Neuropathy is described as weakness, numbness, and even pain that are from nerve damage, usually in the hands and feet. On average, about half of the people with diabetes have some form of nerve damage. If you are diabetic, it is vital for you to keep your blood glucose levels to lower counts because with low blood sugar levels you can help prevent and even delay nerve damage. Your hemoglobin A1C is an important number to monitor when you are diabetic because that will also be a major factor in helping your doctor determine if are at risk of developing neuropathy. Neuropathy is more common in those who have had diabetes for a number of years and can lead to many more kinds of problems.
The diabetic population is not the only one that suffers with neuropathy, or nerve damage. There are several forms of neuropathy that can happen without the threat of being or becoming diabetic. Many people can experience tingling or numbness and even pain through nerve damage from compression of nerves such as, from tarsal tunnel syndrome, nerve damage from Rheumatoid Arthritis, Systemic Lupus Erythematous, infections, toxins, drugs, certain cancers, diphtheria, Guillain-Barre syndrome, HIV – AIDS, Lyme Disease, Leprosy, Cytomegalovirus, Herpes zoster (shingles), Herpes simplex, and also Hepatitis C. Twenty-five percent all neuropathies have an unknown etiology, which mean that environmental and occupational exposure may play a role in the development. It is vital for you to get a proper evaluation and physical by your primary care doctor and podiatrist for the right diagnosis that will lead to the proper care for you.
Often times many patient that are not diabetic can experience a burning or ‘pins and needles’ feeling during warm summer months when the humidity is high. This can lead to swelling in the feet, and for many patients, neuropathy type sensations can develop. If you are wearing shoes that are too small that feels tight on your feet that can also cause compression or pressure on the nerves in your feet. There are over 200,000 nerve endings on the bottom of your foot, which is one of the highest concentrations anywhere in the body, so if you do not have the proper footwear on that fit correctly during these summer months and you experience ‘funny feelings’ in your feet that you never felt before, you be causing a mild form of neuropathy that can be easily treated.
Many times neuropathy can be fully treated in patients when the signs and symptoms they are having are caught very early, in the absence of diabetes. That is why it is extremely important for you to listen to your body when something does not feel like it did before. Many patients often experience paresthesias (Pins And Needles), tingling sensations, burning, and most described this as ‘pain’, when in fact, it is another sensation that all involve the nerves and must be treated and addresses promptly to your podiatrist.
If there are any other questions feel free to contact Dr. Theall’s Gentle Touch Foot Care office for all your foot and ankle needs and concerns at 973 673 -3668. Remember to take care of your feet they are the foundation to your life!!!