Diabetic neuropathy is a condition in which nerves are compromised as an effect of high blood sugar levels. Statistics show that nearly 60% - 70% of diabetics go through some kind of neuropathy. This condition may present itself in different ways. Some of the symptoms may contain tingling, burning, and numbness in your hands or feet. It is the result of nerve damage also titled as "Peripheral Neuropathy."
The four types of diabetic neuropathy are:
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Autonomic neuropathy
- Femoral neuropathy
However, it is important to know that not all who have come across these symptoms realize they have this condition.
Peripheral Neuropathy Can Result In The Below Symptoms
This is by far the most frequent type of diabetic neuropathy, and it troubles the nerves present in your legs, feet, arms, and hands.
- Tingling or burning sensation
- Pain prevalent at the end of nerves
- Inability to feel any pain when the temperature changes
- Pain in the feet, hands, arms, or legs while moving
- Weakness and difficulty while moving
- Issues in the legs and foot due to infection, joint pain, and other deformities
- Loss of appetite
- Low blood pressure
- Sharp pains or cramps
- Muscle weakness
Lowering blood glucose levels can help avert and possibly reverse some of the effects of diabetic neuropathy. Physical therapy is an efficient treatment that can help restore balance as well as the sensation that has been lost.
More About Diabetic Foot Pain
Nerve Difficulties and Diabetes
The most frequent reason for diabetic foot pain is due to Peripheral Neuropathy. It is where the nerves are greatly affected by the disease. There are three kinds of peripheral neuropathy: sensory, autonomic, and motor neuropathy.
A great percentage of pain most diabetics suffer from is caused due to sensory neuropathy. It can come up as sensitive pain, where the pain is not relative to the extent of insult that is causing it. For example, just touching your skin or placing a sheet over your feet in bed could result in pain. It can be prevalent at the same time as numbness in your feet. Sensory neuropathy signs can show up in the form of burning, stabbing pain, or tingling.
Keep Your Muscles Active and Joints Moving
Now, Autonomic neuropathy troubles the nerves in places that are not under the influence of our conscious control. In addition, the sweating mechanism alters so a diabetic who has this condition can have thickened, dry cuticles and pale colored nails. Besides these issues, they may also notice stiff, cracked skin that is prone to the development of thicker calluses with increased pain. It can further lead to fungal and bacterial infection―an additional source of pain and added trouble.
Circulation problems in your feet may result in increased pain, even though your feet may be numb to the touch. It is a result of elevated blood sugars in the arteries, veins, and capillaries. Arteries transport fresh blood away from the heart. This blood sustains and gives oxygen to tissues. The blood gets in and exits the tissues through the help of capillaries and runs back up to the heart to get revived with oxygen and nourished.
Now that you are aware of this mechanism in our body, the arteries most frequently affected are those present right behind the calf and the knee. These arteries are subject to the same old fatty deposits that most have. However, this whole process can get highly accelerated in diabetes. As a result, these fatty deposits thicken the walls of arteries and can also lead to calcium deposits.
More than that, blood flow to the feet would get partially or completely blocked. Since the tissues are oxygen deprived, it can be a highly painful stage.
The veins can also get extremely painful and enlarged. It occurs when arteries can no longer handle the available blood flow. Small channels are made to send the blood over to veins rather than trying to force the blood through the arteries. At times, there is more blood flow to the veins. As a result, they get so full that the valves get damaged. Consequently, blood then gets pooled in the legs and feet and can come out into the skin, leading to ulceration, which can be extremely painful.
Diabetics become more exposed to fungal and yeast infections because of medical and nutritive changes that occur in the body.
Bacterial infections appear in various foot areas that get ulcerated or injured. The symptoms of this infection consist of redness, bulging, pain, and tenderness, including pus. This type of infection can occur on the skin, known as cellulitis, or can even advance to the bone. When this infection gets extended to the bone, it is known as osteomyelitis. It is strange that even when a diabetic may suffer from numbness in foot, they may feel pain when they get a bacterial infection. If a diabetic unexpectedly gets pain when their feet are feeling numb, it can be a clue that an infection is there, and a doctor must be contacted without any delay.
It is essential to know that not all diabetics can instantly feel the pain of these problems. Therefore, it is best to have their feet inspected every day. Be proactive and cautious.
The circulatory damage can cause neuropathy in the extremities, especially the feet. As nerves die off, you do not feel pain from blisters or sharp objects. It becomes very easy to get an infection. Poor circulation and an infection is a terrible combination, and it can potentially lead to gangrene. Proper diabetes management and foot care help prevent complications that can result in toe amputation.
Here are few more issues you need to be aware of in detail:
Diabetic foot ulcer is a big issue of diabetes mellitus, and could be the main cause of pain. If your feet get cut by walking on small stones, then they do not heal well. Even small injuries like these can develop into ulcers.
Sometimes a specific wound can produce numbness or tingling, such as an injured nerve in your neck or a herniated disk in your spine. Placing pressure on a nerve is a common cause. Carpal tunnel syndrome, scar tissue, enlarged blood vessels, infection, or a tumor can all place pressure upon a nerve.