Peripheral neuropathy is a disease affecting the nervous system. Mostly associated with diabetes, neuropathy attacks the long nerves found in the foot. Only after many years of having diabetes and not controlling the blood sugar levels will this disease start making its presence known. Besides diabetes, please not that neuropathy in the feet could also be the result of an accident or too tight shoes and constant pressure for long periods of time. After all, neuropathy is nerve damage which causes a lack of feeling in that certain area.
Neuropathy generally begins with a slight tingle or numbness of the toes and moves up the foot slowly. A burning pain and a lack of feeling in the feet accompany the numbness. A lot of people never think of it as neuropathy and like me, was ignorant of the symptoms and the complications that could arise from dismissing it as “fatigue” and having to get off one’s feet. These symptoms are important and a medical professional should be sought out immediately.
WAYS TO PREVENT FOOT NEUROPATHY
The main thing to do when you know you have diabetes is to maintain a healthy blood sugar level. Neuropathy is mainly caused by uncontrolled blood sugar levels which damage the nerves most commonly in the feet. Make sure your shoes fit properly and no unwanted pressure is applied to the feet.
VARIOUS TREATMENTS FOR FOOT NEUROPATHY
Because there are so many other conditions besides diabetes that can cause neuropathy of the feet, the treatments vary. Medications have always been the old standby. It seems to me popping a pill is the answer to most of our ills. A quick fix or cure is sought after religiously but to no avail when it comes down to neuropathy. Physicians have a list of prescribed medications that could help but is it worth all the side effects? I know I take that into consideration a lot when faced with prescription pharmaceuticals. One thing to remember is that a cure is not known for neuropathy of the feet and check first with your doctor about any medications taken for neuropathy.
When you have neuropathy of the feet it is really important to check your feet out every day. Cuts, bruises, skin tears, blisters, callous and other abnormalities of the feet could cause nerve damage leading to neuropathy. Bunions are caused by too tight or ill-fitting shoes. Good supportive and comfortable shoes would help in this area. Athlete’s foot fungus which causes cracking, skin peeling and a burning itch can get infected if not noticed and treated with topical creams or pills. Also be on the lookout for vascular disease which affects the blood vessels in the foot and alters the flow of blood so that poor circulation brings about neuropathy. Supportive stockings can be worn to prevent the advancement of this disease. Sores and cuts may not heal as they should normally and by checking your feet often should prevent any further complications. Keeping the feet clean daily and moisturizing dry skin helps cut down infection that could lead up to neuropathy too.
Then there are the foot ulcers. These are just horrible and require medical attention immediately. Many people who neglect their feet can develop these awful sores that won’t heal. Neuropathy sets in with the nerves getting damaged due to infection. Special wound care is essential in order to get the healing processes started. Again I can’t stress enough how important good fitting shoes are.
Corns and callouses which generally are caused by ill-fitting shoes can damage the nerves on the toes causing cracks and infection. Smoothing the corns and callouses out with an emery board or pumice stone works good and keeps the foot free of further damage. Again good shoes are stressed.
Acupuncture is another method of treatment for neuropathy as well as massaging the feet to restore circulation and feeling in the feet. I used to walk on the beach on the tiny crushed shells to massage my feet and being careful not to cut them.
Exercise like walking is very beneficial for neuropathy of the feet because it keeps the blood circulating around the foot and helps develop better muscle strength and control. A gentle walk every day makes a lot of difference when it comes down to the feet. Have a buddy go with you and make it fun so that this remedy may succeed.
Neuropathy is definitely something to take seriously. There are so many complications resulting from neuropathy of the feet alone. This includes falls, lack of coordination, imbalanced movement and sometimes even a lack of confidence in living. Checking with other sufferers of foot neuropathy would enlighten other ways to manage it too; after all, since there is no cure, managing is your best option.
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