Healing Numb Feet
Overview of treatment approaches: • Nondrug therapies • Relaxation and biofeedback • Anodyne therapy • Exercise • Massage • Daily foot care Diabetes is hard on feet. Because the feet are farthest from the heart, any problems with blood flow can leave feet without enough circulation. Results can include numbness, loss of foot strength, and worse. Fortunately, there are some good ways to heal and protect your feet. As Birgitta I. Rice, MS, RPh, CHES, wrote here, much of the pain and numbness people with diabetes experience comes from nerve damage. The nerves are injured both by poor circulation and by high glucose levels. We really need healthy nerves. (As a person with a nerve disease, I know about this.) According to Rice, “Loss of nerve fibers can result in muscle weakness, numbness, loss of reflexes, foot deformities, change in gait, and impaired balance and coordination. Loss of sensitivity to pain or temperature can also occur, leading in turn to blisters and sores from foot injuries that go unfelt.” Numbness is dangerous. Sometimes, people can have a pebble in their shoe and not notice it. Others may get in a hot bath and not realize their feet are being scalded. These kinds of seemingly minor things can lead to infections, which don’t heal because of having poor circulation. This is the major pathway to losing a leg to amputation. People with diabetes are eight times more likely than other people to have a lower leg amputated. If you just woke up one day with numb feet, you would notice a big difference and ask about ways to treat it. It doesn’t work that way, though. Numbness comes on slowly over years, so you don’t notice day-to-day changes. Also, severe pain often comes before numbness, so that the numbness is perceived as a relief rather Continue reading >>
Symptoms Of Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy
Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is a condition caused by long-term high blood sugar levels, which causes nerve damage. Some people will not have any symptoms. But for others symptoms may be debilitating. Between 60 and 70 percent of people with diabetes have some form of neuropathy, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Peripheral neuropathy, the most common form of diabetic neuropathy, affects the legs, feet, toes, hands, and arms. Many people do not know that they have diabetes. People unaware of their diabetes may not know what’s causing some of the unusual sensations they’re experiencing. Nerve damage is the result of high levels of blood glucose over long periods of time. It isn’t entirely clear why high glucose levels damage nerves. A number of factors may play a role in nerve fiber damage. One possible component is the intricate interplay between the blood vessels and nerves, according to the Mayo Clinic. Other factors include high blood pressure and cholesterol levels and nerve inflammation. Diabetic peripheral neuropathy usually first appears in the feet and legs, and may occur in the hands and arms later. A common symptom of diabetic peripheral neuropathy is numbness. Sometimes you may be unable to feel your feet while walking. Other times, your hands or feet will tingle or burn. Or it may feel like you’re wearing a sock or glove when you’re not. Sometimes you may experience sudden, sharp pains that feel like an electrical current. Other times, you may feel cramping, like when you’re grasping something like a piece of silverware. You also may sometimes unintentionally drop items you’re holding as a result of diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Walking with a wobbly motion or even losing your balance can res Continue reading >>
What Is Diabetic Neuropathy?
Diabetes can harm your nerves. That damage, called neuropathy, may be painful. It can happen in several ways, and they all seem to be related to blood sugar levels being too high for too long. To prevent it, work with your doctor to manage your blood sugar. You may hear your doctor mention the four types of diabetes-related neuropathy: peripheral, autonomic, proximal, and focal. Peripheral Neuropathy This type usually affects the feet and legs. Rare cases affect the arms, abdomen, and back. Symptoms include: Tingling Numbness (which may become permanent) Burning (especially in the evening) Pain Early symptoms usually get better when your blood sugar is under control. There are medications to help manage the discomfort. What you should do: Check your feet and legs daily. Use lotion on your feet if they're dry. Take care of your toenails. Ask your doctor if you should go to a podiatrist. Wear shoes that fit well. Wear them all the time, so your feet don't get injured. Autonomic Neuropathy This type usually affects the digestive system, especially the stomach. It can also affect the blood vessels, urinary system, and sex organs. In your digestive system: Symptoms include: Bloating Diarrhea Constipation Heartburn Nausea Vomiting Feeling full after small meals What you should do: You may need to eat smaller meals and take medication to treat it. In blood vessels: Symptoms include: Blacking out when you stand up quickly Faster heartbeat Dizziness Low blood pressure Nausea Vomiting Feeling full sooner than normal If you have it: Avoid standing up too quickly. You may also need to wear special stockings (ask your doctor about them) and take medicine. In Men: Symptoms include: He may not be able to have or keep an erection, or he may have “dry” or reduced ejaculations. What Continue reading >>
Diabetic Neuropathy Symptoms
The symptoms of diabetic neuropathy depend on what type of neuropathy you have. Symptoms are dependent on which nerves have been damaged. In general, diabetic neuropathy symptoms develop gradually; they may seem like minor and infrequent pains or problems at first, but as the nerves become more damaged, symptoms may grow. Don’t overlook mild symptoms. They can indicate the beginning of neuropathy. Talk to your doctor about anything you notice—such as any pain, numbness, weakness, or tingling—even if it seems insignificant. Your pain may mean the control of your diabetes could be improved, which will can help slow down the progression of your neuropathy. Pain and numbness are also important warning signs to take very good care of your feet, so you can avoid wounds and infections that can be difficult to heal and even raise risk for amputation. 1 Peripheral Neuropathy Symptoms Peripheral neuropathy affects nerves leading to your extremities—the feet, legs, hands, and arms. The nerves leading to your feet are the longest in your body, so they are the most often affected nerves (simply because there’s more of them to be damaged). Peripheral neuropathy is the most common form of diabetic neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy symptoms include: Pain Burning, stabbing or electric-shock sensations Numbness (loss of feeling) Tingling Muscle weakness Poor coordination Muscle cramping and/or twitching Insensitivity to pain and/or temperature Extreme sensitivity to even the lightest touch Symptoms get worse at night. 2, 3 Autonomic Neuropathy Symptoms The autonomic nervous system is in charge of the "involuntary" functions of your body. It keeps your heart pumping and makes sure you digest your food right—without you needing to think about it. Autonomic neuropathy symptoms i Continue reading >>
Nerve Damage (diabetic Neuropathies)
What are diabetic neuropathies? Diabetic neuropathies are a family of nerve disorders caused by diabetes. People with diabetes can, over time, develop nerve damage throughout the body. Some people with nerve damage have no symptoms. Others may have symptoms such as pain, tingling, or numbness—loss of feeling—in the hands, arms, feet, and legs. Nerve problems can occur in every organ system, including the digestive tract, heart, and sex organs. About 60 to 70 percent of people with diabetes have some form of neuropathy. People with diabetes can develop nerve problems at any time, but risk rises with age and longer duration of diabetes. The highest rates of neuropathy are among people who have had diabetes for at least 25 years. Diabetic neuropathies also appear to be more common in people who have problems controlling their blood glucose, also called blood sugar, as well as those with high levels of blood fat and blood pressure and those who are overweight. What causes diabetic neuropathies? The causes are probably different for different types of diabetic neuropathy. Researchers are studying how prolonged exposure to high blood glucose causes nerve damage. Nerve damage is likely due to a combination of factors: metabolic factors, such as high blood glucose, long duration of diabetes, abnormal blood fat levels, and possibly low levels of insulin neurovascular factors, leading to damage to the blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients to nerves autoimmune factors that cause inflammation in nerves mechanical injury to nerves, such as carpal tunnel syndrome inherited traits that increase susceptibility to nerve disease lifestyle factors, such as smoking or alcohol use What are the symptoms of diabetic neuropathies? Symptoms depend on the type of neuropathy and which Continue reading >>
Numbness In Feet, But No Diabetes? Heres What Else It Could Be
Numbness in the feet is one of the most common complications of diabetes but there are many other reasons why your feet may feel numb. Even if youre not diabetic, you can still suffer from this problem. Here are some of the possible causes. Several conditions can cause foot numbness when not enough blood is getting through to your feet. This is likely to be especially noticeable at the tips of your toes, and sometimes also at the backs of your heels. A podiatrist will be able to give you further information. If your arteries or veins have become narrowed, blocked, or tangled, you may lose some feeling in your feet. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) can be caused by sitting in a cramped space , such as an airline seat, for long periods. If your feet get extremely cold, especially for long periods of time, this can give you frostbite and make you lose feeling. Your feet may go numb if you have suffered certain types of injury or disease. Because of the way your bodys nerves work, some conditions that affect other areas of your body can also cause numbness, so it may not be a foot injury that is the root cause. Many back injuries, such as slipped disks or brittle bone disease, can cause your feet to become numb. You can also get foot numbness if you have a trapped nerve, for example from sitting awkwardly for too long. If you have a broken bone that is supported by a cast, making the cast too tight can cause numbness. You can experience numbness if the nerves inside your feet stop working properly. There are many possible causes of this type of damage, so its important that you get advice from a podiatrist to make sure that you receive the correct treatment. If you dont get enough Vitamin B12, your feet can go numb. People on vegan diets are most at risk for this problem. Some b Continue reading >>
Numbness Toes: Symptoms & Signs
Numbness of the toes generally is a result of conditions that affect the nerves and/or blood vessels that supply the foot. Numbness of the toes is often associated with tingling. Numbness and tingling sensations in the toes is referred to as paresthesia of the toes. The most common cause of toe numbness is direct compression of the nerves of the foot from footwear from shoes. Numbness of the toe can occur because of injury to the foot, nerve damage (neuropathy), and poor circulation to the foot (such as with diabetes and peripheral vascular disease). Numbness to the foot can also be caused by irritation of nerves in the low back with radiculopathy and herniated disc, Guillain-Barré syndrome, frostbite, stroke, diabetic neuropathy, beriberi, multiple sclerosis (MS), Raynaud's phenomenon, and vasculitis. There is increased potential for irritation of nerves in the foot when skeletal deformity occurs, such as from bunions. REFERENCE: Firestein, Gary S., et al. Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology, Ninth Ed. China: Elsevier Saunders, 2012. Continue reading >>
Sensitive Feet And Diabetes: Why My Feet Hurt?
What is nerve damage from diabetes? Diabetic neuropathies are nerve damage caused by diabetes. Neuropathy is one of the most common long term complications of diabetes. It can occur anywhere in the body, and in any organ. Symptoms such as numbness, tingling, and loss of protective sensation can be found in the hands, arms, fingers, feet, legs, toes, and lips. You may also have symptoms of nerve damage in the digestive system (gastroparesis), in the heart, or in sexual organs (erectile dysfunction, or vaginal dryness). In this article, we will be mainly looking at peripheral neuropathy in the feet, also commonly known as sensitive feet. What are sensitive feet? Patients complain about numbness and tingling in their feet and toes, or elsewhere, with a frequency that is more often than in similar reports of other diabetes complications they experience. It’s no wonder these patients with diabetes have complaints of neuropathy symptoms. Other than the tingling sensation or the numbness usually associated with neuropathy, those who have it complain about how much it hurts to put their socks and shoes on. The skin is sensitive to touch, to a point where one can’t even brush up against anything. It is likened to an over-sensitivity and mild pain that is uncomfortable. If it goes on day in and day out, it can be frustrating. Sometimes, a person with diabetes may also get other related foot problems, such as plantar fasciitis. This condition affects the heel of the foot, and can be extremely painful. You will find it too sore to walk with plantar fasciitis. Even without heel problems, the generalized foot pain and soreness can become severe. It has been found that as many as 60 to 70% of people with diabetes have neuropathy somewhere in their body. The longer you have diabete Continue reading >>
How To Cure Numbness In Your Feet And Toes
1 Get moving. Often numbness in the feet or toes occurs when you have been sitting or standing in one place for a long time. The best way to get rid of this kind of numbness is to stimulate circulation in the foot by moving around. Try going for a short walk, or even just moving your foot around while you sit. In addition to helping you get rid of occasional numbness, regular exercise can also help prevent numbness in the first place. Try to incorporate some physical activity into your daily schedule, even if it's just a short walk. High impact exercises like jogging can cause numbness in the feet and toes for some people, so try lower impact exercises like swimming or biking. Stretch well before workouts, wear appropriate exercise shoes, and exercise on level surfaces. 2 Change positions. Numbness is often triggered by seating positions that pinch the nerves in your legs and/or feet. Avoid sitting on your feet or crossing your legs for long periods of time. If you have to sit for long periods of time, you might want to try elevating your feet periodically to increase blood flow. 3 Remove excessively tight clothing. Overly tight pants, socks, or other garments worn on the lower part of your body might prevent blood from flowing to your feet, which can cause numbness. Remove or loosen these items to allow for better blood flow. 4 Massage the foot. Gently massaging the numb area of your foot can help increase circulation and make occasional numbness go away faster. 5 Warm your feet with a heated blanket or heating pad. Exposure to the cold can cause numbness and tingling. Warm your feet to get rid of numbness. 6 Wear the right shoes. High heels or shoes that pinch the toes can cause numbness. You may also experience numbness if you wear shoes that are too small for you Continue reading >>
Common Diabetes Foot Problems And How To Prevent Them
Common Diabetes Foot Problems And How To Prevent Them Thu, 11/18/2010 - 16:46 -- Richard Morris Foot problems in diabetes can be caused by damage to both large and small blood vessels, which is much more common in diabetes. Foot problems, including nerve damage or peripheral neuropathy, usually begin with vascular disease. Damage to small blood vessels, in particular, appears to be the major cause of nerve damage that results in loss of feeling, or worse pain and burning sensations that bother the feel and legs. Once nerve damage progresses, it triggers loss of motor control and the abnormal gait that results in ulcers and amputations. Preventing foot problems in diabetes begins by preventing the loss of circulation that will result in serious nerve damage. This is relatively easy today if the risks for circulatory problems are recognized early. Keeping the blood pressure below 130/80 is essential for reducing damage to blood vessel walls. Preventing placque formation is also critical. This is done with medications the lower triglycerides and raise HDL, such as gemfibrozil and niacin, and those that lower LDL and make it lighter, such as the statins. Blood vessels walls can also be protected with certain blood pressure meds called ACE inhibitors. Blood flow may be improved with high dose vitamin E, although 1200 mg to 1500 mg a day are usually required for this effect. Signs Of Blood Vessel Problems In The Feet: a pale color of the foot when it is raised pain at night relieved by hanging the feet over the side of the bed Although amputations are 15 times as common with diabetes, about half can be prevented with simple steps that protect the feet: Unfortunately, about 60 to 70 percent of people with diabetes already have at least a mild form of nerve damage. Damage appe Continue reading >>
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 >>
Can Diabetic Neuropathy Be Reversed?
Diabetic neuropathy refers to nerve damage caused by diabetes. Neuropathy is a common condition impacting 60 to 70 percent of adults with diabetes. However, it mainly concerns those with uncontrolled blood sugar levels or those who have had diabetes for more than 25 years. The nerve damage caused by diabetic neuropathy is irreversible but there are ways to lessen symptoms and prevent further harm. Contents of this article: What is diabetic neuropathy? Diabetic neuropathy is a family of progressive nerve disorders related to type 1 and 2 diabetes. Although research is still taking place on this type of nerve damage, doctors think that blood sugars may damage nerve cells by impairing nerve fibers and reducing or confusing signaling. However, nerve damage is likely to be caused by a combination of factors, such as how the immune system functions, genetics, smoking, or alcohol use. Neuropathy can cause a range of symptoms, including pain, loss of sensation, numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness. Although neuropathy can occur wherever there are nerves, it tends to affect the legs and feet. Those with diabetic neuropathy tend to: have poor blood sugar control be over the age of 40 be overweight or obese have had diabetes for at least 10 to 25 years, depending on the severity Types Diabetic neuropathy is typically divided into four categories depending on which nerves are affected. Peripheral neuropathy Nerve damage that impacts the ability of the peripheral nerves to sense things, such as temperature and touch. Peripheral neuropathy most commonly affects the arms, hands, legs, feet, and toes, often causing pain or loss of feeling. It is the most common form of diabetic neuropathy. Proximal neuropathy Nerve damage resulting in pain in the hips, thighs, pelvis, and buttocks. Continue reading >>
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 >>
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 >>
Why Does Type 2 Diabetes Cause Your Feet To Go Numb?
Numbness in the feet is a symptom of neuropathy or nerve damage, one of the most common long-term complications of type 2 diabetes. Neuropathy is caused by poor blood sugar control that persists over a long period of time. “The higher the blood sugars and the longer they stay high, the greater the chance of the person developing neuropathy,” says Joel Zonszein, MD, director of the Clinical Diabetes Center at the University Hospital of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore Health System in the Bronx, New York. “The nerves that get affected by high sugars tend to be the longest nerves in the body,” explains Dr. Zonszein. These nerves go from the spine to the toes, which is why the feet get affected before the arms or hands. Diabetic neuropathy also tends to be bilateral. “Both feet will be affected equally,” he says. If blood sugar remains poorly controlled, it can lead to serious complications. In the feet, diabetic neuropathy can not only cause numbness but pain and injuries. It can change the shape of your feet, deforming them so they no longer fit into regular shoes. It can also dry out and damage your skin, cause calluses and ulcers on your feet, and interfere with circulation. The numbness also makes it hard to tell if there is a cut or injury which can increase your risk of infections and amputation. People with diabetes are also at an increased risk for amputation. In 2010, approximately 73,000 non-traumatic lower-limb amputations were performed on adults (20 years or older) diagnosed with diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. The good news is that most amputations are preventable when you manage your diabetes well, take good care of your feet, and wear proper footwear. If you have circulatory problems or you’ve alre Continue reading >>