Since November is National Diabetes Month, we want to focus on this subject in this month’s blog post. More than 37 million people in the United States have diabetes, and half will develop diabetic peripheral neuropathy during their lifetime.
If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, peripheral neuropathy is a clear and present danger, but the good news is that there are ways to prevent and slow nerve damage.
At Neuropathy and Pain Centers of Texas, Dr. Jason Kouri and Dr. Aminidhan Thakkar specialize in diabetic peripheral neuropathy and offer a wide range of treatment options for managing nerve damage.
Whether the nerve damage is already evident or you want to take steps to prevent the problem, read on to learn more about diabetic peripheral neuropathy.
When you have diabetes, uncontrolled blood sugar levels can lead to peripheral nerve damage. Half the people with diabetes develop peripheral neuropathy at some point in their lives, but more concerning, this same number of people will also get a foot ulcer. This complication is serious as diabetes is the leading driver of lower limb amputation due to uncontrollable infections.
The most critical step to prevent these complications is to be diligent about managing your blood sugar levels. The risks of not managing your glucose are high; we suggest working closely with your diabetes team to ensure your blood sugar levels are under control.
If despite your best efforts at managing your blood sugar, you still develop peripheral neuropathy, there are steps we can take to manage and contain the nerve damage.
In most cases, neuropathy typically strikes your lower limbs, though nerve damage can occur in other areas, such as your hands and even your eyes.
When you experience symptoms of peripheral neuropathy (pain, tingling, numbness), you should visit us to evaluate the extent of the damage. We can assess the situation better through nerve studies and nerve function testing.
Armed with this information, we can design a treatment plan that will help relieve your discomfort and slow the nerve damage. This plan might include the following:
In addition to these therapies, we often recommend orthotics and appropriate footwear to help keep your feet as healthy and problem-free as possible.
While we can do our part to manage your nerve damage, it’s crucial that you do yours. For example:
When examining your feet, we want you to look out for any minor cut or ulcer that can quickly become a problem if infection sets in. If you see something, no matter how small, let us know so that we can promptly remedy the issue.
If you’d like to learn more about best practices for preventing and managing diabetic peripheral neuropathy, contact us at one of our convenient locations in Fort Worth, Arlington, Waco, or Wichita Falls, Texas. Get started by making an appointment today.