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Posts for tag: Peripheral Neuropathy

Did you know, according to the National Institute of Health, there are about 20 million people in the United States who have peripheral neuropathy? When hearing the words “peripheral neuropathy”, diabetes is often the first word that comes to mind. However, there are many other potential causes for peripheral neuropathy, several of which can be treated.

About Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy is when nerves become damaged in the arms and legs and do not function as they should be and can present differently depending on the nerves involved. There are three different types of peripheral neuropathy named for the types of nerves affected and include:

  • Sensory Neuropathy – involves nerves that allow people to feel temperature, pain, light touch, and vibration. When these nerves are affected, a burning, tingling pain (or numbness) can occur, and disrupt a person’s quality of life.
  • Motor Neuropathy – involves nerves that allow muscle movements. When these nerves are affected, people often experience weakness and atrophy of their muscles.
  • Autonomic Neuropathy – involves nerves that control sweat glands, bladder function, and blood vessel contraction. When these nerves are affected, the skin can become dry due to lack of sweating, there is decreased bladder control, as well as the ability for the blood vessels to help regulate blood pressure.

 

Non-Diabetes Causes of Peripheral Neuropathy

Even though type-2 diabetes is the number one cause for peripheral neuropathy, there are many other conditions that can cause it, and include, but not limited to:

  • Trauma – Injuries from various traumas can cause partial or permanent damage to nerves, including surgery.
  • Infections – There are many bacteria and viruses that can cause neuropathy such as Shingles, Lyme disease, HIV, and hepatitis C.
  • Nutrition Deficiencies – Having decreased intake of certain vitamins can lead to neuropathy, such as B Vitamins (especially B1, B6, and B12). If proper nutrition is maintained, this can be easily prevented.
  • Medications – There are numerous medications that have cause neuropathy as a side-effect. Some of the most common meds are cancer chemotherapy, HIV drugs, and Isoniazid for people with tuberculosis.
  • Alcohol Consumption – Chronic alcohol consumption can lead to neuropathy by causing nutritional deficiencies in the B vitamins (especially B1 and B12).
  • Autoimmune Conditions – In autoimmune diseases, the body attacks itself, and can cause damage to nerves. These conditions include, but are not limited to: Lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and Sjogren’s syndrome.
  • Others – Kidney diseases, cancers/tumors, small vessel disease

 

If you have been experiencing numbness, burning, tingling sensations, or weakness in your legs and feet, please do not hesitate to schedule an appointment with Dr. Gary N. Friedlander or Dr. Jay C. Larson at Sole Foot and Ankle Specialists in Glendale, Arizona. We will explain all your treatment options to available to you to help protect and improve your foot health this upcoming summer.

 

Diabetes Mellitus is a growing disease. You probably know someone who suffers from diabetes or you may suffer from diabetes yourself. According to the American Diabetes Association, approximately 9.3% of the U.S. population suffers from diabetes. Diabetes causes complications to your blood vessels, nerves, skin, and major organs in your body. Neuropathy, or nerve damage is the result of damaged nerves from consistently elevated blood sugar. In fact, about half of those diagnosed with diabetes will develop neuropathy.

There are different types of neuropathy including peripheral neuropathy, autonomic neuropathy, Charcot’s Joint also called neuropathic arthopathy, these types of neuropathy can be further explained here. The main types of neuropathy that affect the feet and lower extremity are peripheral neuropathy and Charcot’s joint.

Peripheral Neuropathy occurs in your feet and/or hands causing tingling, increased pain, or numbness/weakness of the affected area. Two major issues may occur with this type of neuropathy is 1.) inability to feel pain and 2.) painful burning or tingling sensations. Both options come with different frustrations. With the inability to feel pain, blisters and ulcers may form and you may not realize it. This may lead to infection and potentially amputation of the affected area. Painful burning or tingling can feel like constant pins and needles in your feet and be severe enough to awaken you from sleep. Pain or no pain, either option plays a significant role in effecting day-to-day activities.

With peripheral neuropathy, it is extremely important to foresee and prevent complications. Your podiatrist is a crucial team member in appropriately managing your diabetes and minimizing complications.  Creating a healthy trusting relationship with your podiatrist is crucial to manage and prevent diabetes mellitus complications including peripheral neuropathy. Checking your feet daily is one simple and effective way to help prevent complications. To read more about how to check your feet and what to look for, read our November 2015-Diabetes Awareness Month blog. Controlling your blood sugar may also help delay the progression of neuropathy amongst other diabetes mellitus complications.

Peripheral neuropathy may seem insignificant but can have huge consequences if appropriate precautions are not taken. If you suspect peripheral neuropathy or notice any changes in your foot health please consider making an appointment with Dr. Gary N. Friedlander or Dr. Jay C. Larson at Sole Foot and Ankle Specialists in Glendale, Arizona.



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