How to Spot Diabetic Nerve Damage

How to Spot Diabetic Nerve Damage

Most people with diabetes know that nutrition is a major part of staying healthy, but did you know that taking care of your feet is also a crucial part of living well with diabetes? People with diabetes are at risk of developing foot ulcers, a common problem in people with diabetic neuropathy. 

That’s why it’s vital to have a podiatrist as part of your care team. At Concord Podiatry, our podiatrist, Dr. David Biss, provides comprehensive diabetic foot care and helps people with diabetes take the best care of their feet.

Elevated blood sugar can damage your nerves, and the nerves in your legs and feet are especially vulnerable. Loss of sensation and reduced blood flow can happen as a result, which puts you at risk of diabetic foot ulcers. Here, we share the signs of nerve damage and steps you can take to care for your feet.

The importance of diabetic foot care 

Diabetic neuropathy is nerve damage that arises as a result of diabetes. Your nerves communicate signals about sensation between your brain and other parts of your body. Damaged nerves are unable to send and receive the proper signals. They may misfire and send the wrong signals or fail to send the appropriate signal altogether.

Keeping your blood sugar well-controlled is key to preventing complications such as nerve damage. However, elevated blood sugar can silently damage your nerves for years before you’re diagnosed with diabetes.

The danger of having nerve damage is that you may not feel when you have a foot injury. You could stub your toe or walk on a pebble and not realize that your foot is injured. Due to reduced blood flow, even a small cut can develop into a large, slow-healing wound.

Signs of diabetic neuropathy

If you have diabetes and you’ve noticed a tingling or burning feeling in your hands or feet, you may have diabetic neuropathy. Here are the main signs to be on the lookout for:

Diabetic neuropathy varies from person to person depending on the level of nerve damage. 

Taking care of your feet

Good diabetic food care helps keep complications at bay, and it’s critical to examine your feet as part of your daily routine. The following are some best practices in diabetic foot care. 

Avoid walking barefoot: Because nerve loss reduces feeling, you may not detect small items that become lodged in your foot. 

Wash your feet daily: Use mild soap. Pat each foot dry with a towel rather than rubbing hard. 

Use lotion: Keep your feet moisturized to prevent your skin from drying and cracking.

Protect your feet: Wear good shoes. Keep your feet away from radiators, fireplaces, and areas that may pose a danger. 

Avoid smoking: Smoking damages blood vessels and reduces blood flow.

By developing a good daily routine, you can keep your feet in tip-top shape and avoid complications that can arise from diabetic neuropathy. Podiatrists are specially trained to evaluate your feet for nerve damage, identify specific foot health problems, and develop a treatment plan and preventive strategy. 

To discuss diabetic foot care or any other foot and ankle needs, call Concord Podiatry to set up a visit with Dr. Biss. Your foot health is our top priority!

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