Ahwatukee Foot & Ankle Center
Foot and Ankle Surgeons located in Phoenix, AZ & Maricopa, AZ
If you have diabetes, it’s important not only to regulate your blood sugar but to be aware of potential complications, including peripheral neuropathy, nerve damage that affects your feet. At Ahwatukee Foot & Ankle Center in Phoenix and Maricopa, Arizona, the team of board-certified podiatrists treat diabetic neuropathy and help you to prevent foot complications. To learn more, schedule an appointment online or over the phone.
Neuropathy Q & A
What is diabetic neuropathy?
Diabetes can have many complications, and peripheral neuropathy is one of the biggest risks. Peripheral neuropathy results from damage to your peripheral nerves, the nerves outside your brain and spine that travel to your limbs and organs. Diabetic neuropathy usually affects both feet.
If you have diabetes, your body has difficulty regulating the level of glucose, or sugar, in your bloodstream. Uncontrolled blood glucose can build up and affect your circulation and nerves. Your body already has to work extra hard to deliver sufficient blood to your feet because your feet are far from your heart.
Diabetes slows down your blood flow and makes circulation to your feet that much harder. When left uncontrolled, it can lead to nerve damage. Though diabetic neuropathy is manageable, this nerve damage may become irreversible without intervention.
What are the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy?
Symptoms of diabetic neuropathy in your feet and ankles include:
- Burning, stabbing, or shooting pains
- Numbness, including not feeling your feet when you walk and experiencing no pain from blisters or cuts
- Tingling (“pins and needles” feeling)
- Muscle weakness in legs and feet
- Dramatically increased or decreased sensitivity to temperature
- Increased sensitivity to touch, such as pain from bed sheets touching your feet
- Difficulty standing or walking
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment at Ahwatukee Foot & Ankle Center as soon as possible. Early intervention can improve these symptoms and prevent nerve damage from getting worse.
How is diabetic neuropathy treated?
The podiatrists at Ahwatukee Foot & Ankle Center help provide relief from the symptoms of neuropathy while helping to prevent further nerve damage. Treatment includes:
- Diabetes management to regulate your blood glucose, including weight loss and exercise
- Wearing diabetic shoes or custom orthotics
- Injections of a local anesthetic to the affected nerves
Diabetic neuropathy puts you at increased risk of foot complications. Because you have less sensation in your feet and decreased circulation, you’re at increased risk of developing diabetic foot ulcers.
Diabetic foot ulcers can start as small cuts, blisters, or broken skin, but can become seriously infected. If you have diabetic neuropathy, it’s important to check your feet daily for any signs of injury or infection. Then, schedule an appointment with your podiatrist for diabetic foot care.
For help managing diabetic neuropathy, schedule an appointment at Ahwatukee Foot & Ankle Center online or over the phone.
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