Sensory Neuropathy in Diabetics: What You Should Know
Sensory neuropathy is a serious condition that could seriously affect your health, especially if you suffer from diabetes. Not only could you experience pain and numbness in your feet but if you’re not careful, it could lead to serious complications.
But what is sensory neuropathy? And how can you protect yourself from serious harm? NEPA Podiatry has the answers to these questions and more.
What is Sensory Neuropathy?
Before we explain what sensory neuropathy is, you need to understand what a sensory nerve is and what it does in your body.
The sensory nerve, also known as an afferent nerve, is responsible for carrying sensory information to the central nervous system. For example, you hit your elbow against the wall. The sensory nerve will take that signal to your brain, alerting you of the injury.
Sensory neuropathy occurs when these nerves malfunction. They can send signals that your experiencing pain even when nothing is causing pain or not send the pain signal even if you are injured.
- Symptoms to watch out for include:
- Sharp, stabbing pains
- A burning sensation
- Reduced ability to sense either pain or extreme temperatures
You could also experience dysesthesia, an abnormal sensation that causes a burning, prickling feeling on your skin. Dysethesia can make your skin extremely sensitive to touch, to the point where just putting on one sock could cause excruciating pain.
The Complications of Sensory Neuropathy in Diabetics
High blood glucose levels in diabetics over a long period of time can cause damage to the nerves, increasing the risk of sensory neuropathy. Those who suffer from sensory neuropathy have difficultly sensing the cause of the pain they’re experiencing and miss an injury.
Since the feet are less easy to see than your hands, an injury can go unnoticed and lead to a serious health risk. A simple cut on your foot can easily lead to a foot ulcer, which, in turn, raises the risk of amputation.
Treatments for Sensory Neuropathy
Treatments for sensory neuropathy range from medications to physical therapy and surgery. But there are a few steps you can follow to make sure your feet stay healthy if you’re suffering from sensory neuropathy:
- Check your feet daily for any cuts, calluses, or blisters
- Wear soft, loose cotton socks and well added shoes
- Use a semicircular hoop to keep the bedcovers off your feet
- Monitor your blood glucose levels
- Making some necessary lifestyle changes such as avoiding too much alcohol, eating healthy, and exercising regularly
- If you smoke, quit smoking
How NEPA Podiatry Can Help
If you are suffering from sensory neuropathy and want to learn what treatment options are available, Dr. John Scheland is here to help. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or to receive more information.