An estimated 30 million people in the United States live with diabetes, a chronic disease that causes your blood sugar levels to rise to dangerously high levels and makes you prone to developing severe foot problems because of two common complications, poor circulation, and neuropathy. Nina Coletta, DPM, PA, in Plantation, Florida, provides comprehensive foot care for patients with diabetes, including proactive strategies to prevent, reduce, or delay nerve-related complications. If you live in Broward County, call or use online booking to schedule an appointment today.
Diabetes is an illness that makes it difficult for your body to regulate your blood sugar levels. Having blood sugar levels that are chronically higher than are typical can lead to many serious complications.
Diabetic Neuropathy, or nerve damage, is one of the most common diabetes complications, affecting approximately 60-70% of all patients. It occurs when persistently high blood sugar levels damage the protective covering on your nerves or the blood vessels that carry oxygen to your nerves.
Damaged nerves may send messages slowly, send messages at the wrong times, or stop sending messages altogether.
If you have Diabetic Neuropathy, your symptoms vary depending on which nerves are damaged. There are four main types of diabetic neuropathy, and it’s possible to have more than one kind:
Peripheral Neuropathy is by far the most common type of diabetes-related nerve damage. It typically affects your feet and legs first, followed by your hands and arms. Symptoms include numbness, tingling, or burning sensations in the affected areas, as well as a reduced ability to feel pain or changes in temperature.
As it progresses, peripheral neuropathy may also cause muscle weakness, diminished balance and coordination, and severe foot problems like ulcers and infections.
Autonomic Neuropathy damages the nerves that control your internal organs and may cause symptoms ranging from constipation and bladder problems to increased heart rate and decreased sexual response.
Focal Neuropathy causes damage to a single nerve, most often in your head, hand, torso, or leg. Depending on the location of the affected nerve, it can cause pain in the chest, abdomen, shin, foot, or lower back, as well as double vision or partial facial paralysis.
This condition affects the nerves in your thighs, hips, buttocks or legs. Common symptoms include severe pain in one of those areas and difficulty standing from a seating position.
It’s essential to manage your diabetes as directed to prevent, reduce, or delay the onset of this condition. Active preventive care also includes taking good care of your feet, particularly if you’ve already experienced a decreased sensation or other early symptoms of peripheral neuropathy.
In addition to scheduling regular, comprehensive foot exams with Dr. Coletta, it’s important to pay close attention to your feet at home. You should:
To schedule your next diabetic foot screening, call Dr. Coletta’s office or book an appointment online today.