Diabetes is a growing problem in most developed nations and is often brought about by poor lifestyle habits. Unfortunately, it can be a progressive disease that has many complications and one of these may be an untreatable condition known as peripheral neuropathy. If you begin to develop this type of problem what do you need to know and how can a podiatrist, in particular, help you to deal with the situation?
Loss of Sensation
Peripheral neuropathy affects the nerves in the hands, feet and toes and can make it very difficult for the affected individual to feel any sensation. In other words, they may lose any feeling in the peripherals, and this can be particularly problematic when it comes to their feet.
Should an affected person pick up an injury to their feet, they may not realise it because the nerves will no longer be sending an appropriate signal to the brain. For example, they could step on a nail and not realise that they had done so but as the time would go by, this could cause an infection to develop. If this were left unchecked or undiscovered, major issues could develop and the infection may turn out to be untreatable.
It's very important, therefore, for somebody who has advancing diabetes and developing peripheral neuropathy to do whatever they can to inspect their feet as often as possible. This can be difficult for some people who have limited mobility, and, in this case, they should enlist the help of a friend or family member as and when needed.
However, they should also ensure that they sign up with a podiatrist who is an expert in foot care and will be able to help them maintain their feet through regular examinations. This individual may also be able to prescribe a type of medication if needed to help with any issues and may recommend other lifestyle changes moving forward. Meanwhile, they should always wear properly fitting shoes and make sure that this footwear has a solid sole. This should help to prevent any unknown injuries.
It is important to try and restrict the development of peripheral neuropathy if at all possible and to keep a close eye on the feet no matter what. If you're affected, make sure that you visit a podiatrist once or twice each year without fail so that they can use their experience and expertise to help you cope with the situation.
To learn more about diabetic podiatry care, contact a podiatrist in your area.