The Pain of Foot Neuropathy
Neuropathy deals with anything to do with the nerves or the nervous system. What is peripheral neuropathy? Peripheral neuropathy is an umbrella term for any disorder affecting the peripheral nerves. The spinal cord is the main nerve but nerves branch out like antennas from the spinal cord to different parts of the body – hence, they are on the periphery. So when doctors refer to the term ‘peripheral neuropathy”, they are referring to any damage to the peripheral nerves – not the spinal cord itself. We all have nerves that extend to our feet. So foot neuropathy is when the nerves in our foot or feet have been damaged. How does one get foot neuropathy?
Numbness: Foot Neuropathy in a Diabetic Can Lead to Limb Loss
Diabetes is the main cause of peripheral neuropathy. Our nervous system is made up of nerves that help us move and nerves that help us feel. Sometimes only the motor sensors are affected and sometimes only the sensory nerves are affected. Sometimes both are affected. Particularly with diabetics, if their sensory motor nerves have been affected, this will manifest as loss of feeling in their foot or wherever the neuropathy is. Usually diabetics suffer from foot neuropathy. So if a diabetic cannot feel sensation in his or her feet, they could be damaging their foot via ill fitting shoes, blisters and sores that go untreated simply because they have lost all sensation in their feet and the damage goes unnoticed. That is why it is important for diabetics to get immediate treatment for their diabetic condition, as foot neuropathy can lead to foot amputation or leg amputation.
Aggressive Treatment for Foot Neuropathy
In order to treat peripheral neuropathy, the physician needs to know the cause of the neuropathic disease. If foot neuropathy is caused by diabetes, then the diabetic will need to overhaul his or her diet with the help of the doctor and a nutritionist, with the goal of lowering blood glucose levels. The best diet for a diabetic is one high in complex carbohydrates, lean proteins. The optimal diabetic diet should strictly stay away from refined sugars, artificial sweeteners, white breads, white rice and any other white products as these turn to glucose in the blood very fast and will spike anyone’s blood sugar. An unhealthy diet is the ultimate cause of most diseases. So if you eat right, and make it a way of life, you are less likely to be afflicted with diseases.
Foot Neuropathy Can Mean Loss of Leg
Diabetics suffer from poor circulation, especially in the leg. Lower limb amputation is accounted for more than half of Americans diagnosed with diabetes and who have gotten their leg or foot amputated. A study was conducted by the ADA (American Diabetes Association), and 82,000 people lose their leg or foot yearly due to diabetes that has been allowed to progress. Unfortunately, when diabetes has progressed that far, this kind of aggressive treatment is the only option left. Doctors strongly recommend incorporating exercise and a healthy diet to control diabetes. If diet and exercise alone don’t help, then aggressive drug treatment is strongly advised coupled with diet and exercise.