Neuropathy can be an incredibly debilitating condition that affects the use of your extremities, namely your hands and feet, and it’s often associated with diabetes. At Reconstructive Foot & Ankle Institute, Daniel Michaels, DPM, MS, DABFAS, has considerable experience helping his patients in Hagerstown and Frederick, Maryland, better control neuropathy. To learn more, call or use the online scheduling tool to set up an appointment.
In the simplest of definitions, neuropathy describes damage to your nerves in your extremities, most notably in your hands and feet, which is why the condition is also referred to as peripheral neuropathy.
Peripheral neuropathy most often leads to the following symptoms in your feet:
While the immediate symptoms of neuropathy are significant enough, the condition can also lead to poor circulation (peripheral vascular disease), dry skin, hammertoes, and bunions.
Many conditions can cause neuropathy, with diabetes at the head of the list. If you’re diabetic, or if you have insulin resistance, your blood sugar levels creep higher, creating higher levels of sorbitol, which circulate through your nerves and elevate the intra-neural level of sorbitol. This, in turn, leads to nerve malfunction, which brings on the symptoms of neuropathy.
There are other causes of neuropathy, which include:
These causes are far less common than those associated with diabetes and insulin resistance.
When it comes to neuropathy in your feet, Dr. Michaels first sits down with you to review the extent of the damage, which dictates his next steps. His overriding goal is to alleviate your discomfort and to prevent the condition from progressing further, which he does through:
Using a combination of the therapies above, Dr. Michaels is often able to effectively eliminate your symptoms of peripheral neuropathy and prevent the condition from doing more damage.
If your neuropathy has created ancillary problems, such as bunions or hammertoes, Dr. Michaels treats these conditions separately.
The bottom line is that if you have any condition related to diabetes, it’s imperative that you seek the expert medical oversight of a podiatrist to protect yourself against neuropathy. Dr. Michaels understands the signs, allowing him to step in early, giving you a better chance of avoiding the unpleasant — and dangerous — side effects that come with neuropathy.
For more information on neuropathy, call Reconstructive Foot & Ankle Institute or set up an appointment using the online booking tool.