What is Diabetic Neuropathy?
Neuropathy is damage to nerve tissue within the body that prevents messages from being sent to the brain. Diabetic neuropathy, specifically, is nerve damage in the legs and feet caused by high blood sugar. Dysfunctional nerves are unable to provide normal sensation or function.
Neuropathy is not uncommon in those who have diabetes and can range from mild numbness to severe pain. If left untreated, diabetic neuropathy can be disabling and even fatal, as it is one of the most common causes of amputation in this country as well. The best defense is a good offense, so prevention is key to treating this disease.
It’s important to understand what diabetic neuropathy is and how it works, so you can identify it early, preventing progression of the disease and manage it better.
Yes. The complications with diabetic neuropathy are that it if you cannot “feel” that something is wrong, you will be unaware that something is wrong. To those with diabetes, being unaware of pain or losing a sense of balance can be life-threatening over time. For instance, you could develop a Charcot foot. This disease is closely associated with (and caused by) diabetic neuropathy; fragmenting and weakening the bones within the foot. If your bones are weak, you’re more prone to a sprain, fracture or break.
If you fracture your foot and do not feel it, you will continue to walk on it. If you keep walking on it, eventually, your joints will cave in, your foot will swell, and you will likely need surgery to fix it. That’s Charcot foot, and it is one of many diseases catalyzed by diabetic neuropathy. In addition, the deformity caused by Charcot is a leading cause of ulcers on the foot. These may also lead to amputation.
There is no known cure for diabetic neuropathy. However, being cognizant of your body and any loss of sensation, combined with a healthy lifestyle is vital to treatment and prevention. Diabetic neuropathy is caused by high blood sugar levels, so controlling those levels will control the damage done to your nerves.
Paired with this, it is also essential to maintain proper blood pressure levels, avoid smoking or drinking, and practice good foot care. Of course, medication and surgery to help alleviate or cure the effects of diabetic neuropathy are options as well. A physician should periodically test you for what is called “protective sensation,” as well.
The most prominent threat from diabetic neuropathy comes from being unaware that something is wrong. If you maintain an active lifestyle, follow a healthy eating schedule and consult/update your doctor regularly then you are already taking effective steps towards prevention or recovery.
A great way to fill the gaps in your diet is through taking a multivitamin. Click here to read more about our surgeon-designed multivitamin and how it compares to other multivitamins on the market!
Dr. Meredith Warner is the creator of Well Theory and The Healing Sole. She is a board-certified Orthopedic Surgeon and Air Force Veteran.
She is on a mission to disrupt traditional medicine practices and promote betterment physically, spiritually and mentally to many more people. She advocates for wellness and functional health over big pharma so more people can age vibrantly with more function and less pain.
At Well Theory, Our surgeon-designed products are FDA Registered and formulated to help people:
- Manage the symptoms of musculoskeletal pain
- Recover vibrantly from orthopedic related surgeries
- Fill the gaps in our daily diets
- Manage pain associated with inflammation
Surgeon Formulated For Your Peace of Mind
Natural Ingredients + Cutting-Edge Medical Breakthroughs.