Marc Blatstein DPM, comments that Peripheral Neuropathy is a nerve condition that may affect the arms, hands, legs, and feet. The most common form of peripheral Neuropathy is due to diabetes. Mostly it affects your arms & hands, Legs & feet.
People with diabetes have an abnormal elevation of their blood sugar, and this blood glucose (sugar) abnormally enters nerve tissue damaging the nerve. The nerve damage that Dr Marc Blatstein says occurs is often considered to be permanent.
This results in the protective sensations being adversely affected, including your ability to determine the difference between sharp and dull, hot and cold, pressure differences, and vibration. Initially there is a burning sensation in the toes and progresses up the foot in a “stocking distribution”. A general feeling of a painful numbness starts gradually getting worse. Some people will feel as though a pair of socks on their feet, others describe the feeling of walking on cotton, or a water-filled cushion. The feet may feel like they are cold, however, to the touch, they have normal skin temperature.
There also is the greater potential for skin ulceration’s which may lead to infection & hospitalization. Then there is the possibility of amputation. Even something as simple as an ingrown toenail can progress to a severe infection. As a Podiatrist, Dr. Marc Blatstein recommends to his patients that they inspect their feet daily, especially after they shower or bath, carefully drying between their toes, as well as to avoid walking barefoot. These plus good foot hygiene along with regular office visits with their doctor, will add years to their lives.
There are several ways to treat diabetic nerve pain at home; another options are; a prescription vitamin, Metanx , for neuropathic pain. In addition to Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathic pain, there is also the potential for general neuropathic pain issues. As a prescription vitamin, your physician may elect to do a procedure that would involve taking a small biopsy of skin from the area of your ankle so that both you and your physician can evaluate your small nerve fibers, giving you an understanding as to the current condition to your nerve fibers. While this test gives an actual representation of you, please understand with treatment, you may feel the benefit without actually seeing a positive improvement as demonstrated in your follow-up biopsies.
Surgical decompression of peripheral nerves in patients with diabetes is another option that both you & your physician can & should discuss. With a team effort let’s try & add life to our years.
Marc Blatstein DPM – Painful Peripheral Neuropathy