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Why Do My Feet Hurt With Diabetes?

Why Do My Feet Hurt: Diabetes And Foot Care

Why Do My Feet Hurt: Diabetes And Foot Care

Why Do My Feet Hurt: Diabetes and Foot Care In Conditions , Foot Facts by Alnoor Ladhani, Chiropodist If you have Diabetes and find that your feet are often sensitive, tender, or prone to hurting, it is important you know these two words: Diabetic Neuropathy. Diabetic Neuropathy is nerve damage that causes tingling, pain, and even numbness.A whopping 60 70% of people with Diabetes have neuropathy somewhere in their body. This is cause for serious concern and a long, hard look at this condition and what you can do about it. Neuropathy is one of the most common long-term complications of Diabetes. It can occur anywhere in the body, from your lips to your toes. Studies have shown that this condition frequently affects people that have had Diabetes for 25+ years but anyone with Diabetes can develop nerve issues at any time. Nerve damage has several contributing factors including high blood glucose (damages blood vessels), low levels of insulin, and lifestyle choices such as smoking and alcohol use. Some people may think that just because Diabetic Neuropathy is so common, there is nothing they can do to prevent it. But there are dire reasons as to why you should be proactive about this condition. Diabetic Neuropathy is especially dangerous because you could deeply hurt yourself and not even feel it. Untreated cuts, sores, or blisters can become infected and could ultimately lead to decay and ulcers in your limbs. In extreme cases, amputation is needed to prevent gangrene or an infection from spreading to other parts of your body. This happens frequently enough to be a concern. Loss of sensation isnt the only symptom that develops from nerve damage. Other indications include problems with urination, weakness, and nausea/constipation. Unfortunately, weight loss and depression Continue reading >>

Diabetic Foot Pain

Diabetic Foot Pain

by Kenneth B. Rehm, DPM Includes photo of Dr. Kenneth B. Rehm, DPM Diabetes is one of the most common reasons people seek relief for painful feet. With diabetes, four types of foot problems may arise in the feet. Nerve Problems due to Diabetes The most common contributor to diabetic foot pain is a nerve problem called Peripheral Neuropathy. This is where the nerves are directly affected by the disease process. There are basically three types of peripheral neuropathy: sensory, motor, and autonomic neuropathy. A large percentage of pain diabetic patients complain of is due to sensory neuropathy. This can show up as "sensitive pain," where the amount of pain is not proportional to the amount of insult that is causing it. For instance, just touching the skin or putting a sheet over your feet in bed could be painful. This can be present at the same time as numbness in the feet. Sensory neuropathy symptoms can include burning, tingling or a stabbing pain. Relief is foremost on someone's mind when painful neuropathy has raised its ugly head. The first thing to do is to check your blood sugar for the past several weeks to see if there has been a trend toward high blood sugar (Editor's Note: The A1c test is traditionally employed to determine this, and should be repeated about every three months.) Persistent high blood sugar can contribute to this type of pain. Massaging your feet with a diabetic foot cream, or using a foot roller, often takes the edge off the pain. Vitamin B preparations are often recommended; and there are a variety of prescription medications that do work. Using cushioned, supportive shoes and foot support inserts is always needed to protect the feet from the pounding, rubbing and irritating pressures that contribute to neuropathic pain. Motor neuropathy can Continue reading >>

Why Do Your Feet Hurt?

Why Do Your Feet Hurt?

In the days before modern medicine, someone who lived long enough with diabetes may have had one or both legs amputated. I assumed it did not happen anymore, until I read about people with diabetes who have ignored high blood sugar levels and developed complications requiring amputations. It seemed impossible that this could still be happening. Then the pain and numbness in my own feet sent me looking for answers. What caused it, and what could I do about it? I learned that the path from high blood sugar to foot ulcers and amputations often goes through a condition called peripheral neuropathy, the medical term for nerve damage in the hands, feet, arms, and legs that often causes pain and numbness. Diabetes and nerve damage High blood sugar damages blood vessels. One doctor described the extra glucose floating in the blood of someone with diabetes as similar to bits of glass scraping along the walls of veins and arteries. The tiniest blood vessels are easily damaged. That is why eyes, feet, and kidneys are so vulnerable, showing signs of blood vessel damage, sometimes even before a person is aware he has diabetes. Fingers and toes can become numb or overly sensitive when the blood vessels that supply the nerves are hurt. The longest nerves in your body run down your spine into your feet, ending at your toes. This makes feet an easy target for damage from peripheral neuropathy. Feet with nerve damage Because of diabetes we must care more about issues like foot ulcers, infections, ingrown nails, toenail fungus, and sores. The greatest enemy to our feet is numbness, because pain is the thing that warns us something is wrong. Peripheral neuropathy may make your feet more sensitive to touch while at the same time the numbness it may cause can mask problems like hot spots tha Continue reading >>

Diabetes-related Foot And Ankle Problems

Diabetes-related Foot And Ankle Problems

EndocrineWeb spoke with Dr. Nere Onosode about diabetes-related foot and ankle problems. Dr. Onosode is a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine and board-qualified by the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery. Here, he answers the many questions of interest to people with diabetes. What are some of the common types of foot problems you see in patients with diabetes? Dr. Onosode: I tend to see underlying structural bony and soft tissue problems. These include digital contractures commonly known as hammertoe deformities. Another is hallus abducto valgus deformities—commonly called bunions. A bunion affects shoe fit and comfort when walking, and causes soft tissue problems. Frankly, anything (eg, irritation) that causes bony or soft tissue enlargement of the front part of the foot (called the forefoot) can be problematic in the diabetic population. Is there a difference in the prevalence of foot and/or ankle problems in patients with Type 1 versus Type 2 diabetes? Dr. Onosode: In my practice, Type 2 definitely tends to be more prominent than Type 1. I believe this is because patients with Type 2 diabetes are diagnosed later in life, tend to be more overweight, and have developed complications by the time they see me. The onset of Type 1 diabetes occurs in children and teenagers, and they are usually diagnosed and managed early. Do people with diabetes tend to have more foot problems than people who do not have the disease? Dr. Onosode: People whose diabetes is not properly controlled tend to have more foot problems than nondiabetics. However, having diabetes is not a sentence to developing problems with the feet! I tell patients, if you are controlling your diabetes well, checking your feet daily, seeing the right specialist—whether that is your endocrinologist, primary care Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Foot Problems Treatment And Complications

Diabetes And Foot Problems Treatment And Complications

Diabetes and foot problems facts Two main conditions, peripheral artery disease (PAD) and peripheral neuropathy, are responsible for the increased risk of foot problems in people with diabetes. Symptoms and signs of diabetic foot problems arise due to the decreased sensation from nerve damage as well as the lack of oxygen delivery to the feet caused by vascular disease. Diabetic foot problems also include bunions, corns, calluses, hammertoes, fungal infections, dryness of the skin, and ingrown toenails. These problems are not specific to diabetes, but may occur more commonly due to the nerve and vascular damage caused by diabetes. Treatment depends on the exact type of foot problem. Surgery or even amputation may be required for some cases. Gangrene (dry gangrene) is tissue death due to absence of blood circulation. It can be life threatening if bacterial infection develops (wet gangrene). Many diabetes-related foot problems can be prevented by good control of blood sugar levels combined with appropriate care of the feet. How can diabetes cause foot problems? Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes cause damage to blood vessels and peripheral nerves that can result in problems in the legs and feet. Two main conditions, 1) peripheral artery disease (PAD), and 2) peripheral neuropathy are responsible for the increased risk of foot problems in people with diabetes. Peripheral artery disease (PAD), sometimes referred to as peripheral vascular disease (PVD), means that there is narrowing or occlusion by atherosclerotic plaques of arteries outside of the heart and brain. This is sometimes referred to as "hardening" of the arteries. Diabetes is a known risk factor for developing peripheral artery disease. In addition to pain in the calves during exercise (medically known as intermitte Continue reading >>

Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetic Neuropathy

Print Overview Diabetic neuropathy is a type of nerve damage that can occur if you have diabetes. High blood sugar (glucose) can injure nerve fibers throughout your body, but diabetic neuropathy most often damages nerves in your legs and feet. Depending on the affected nerves, symptoms of diabetic neuropathy can range from pain and numbness in your extremities to problems with your digestive system, urinary tract, blood vessels and heart. For some people, these symptoms are mild; for others, diabetic neuropathy can be painful, disabling and even fatal. Diabetic neuropathy is a common serious complication of diabetes. Yet you can often prevent diabetic neuropathy or slow its progress with tight blood sugar control and a healthy lifestyle. Symptoms There are four main types of diabetic neuropathy. You may have just one type or symptoms of several types. Most develop gradually, and you may not notice problems until considerable damage has occurred. The signs and symptoms of diabetic neuropathy vary, depending on the type of neuropathy and which nerves are affected. Peripheral neuropathy Peripheral neuropathy is the most common form of diabetic neuropathy. Your feet and legs are often affected first, followed by your hands and arms. Signs and symptoms of peripheral neuropathy are often worse at night, and may include: Numbness or reduced ability to feel pain or temperature changes A tingling or burning sensation Sharp pains or cramps Increased sensitivity to touch — for some people, even the weight of a bed sheet can be agonizing Muscle weakness Loss of reflexes, especially in the ankle Loss of balance and coordination Serious foot problems, such as ulcers, infections, deformities, and bone and joint pain Autonomic neuropathy The autonomic nervous system controls your hea Continue reading >>

Symptoms Of Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

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 >>

Diabetic Neuropathy—the Agony Of Da Feet

Diabetic Neuropathy—the Agony Of Da Feet

[Editor’s note: In recognition of American Diabetes Month, Harvard Health Publications is collaborating with MSN.com on its Stop Diabetes initiative. Today’s post, published on World Diabetes Day, is the first of several focusing on this all-too-common disorder.] People tend to think of diabetes as a silent, painless condition. Don’t tell that to the millions of folks with diabetes-induced tingling toes or painful feet. This problem, called diabetic neuropathy, can range from merely aggravating to disabling or even life threatening. It’s something I have first-hand (or, more appropriately, first-foot) knowledge about. High blood sugar, the hallmark of diabetes, injures nerves and blood vessels throughout the body. The first nerves to be affected tend to be the smallest ones furthest from the spinal cord—those that stretch to the toes and feet. Diabetic neuropathy affects different people in different ways. I feel it as a tingling in my toes. Moving my feet and wiggling my toes helps the tingling disappear for a while. Others have it much worse. Diabetic neuropathy can cause a constant burning feeling in the feet; sharp pain that may be worse at night; and extreme sensitivity to touch, making the weight of a sheet unbearable. It can be sneaky, too, and completely rob the feet of their ability to sense pain. The truly scary thing about diabetic neuropathy is a 10-letter word we usually associate with horrific accidents or Civil War battlefields—amputation. When sensory nerves in the feet become damaged, a blister, cut, or sore can go unnoticed, allowing time for the wound to become infected. Infections that cause tissue to die (gangrene) and that spread to the bone may be impossible to treat with cleansing and antibiotics. Diabetes accounts for about 70,000 lo Continue reading >>

Sensitive Feet And Diabetes: Why My Feet Hurt?

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 >>

Why Does Type 2 Diabetes Cause Your Feet To Go Numb?

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 >>

Diabetic Nerve Pain: 10 Foot Care Tips To Protect Yourself

Diabetic Nerve Pain: 10 Foot Care Tips To Protect Yourself

Diabetes can mean double trouble for your feet. First, diabetes can reduce blood flow to your feet, depriving your feet of oxygen and nutrients. This makes it more difficult for blisters, sores, and cuts to heal. And second, the diabetic nerve damage called peripheral neuropathy can cause numbness in your feet. When you can't feel cuts and blisters, you're more likely to get sores and infections. If you don't notice or treat the sores, they can become deeply infected, and lead to amputation. Diabetic peripheral neuropathy can also cause sharp pain in your feet. You may become excruciatingly sensitive to the lightest touch, like the sheets on your bed. Fortunately, a little TLC goes a long way in preventing foot problems from diabetes. Look over both feet carefully every day, and be sure you check between all of your toes. Blisters and infections can start between your toes, and with diabetic neuropathy, you may not feel them until they've become irritated or infected. If a physical challenge keeps you from checking your own feet, ask a family member to help. Wash both of your feet briefly each day with warm -- not hot -- water. You may not be able to feel heat with your feet, so test the water with your hands first. Avoid soaking too long in water, since waterlogged sores have a harder time healing. Dry your feet right away, and remember to dry gently between all of your toes. It's an investment worth making. Even the slightest rubbing or misfit shoe can cause a blister that turns into a sore that becomes infected and never heals. Buy better-fitting shoes, or try different socks, even at the most minor signs of redness or irritation, since you may not be able to feel when it's getting worse. Before buying or putting on the shoes check your shoes for rough seams, sharp e Continue reading >>

Diabetes: Protect Your Feet And Legs

Diabetes: Protect Your Feet And Legs

If you have diabetes, you are more likely than people without this disorder to develop leg and foot problems. Diabetes can destroy nerves and cause you to have poor circulation. Left unchecked, these complications can lead to amputation. But there's a lot you can do to prevent that from happening. How Diabetes Causes Limb Problems First, it's important to understand what causes these diabetes complications. According to Marilyn Tan, MD, an endocrinologist and the clinic chief of the Stanford Endocrine Clinic in California, risk factors include poor circulation from atherosclerotic peripheral arterial disease, poor wound healing, and uncontrolled blood sugar increases, which increases the risk of infection. “Think of sugar as fuel for bacteria and fungus,” says Dr. Tan. Researchers also know that high blood glucose levels can cause nerve damage called diabetic neuropathy. The damage can occur in any part of your body, but it is most common in your arms and legs, with the lower extremities affected first. This type of nerve damage is known as peripheral neuropathy. Some people have no symptoms, while others experience numbness, tingling, burning, sharp pain, cramps, extreme sensitivity when touched, and a loss of coordination and balance. When you have peripheral neuropathy, small sores can go unnoticed because of the numbness — you simply don’t feel them. Left untreated, these little problems can become major infections that invade the bones. What’s more, poor circulation from diabetes means any ulcers and infections are harder to heal. If an infection invades your bones, then amputation could be required to save your life. “Diabetes is the leading cause of nontraumatic lower extremity (leg and foot) amputations in the United States,” says Tan. “Five perc Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Foot Problems

Diabetes And Foot Problems

Foot problems are common in people with diabetes. You might be afraid you’ll lose a toe, foot, or leg to diabetes, or know someone who has, but you can lower your chances of having diabetes-related foot problems by taking care of your feet every day. Managing your blood glucose levels, also called blood sugar, can also help keep your feet healthy. How can diabetes affect my feet? Over time, diabetes may cause nerve damage, also called diabetic neuropathy, that can cause tingling and pain, and can make you lose feeling in your feet. When you lose feeling in your feet, you may not feel a pebble inside your sock or a blister on your foot, which can lead to cuts and sores. Cuts and sores can become infected. Diabetes also can lower the amount of blood flow in your feet. Not having enough blood flowing to your legs and feet can make it hard for a sore or an infection to heal. Sometimes, a bad infection never heals. The infection might lead to gangrene. Gangrene and foot ulcers that do not get better with treatment can lead to an amputation of your toe, foot, or part of your leg. A surgeon may perform an amputation to prevent a bad infection from spreading to the rest of your body, and to save your life. Good foot care is very important to prevent serious infections and gangrene. Although rare, nerve damage from diabetes can lead to changes in the shape of your feet, such as Charcot’s foot. Charcot’s foot may start with redness, warmth, and swelling. Later, bones in your feet and toes can shift or break, which can cause your feet to have an odd shape, such as a “rocker bottom.” What can I do to keep my feet healthy? Work with your health care team to make a diabetes self-care plan, which is an action plan for how you will manage your diabetes. Your plan should inclu 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 >>

The Link Between Diabetes And Heel Pain

The Link Between Diabetes And Heel Pain

Doctors estimate that 30 million people in the United States live with diabetes, a condition in which individuals struggle to regulate blood sugar levels. Of those 30 million, one in four will experience foot problems ranging from neuropathy to reduced circulation. Many will also develop heel pain from heel spurs or plantar fasciitis. Understanding the link between diabetes, heel pain, and other food conditions related to diabetes can help individuals mitigate and prevent damage to the feet, stay active, and minimize pain and complications. Could Diabetes Be the Cause of Your Heel Pain? While the link between diabetes and heel pain isn’t fully understood, numerous studies have established a connection between the two conditions. Foot experts at the Foot and Ankle Specialty Center in Philadelphia state, “Studies have repeatedly shown that diabetics are more prone to developing plantar fasciitis.” Many experts speculate that the link between heel pain and diabetes is correlated with weight. Almost 90% of individuals with diabetes are also overweight, a known risk factor for heel pain and plantar fasciitis. Under ideal circumstances, the plantar fascia, a flexible ligament also known as the foot’s arch, allows the foot to absorb and distribute the impact from walking, jumping, and running. However, excess weight adds additional strain to the fascia, which can result in strain, tears, inflammation, and the development of painful calcium deposits known as heel spurs. Treating Plantar Fasciitis with Type 2 Diabetes While most cases of plantar fasciitis and heel pain can be successfully resolved at home using proven conservative treatment methods, there are a few special considerations you should keep in mind while treating heel pain alongside diabetes. Many foot probl Continue reading >>

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