What is diabetic foot neuropathy?
Of the 16 million Americans with diabetes, 25% develop foot problems related to the disease. Diabetic Neuropathy is a complication of diabetes that affects the nerves. The most common type of diabetic neuropathy is called peripheral neuropathy and affects the peripheral nerves that connect the brain and spinal cord to the muscles, skin, internal organs, and glands. Peripheral neuropathy impairs proper functioning of sensory and motor nerves. The most common symptoms of neuropathy include numbness and loss of feeling, usually in the feet and hands.
What are causes and symptoms of diabetic neuropathy?
Diabetic neuropathy can cause insensitivity or a loss of ability to feel pain, heat, and cold. Thus, diabetics suffering from neuropathy can develop minor cuts, scrapes, blisters, or pressure sores they may not be aware. If these minor injuries are left untreated, complications may result, leading to ulceration and possibly even amputation. Neuropathy can also cause deformities such as bunions, hammer toes, and Charcot foot.
Diabetics should take care to prevent all foot-related injuries. Daily observation of the feet is critical.
How do you treat and prevent diabetic neuropathy?
Treatment and prevention of diabetic neuropathy may include:
• Maintaining blood sugars and blood pressure
• Avoiding smoking
• Limit alcohol intake
• Getting regular physical and foot exams
• Getting regular blood and urine tests
• Exercising regularly, according to your doctor’s recommendation
• Wearing proper footwear all the time
Footwear and orthotics play an important role in diabetic footcare. Orthotics designed with Plastazote foam, the #1 material for protecting the insensitive diabetic foot, are usually recommended. Plastazote is a material designed to accommodate pressure hot spots by conforming to heat and pressure. By customizing to the foot, Plastazote provides the comfort and protection needed in diabetic footcare. Footwear constructed with Plastazote is also recommended frequently for the diabetic patient. Footwear for individuals with diabetes should contain the following features:
• Soft leather uppers or flexible materials
• Seemless, smooth interior
• High, wide toe box
• Removable insoles for fitting flexibility and the option to insert orthotics if necessary.
• Rocker soles designed to reduce pressure in the areas of the foot most susceptible to pain, most notably the ball of the foot
• Firm heel counters for support and stability
If you are a diabetic, pay attention to any problems you may be having with your feet. Diabetics with neuropathy especially should take necessary precautions to prevent injury and keep their feet healthy.
If you have diabetes and are experiencing a foot problem, immediately consult your doctor. Your Fit Specialist at Stan’s will advise you on appropriate footwear for your condition.
Courtesy of foot.com