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!

You Might Also Enjoy...

Signs Your Ingrown Toenail Is Infected

While there are home remedies for ingrown toenails, if you suspect an infection or if you have diabetes, circulation issues, or numbness in your toes, contact a foot specialist immediately. Here’s how you know you’re dealing with an infection.

How to Prevent Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Foot ulcers are an all-too common consequence of diabetes. Not everyone with diabetes will develop foot ulcers, but those who do require prompt care from a foot and ankle specialist to avoid complications. Here’s how to prevent trouble.

Ways to Reduce Your Lingering Bunion Pain

Bunions can cause considerable pain when you wear shoes and even make it difficult to walk. Typically a progressive problem, bunions can worsen without intervention. A podiatrist can help you get relief.

Are Your Shoes to Blame for Feet Problems?

Wearing the wrong shoes can be a pain — literally. Ill-fitting shoes can cause a host of foot and ankle problems that, if left untreated, may lead to chronic pain and affect your mobility.

Reasons Why You Should Always Wear Clean, Dry Socks

Socks are more than a fashion item; they’re important to your foot health. By understanding why socks matter, and making sure you’re always wearing a clean and dry pair, you’re setting yourself up for healthy feet.

What Athletes Should Know About Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis can threaten your ability to engage in your favorite sports and activities. Fortunately, it’s a very common and treatable foot and ankle condition. See an expert for diagnosis and treatment.