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Diabetes And Numb Feet

Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetic Neuropathy

Dr. Wiley is Professor, Internal Medicine and Director, Michigan Clinical Research Unit, and Dr. Towns is Research Assistant Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI. Diabetes, formally known as diabetes mellitus, affects 171 million people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. Type I diabetes usually starts in childhood or early adulthood, while the onset of type 2 diabetes is typically much later, often in middle-age. Diabetes affects many of the body’s systems and functions, not the least of which may be the nervous system. When the nervous system is affected, diabetic neuropathy can result. This occurs when too much sugar (hyperglycemia) circulates in the blood stream over a long period of time. Some people with neuropathy may not have any symptoms at all, while others will experience pain, tingling, or numbness in their hands, arms, feet, or legs. Many patients will first notice numbness, tingling, or pain in the feet. These symptoms are usually mild in the beginning but may worsen over the years, and then actually decrease in later years, as the nerve damage gets worse. It is thought that 60-70% of people with diabetes will develop some form of neuropathy over their lifetimes. While it is still somewhat unclear, diabetic neuropathy tends to occur after about five years of high blood sugar, and it usually peaks after about 25 years. Some people with neuropathy may not have any symptoms at all, while others will experience pain, tingling, or numbness in their hands, arms, feet, or legs. Diabetic neuropathy can also affect different organ systems, including the cardiovascular, genital-urinary, digestive, and vision. Though the origin of type 1 and type 2 diabetes Continue reading >>

Diabetic Neuropathy (nerve Damage) - An Update

Diabetic Neuropathy (nerve Damage) - An Update

Nerve damage or diabetic neuropathy resulting from chronically high blood glucose can be one of the most frustrating and debilitating complications of diabetes because of the pain, discomfort and disability it can cause, and because available treatments are not uniformly successful. Some patients find some relief from this nerve damage or neuropathy by keeping blood sugars as closely controlled as possible, getting regular exercise and keeping their weight under control. Using non-narcotic pain relievers consistently throughout the day—rather than waiting until nighttime when symptoms can become more severe—also seems to help if pain is the major symptom. Surprisingly, clinicians have also found that certain antidepressants may be helpful and can take the edge off the pain of neuropathy. Although pain or numbness in the legs or feet may be the most common complaint from people diagnosed with neuropathy, it is not the only symptom of this complication. Neuropathy can cause a host of different types of symptoms, depending on whether nerves in the legs, gastrointestinal tract, or elsewhere in the body are affected. If you have any of these symptoms, neuropathy may be the culprit: inability to adequately empty the bladder of its contents, resulting in frequent infections; nausea, vomiting, abdominal fullness or bloating, diarrhea, or constipation; low blood pressure upon standing that causes fainting or dizziness; inability to lift the foot or new deformities of the foot, or foot ulcers; trouble achieving or maintaining an erection. Although physicians have found some medications and other treatments that help ease these symptoms in some people, prevention continues to be the key. "Hemoglobin A1C readings should ideally be at 7.0% or lower. Those that are consistently n Continue reading >>

Neuropathy / Numbness

Neuropathy / Numbness

Neuropathy (damage to the nerves) due to diabetes (both type 1 and type 2) is the most common cause of numbness in the feet. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes and have experienced numbness or tingling in your feet, it is likely that you have diabetic neuropathy. The condition can also cause burning pain and weakness in the muscles of the feet that interferes with your ability to function comfortably. The greatest danger of extended numbness and lack of sensation is unrecognized trauma to the feet. Damage goes unrecognized because you don’t feel pain (or any sensation) in the affected area. This is especially dangerous for people with diabetes, and can lead to ulceration, infection, and possibly even amputation in severe cases. According to the 2012 National Foot Health Assessment conducted for the Institute for Preventive Foot Health by the NPD Group, 7 percent of U.S. adults age 21 and older (about 16 million people) have experienced numbness in their feet. About the illustration: Nylon monofilament test for numbness or lack of sensitivity in the feet: A 10 gauge nylon monofilament attached to a handle is pressed against the foot at multiple separate locations with just enough pressure to bend the filament. If the person feels the filament at each location, he or she is directed to say "yes." Inability to feel the filament at any of the locations indicates loss of protective sensation in that area. More About Neuropathy / Numbness Continue reading >>

Numb Feet - Should I Worry?

Numb Feet - Should I Worry?

Diabetes Forum The Global Diabetes Community Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community About 5 years ago my second toe on my left foot started to go numb - i mentioned this to my mum and she said that her toe was like that too. i also lived in a very cold house and thought this might be the cause of it. i didnt bother going to the doctors about it and eventually started to to forget about it. the numbness started spread to both feet and all my toes, for some reason this still didnt give me cause for alarm - i figured - i'm just a big guy my feet are probably just feeling the brunt of me being over weight. I found out i was diabetic recently and had my 1st diabetic meeting with the nurse (joy of joys) she wasnt impressed when i told her my feet we numb and tested them with a needle. i had slight feeling on the top of my feet but nowhere else. She said it would have to be investigated - but nothing has happened. she checked the pulse and said it was fine. do you think i should chase them up and get podiatry exam (i think thats the term)??? also i'm a bit worried that my feet will have to be removed as they are numb - is this a legitimate concern or am i worrying over nothing. Chase up the referral, especialy if it was longer than a month ago it was suggested. Foot care is very important and you need to check your feet every day. Contact the surgery and ask what has happened to the referral to podiatry - you don't necessarily need to speak to a doctor, the practice manager or admin staff can check what has happened to it. There should be a record of your last visit to the nuse, but if there is no record then ask what needs to be done to get it, sometimes it is a matter of the doctor/nurse calling you to check details and redoing the referr Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Cold Feet

Diabetes And Cold Feet

We’ve all heard of a bride or groom “getting cold feet” before walking down the aisle, but for people with diabetes, having cold feet takes on another meaning entirely. What causes cold feet? Diabetic peripheral neuropathy, a form of nerve damage, is one of the most common causes of cold feet. About sixty to seventy percent of people with diabetes develop some form of neuropathy over time. Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is actually the cause of all kinds of symptoms, including tingling, burning, or sensitivity to touch. Your feet might seem warm to the touch, but feel cold to you. Symptoms may worsen at night. Poor circulation is another common cause of cold feet. Poor circulation makes it more challenging for your heart to pump warm blood to your extremities, keeping your feet cooler than the rest of your body. Peripheral artery disease, caused by clogged arteries in your legs, can reduce circulation and lead to cold feet. This could be a sign of something more serious, like increased risk for heart attack or stroke, but your doctor can usually detect it by checking the pulse in your legs. Certain medications, particularly those that cause blood vessels to constrict, can cause cold feet. Popular medications associated with cold feet are those to treat blood pressure, migraine headaches, and head colds. Talk to your pharmacist if you start to experience cold feet after starting a particular medication. Hypothyroidism is a condition caused by an underactive thyroid. Low levels of thyroid hormone interfere with your body’s metabolism, contributing to reduced circulation and colder feet. Other causes of cold feet Restless legs syndrome (RLS), a neurological disorder that causes funny sensations in your legs when at rest, such as creeping, crawling, aching—and, so Continue reading >>

6 Tips For Treating Burning Feet During Diabetes

6 Tips For Treating Burning Feet During Diabetes

Have you ever felt like your feet are simply on fire? Many people who suffer from diabetes notice that their feet sometimes go numb, and other times feel like they are standing in coals. But why does this happen? How Do Burning Feet Begin? The main cause of burning feet is nerve damage, or as it is called, neuropathy. When nerve fibres get damaged, they are more likely to become overactive and not work properly. The damaged nerves then send pain signals to the brain, although there is not even a wound or injury. In most cases, it is the nerves in the legs that get damaged first. It usually goes paired with tingling or numbness in the feet. This can then result in burning and pain in the feet, which is often extremely sensitive to the touch. What Causes Burning Feet? Diabetes and an overconsumption of alcohol are the most common causes of neuropathy in the legs. Other causes of burning feet are: Chronic kidney disease known as uremia. Small fiber neuropathy. Vitamin deficiency. Especially Vitamin B12, folate, and occasionally vitamin B6. Peripheral artery disease (PAD). The poor circulation of blood to the feet causes pain, tingling, and burning feet. Especially while walking. How Can I Treat Burning Feet? The best way to treat burning feet is to immediately stop whatever is causing nerve damage in your body. By treating the nerve damage at the core, you can start to alleviate the symptoms like burning feet. Here is how you handle different risk factors for neuropathy… Unbalanced Blood Sugar. In the case of diabetic neuropathy, the treatment means ensuring that your blood sugar levels are stable. Vitamin deficiency. Taking additional vitamin B12 orally or by injection can replace low levels of this nutrient. Alcoholism. Stop excessive drinking in order to prevent ongoi Continue reading >>

Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetic neuropathy can cause the following symptoms: Numbness (loss of feeling) or painful tingling and burning in parts of the body, especially your feet, legs, and toes. Muscle weakness and difficulty walking. Your feet heal slowly when you get cuts, sores, or blisters on them. Also, they don’t hurt as much as you would expect. Diabetes causes the level of sugar in your blood to be higher than normal. Over time, high blood sugar levels damage your blood vessels and nerves. That’s why people who don’t (or can’t) control their blood sugar very well seem more likely to get diabetic neuropathy. Men are more likely to have diabetic neuropathy than women. High cholesterol levels and smoking also increase your risk. The most important thing is to keep your blood sugar under control. Take your medicines and/or insulin exactly as your doctor prescribes. Eat a healthy diet. If you are overweight, ask your doctor to help you lose weight. Get plenty of exercise. What can I do to prevent foot problems from diabetic neuropathy? Keep your blood sugar level as close to normal as possible. Also, follow your doctor’s advice on diet and exercise. Take your insulin or medicine exactly as prescribed. Here are some other ways to protect your feet: Wash your feet every day with lukewarm (not hot) water and mild soap. Dry your feet well, especially between the toes. Use a soft towel and pat gently; don’t rub. Keep the skin of your feet smooth by applying a small amount of cream or lotion, especially on the heels. If the skin is cracked, talk to your doctor about how to treat it. Check your feet every day. You may need a mirror to look at the bottoms of your feet. Call your doctor if you have redness, swelling, pain that doesn’t go away, numbness, or tingling in any part of you Continue reading >>

Peripheral Neuropathy Has Causes Other Than Diabetes

Peripheral Neuropathy Has Causes Other Than Diabetes

DEAR DOCTOR K: I have peripheral neuropathy. I know that people with diabetes often get neuropathy, but I'm not diabetic. What else can cause this condition? And what can I do about it? DEAR READER: Neuropathy is a medical term that means nerve damage. The type of nerve damage that people with diabetes get involves specific nerve fibers in all nerves, particularly the nerves that travel to the legs and feet. (There are other conditions in which a single nerve leading to the legs and feet is pinched, causing pain. An example is what is often called a "slipped disk" or "herniated disk" in the lower part of the spine). The symptoms of peripheral neuropathy include numbness and tingling. Some cases cause burning, shooting or stabbing pain. When the doctor does a physical examination and touches your feet and lower legs with something as light as a feather (like some cotton), you may not feel it. However, you will feel it if the cotton touches your skin in the thigh or elsewhere in the body. You may also lose sensation to a pinprick in the lower legs and feet, but not the rest of you. Diabetes is the most common cause of peripheral neuropathy. But neuropathy can result from other causes as well. These include: -- Excessive alcohol intake. -- Hypothyroidism. In this condition, the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. -- Amyloidosis, a disease in which an abnormal protein accumulates in the body. -- Vitamin deficiencies, particularly vitamin B1, B12 and folate deficiency. -- Critical illness, particularly if you develop a severe inflammatory response to infection. -- Guillain-Barre syndrome. This uncommon autoimmune disorder damages the peripheral nerves. Diagnosing peripheral neuropathy is best done by electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction studies (NCS Continue reading >>

What Are The Treatments For Numb Feet In Diabetes?

What Are The Treatments For Numb Feet In Diabetes?

Numbness of the feet may be a symptom of diabetic neuropathy, or nerve damage. Diabetes damages the nerve endings, which leads to neuropathy. One type of diabetic neuropathy is peripheral neuropathy, which affects such body parts as the feet, legs and hands. Neuropathy is not curable, but proper treatment can help prevent the condition from becoming worse, according to a statement paper by the American Diabetic Association in the April 2005 issue of “Diabetes Care." Video of the Day Feet require special care among individuals with diabetes. Not only does diabetes damage nerve endings, the condition hinders the body’s ability to fight infections. Having numbness or reduced sensation in the feet may inhibit one’s awareness of feeling blisters or sores on the feet, which may easily lead to medical complications, such as foot ulcers, serious infections or amputations, according to a 2003 issue of “Lancet." To help prevent medical complications among individuals with numb feet, the American Diabetic Association advises checking feet daily for sores, blisters and cuts. Primary care providers and podiatrists can also check the feet during examinations. Also recommended is checking shoes for rough edges and small objects before putting them on. If foot sores are found, the American Diabetic Association advises seeking medical attention from a podiatrist or primary care provider. Diabetic neuropathy may get better with improved management of blood glucose levels, or blood sugar levels, according to the “Diabetes Care” article. Taking insulin or diabetes medication can help keep blood glucose levels within target range as established by a health care provider. Types of insulin include regular insulin, long-acting insulin and rapid-acting insulin. A health care provide Continue reading >>

Diabetic Foot Care Article

Diabetic Foot Care Article

A A A Diabetes mellitus (DM) represents several diseases in which high blood glucose levels over time can damage the nerves, kidneys, eyes, and blood vessels. Diabetes can also decrease the body's ability to fight infection. When diabetes is not well controlled, damage to the organs and impairment of the immune system is likely. Foot problems commonly develop in people with diabetes and can quickly become serious. With damage to the nervous system, a person with diabetes may not be able to feel his or her feet properly. Normal sweat secretion and oil production that lubricates the skin of the foot is impaired. These factors together can lead to abnormal pressure on the skin, bones, and joints of the foot during walking and can lead to breakdown of the skin of the foot. Sores may develop. Damage to blood vessels and impairment of the immune system from diabetes make it difficult to heal these wounds. Bacterial infection of the skin, connective tissues, muscles, and bones can then occur. These infections can develop into gangrene. Because of the poor blood flow, antibiotics cannot get to the site of the infection easily. Often, the only treatment for this is amputation of the foot or leg. If the infection spreads to the bloodstream, this process can be life-threatening. People with diabetes must be fully aware of how to prevent foot problems before they occur, to recognize problems early, and to seek the right treatment when problems do occur. Although treatment for diabetic foot problems has improved, prevention - including good control of blood sugar level - remains the best way to prevent diabetic complications. People with diabetes should learn how to examine their own feet and how to recognize the early signs and symptoms of diabetic foot problems. They should also l Continue reading >>

Discovery Shows The Way To Reverse Diabetic Nerve Pain

Discovery Shows The Way To Reverse Diabetic Nerve Pain

New information on one of diabetes’ most debilitating complications…. Diabetic neuropathy affects approximately 60-70% of people with diabetes. For such a common problem that affects patients with diabetes, little is known about peripheral neuropathy. Patients with diabetes who are suffering from peripheral neuropathy talk of how terrible it is to live with the condition: how a gentle touch can be agonizing and how a warm shower can be torturous. But, at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, new research has shed some more light on peripheral neuropathy’s causes and may eventually suggest a way to reverse it. “Normally pain is useful information because it alerts us that there is a damaging effect – something happening to tissues. But this pain is typically without any obvious reason,” UVA researcher and anesthesiologist Dr. Slobodan M. Todorovic explains. “It’s because nerves are being affected by high levels of glucose in the blood. So nerves start working on their own and start sending pain signals to the brain. It can be a debilitating condition that severely affects quality of life.” Dr. Slobodan Todorovic and Dr. Vesna Jevtoviv-Todorovic, Harold Carron Professor of Anethesiology and Neuroscience at UVA, have demonstrated the reversal of peripheral diabetic neuropathy in mice through the use of a substance that is naturally present in both humans and animals. The researchers and their colleagues discovered that the high levels of blood sugar cause a change to the structure of channels that allow for the release of calcium into the nerve cells. This in effect forces them open and the overload of calcium into the cells causes them to become hyperactive. This high level of activity can lead to various effects, such as a slight tingling in th Continue reading >>

What Can I Do For Numb, Painful Feet And Legs?

What Can I Do For Numb, Painful Feet And Legs?

My husband was diagnosed with diabetes almost a year ago. At first he was experiencing numbness in his feet. Over the past few months, he began having pain as well, sometimes as far up his leg as his calf. What can we do to help these symptoms? I have read that vitamin E and even flaxseed oil are good for the circulation. Would those be helpful? Continue reading >>

Diabetic Foot Problems

Diabetic Foot Problems

What foot problems can be caused by diabetes? Diabetes mellitus can cause serious foot problems. These conditions include diabetic neuropathy (loss of normal nerve function) and peripheral vascular disease (loss of normal circulation). These two conditions can lead to: Diabetic foot ulcers: wounds that do not heal or become infected Infections: skin infections (cellulitis), bone infections (osteomyelitis) and pus collections (abscesses) Gangrene: dead tissue resulting from complete loss of circulation Charcot arthropathy: fractures and dislocations that may result in severe deformities Amputation: partial foot, whole foot or below-knee amputation What are the symptoms of a diabetic foot problem? ​Symptoms of neuropathy may include the loss of protective sensation or pain and tingling sensations. Patients may develop a blister, abrasion or wound but may not feel any pain. Decreased circulation may cause skin discoloration, skin temperature changes or pain. Depending on the specific problem that develops, patients may notice swelling, discoloration (red, blue, gray or white skin), red streaks, increased warmth or coolness, injury with no or minimal pain, a wound with or without drainage, staining on socks, tingling pain or deformity. Patients with infection may have fever, chills, shakes, redness, drainage, loss of blood sugar control or shock (unstable blood pressure, confusion and delirium). How do some of these complications develop? ​Neuropathy is associated with the metabolic abnormalities of diabetes. Vascular disease is present in many patients at the time of diagnosis of diabetes. Ulcers may be caused by external pressure or rubbing from a poorly fitting shoe, an injury from walking barefoot, or a foreign object in the shoe (rough seam, stone or tack). Infecti Continue reading >>

How To Avoid Amputations If You Have Diabetes

How To Avoid Amputations If You Have Diabetes

In people with diabetes, a trifecta of trouble can set the stage for amputations: Numbness in the feet due to diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage) can make people less aware of injuries and foot ulcers. These ulcers may fail to heal, which can in turn lead to serious infections. "Normally a person with an injury on the bottom of their foot, such as a blister, will change the way they walk. Your gait will alter because you are going to protect that blistered spot until it heals up," says Joseph LeMaster, MD, an assistant professor at the University of Missouri–Columbia School of Medicine. "People with a loss of sensation don't do that. They will just walk right on top of that blister as though it wasn't there. It can burst, become infected, and turn into what we call a foot ulcer," he says. "That ulceration can go right down to the bone and become an avenue for infection into the whole foot. That's what leads to amputations." Foot injuries are the most common cause of hospitalizations About 15% of all diabetics will develop a foot ulcer at some point and up to 24% of people with a foot ulcer need an amputation. You're at extra-high risk if you're black, Hispanic, or Native American. These minority populations are two to three times more likely to have diabetes than non-Hispanic whites, and their rates of amputations are higher. "It's the most common reason that someone's going to be hospitalized with diabetesnot for high blood sugar or a heart attack or a stroke," says David G. Armstrong, DPM, a specialist in diabetic foot disease at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in North Chicago. "It's for a hole in the foot, a wound." About a year ago, Dr. Armstrong treated a 59-year-old man with type 2 diabetes who had been working out at a local health club; 12 Continue reading >>

Tips For Treating Diabetic Nerve Pain

Tips For Treating Diabetic Nerve Pain

Diabetes can cause long-term problems throughout your body, especially if you don’t control your blood sugar effectively, and sugar levels remain high for many years. High blood sugar can cause diabetic neuropathy, which damages the nerves that send signals from your hands and feet. Diabetic neuropathy can cause numbness or tingling in your fingers, toes, hands, and feet. Another symptom is a burning, sharp, or aching pain (diabetic nerve pain). The pain may be mild at first, but it can get worse over time and spread up your legs or arms. Walking can be painful, and even the softest touch can feel unbearable. Up to 50 percent of people with diabetes may experience nerve pain. Nerve damage can affect your ability to sleep, decrease your quality of life, and can also cause depression. Damaged nerves can’t be replaced. However, there are ways that you can prevent further damage and relieve your pain. First, control your blood sugar so the damage doesn’t progress. Talk to your doctor about setting your blood sugar goal, and learn to monitor it. You may be asked to lower your blood sugar before meals to 70 to 130 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) and your blood sugar after meals to less than 180 mg/dL. Use diets, exercise, and medications to decrease your blood sugar to a healthier range. Monitor other health risks that can worsen your diabetes, such as your weight and smoking. Ask your doctor about effective ways to lose weight or quit smoking, if necessary. Your doctor might suggest trying an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), aspirin (Bufferin), or ibuprofen (Motrin IB, Advil), which are available without a prescription but can cause side effects. Use a low dose for a short time to control your symptoms. Other options exist for stronger Continue reading >>

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