Miller asks his patients to:
Infection In Legs And Feet
Nerves in the legs and feet are often most affected by neuropathy. This can cause you to lose sensation to your feet and legs. Sores and cuts can go unnoticed and lead to infections.
In some extreme cases, infections can become severe and lead to ulcers. Over time, this can cause irreparable damage to the soft tissue and lead to the loss of toes or even your foot.
Recommended Reading: Blood Glucose Convert To A1c