Peripheral neuropathy refers to nerve damage that occurs in the arms, hands, legs, and feet as a result of diabetes. Sensory nerves, which process sensations such as pain and temperature, motor nerves, which assist with muscle function, and autonomic nerves, which perform involuntary functions, are all affected by peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy usually occurs as a gradual loss of sensation and function, however it can cause serious issues such as open sores, the loss of a foot or leg, or death. Peripheral neuropathy is caused by several factors, including persistent high blood sugar and decreased circulation, which are both common in diabetes.
Did you know…
According to the American Diabetes Association, it is estimated that approximately 60-70% of individuals with diabetes will be diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy in their lifetime. The key to reducing your risk of developing peripheral neuropathy lies in properly regulating your blood sugar levels and maintaining a healthy circulatory system.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have peripheral neuropathy?
Since three types of nerves are affected by peripheral neuropathy, there can be different types of symptoms depending on the type of nerve being affected. For sensory nerves you may experience numbness or tingling in your feet as well as prickly, sharp or burning pain in your feet or legs. For motor nerves, you may notice muscle weakness, loss of muscle tone, loss of balance, and changes in your foot’s contour. For autonomic nerves, your skin will become excessively dry and cracked. If you are exhibiting any of these symptoms, schedule a consultation with Dr. Hadfield today.
How will Dr. Hadfield diagnose and treat peripheral neuropathy?
To diagnose peripheral neuropathy, Dr. Hadfield will ask about your medical history and perform a physical examination which will include testing your reflexes, and your ability to feel touch and vibration. Sometimes neurologic testing by an neurologist may be necessary.
Treatment for peripheral neuropathy begins with regulating your blood sugar and addressing any open sores or painful symptoms with the proper medication. There are specific medications used to treat neuropathy symptoms as well and they can be very effective. There are also non medication treatments, such as microelectric stimulation and cold laser therapy.
Dr. Hadfield of Hadfield Foot & Ankle has been serving McKinney and the surrounding Collin County area by providing excellent care to patients through highly skilled conservative and surgical treatments, as well as superior customer service. If you have foot or ankle concerns, schedule a consultation with Dr. Hadfield today and take your next step forward!