Up to 50% of people with diabetes also experience diabetic neuropathy, or permanent nerve damage, caused by high blood sugar. If you have diabetes, routine checkups at the podiatrist can keep your blood sugar in check, reducing your risk of complications. At Southwest Foot & Ankle Center, podiatrist Petrina Lewis, DPM, FACFAS, provides various treatments for diabetic neuropathy, including laser therapy and wound care. To make an appointment, call the office in Scottsdale, Arizona, or book online today.
Diabetic neuropathy is permanent nerve damage that tends to affect the legs and feet. It occurs when your blood sugar levels remain high for extended periods without intervention.
If you have diabetes, it’s crucial to regularly check your blood sugar. Diabetic neuropathy doesn’t always present obvious symptoms, so you might be at risk and not know it.
Symptoms of diabetic neuropathy include:
As the condition worsens, you might also develop slow-healing wounds on your legs and feet.
Make an appointment at Southwest Foot & Ankle Center if you have diabetes and experience a cut or sore on your foot that doesn’t heal. That’s especially true if you experience other symptoms, like weakness, burning, or tingling, that affect your mobility or sleep.
Anyone with diabetes can develop neuropathy, but several factors may increase your risk, including:
The length of time you’ve had diabetes also plays a role. The longer your blood sugar remains high, the more likely you are to experience neuropathy.
At Southwest Foot & Ankle Center, Dr. Lewis diagnoses diabetic neuropathy by reviewing your medical records, asking about your symptoms, and performing an exam.
During the exam, she checks your feet for sores and open wounds, tests your tendon reflexes, and assesses your sensitivity to touch. She also orders electromyography and nerve conduction testing.
Electromyography measures the electrical charges produced by your muscles, while nerve conduction testing assesses how quickly the nerves in your arms and legs respond to electric signals.
There’s no cure for diabetic neuropathy, but with routine checkups, healthy lifestyle changes, and treatment, it’s possible to relieve pain, manage complications, and slow the disease’s progression.
Depending on your age, symptoms, and medical history, Dr. Lewis might recommend:
At first, it may take some trial and error to determine the approach that works best. Be patient and make sure to attend each of your checkups.
If you’re concerned about having diabetic neuropathy or think you might have it, make an appointment at Southwest Foot & Ankle Center. Click the online booking feature or call the office today.