Peripheral neuropathy is a condition in which the peripheral nerves become damaged, resulting in tingling, numbness, pain or loss of feeling in the feet and hands. Unfortunately, the condition can cause severe complications. A lack of feeling in the feet, for example, may prevent a person from feeling pain or temperature changes. This, in turn, can lead to serious wounds, injuries and infections. Anyone with peripheral neuropathy should be diligent about getting regular foot checkups.
Did you know…
that approximately 20 million people in the U.S. live with some degree of peripheral neuropathy? There are many causes of peripheral nerve damage, including alcoholism and traumatic injury from repetitive stress. However, the most common cause of peripheral neuropathy is diabetes mellitus, in which chronically high blood glucose levels damage the peripheral nerves.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy?
A person with peripheral neuropathy will have various symptoms depending on which nerves are affected. For some, this may mean inability to perceive foot pain or temperature changes. For others, it may include progressively worsening tingling or numbness that spreads from the feet into the legs. Some experience a sharp pain, while others report muscle weakness and problems with coordination.
Can peripheral neuropathy be treated?
Yes. Your podiatrist may recommend one of several different treatments and therapies aimed at reducing symptoms and treating the condition responsible for causing your peripheral neuropathy. This may include the use of medications to minimize pain and tingling, as well as nerve stimulation therapies. Limiting alcohol consumption and managing healthy blood glucose levels can also improve peripheral neuropathy in some patients.
How long should I wait before seeing a doctor for peripheral neuropathy?
If you begin experiencing symptoms of peripheral neuropathy, do not hesitate to get medical care right away. Early diagnosis and treatment can help manage symptoms and prevent additional damage to the peripheral nerves. Contact our office today for more information about the treatment of peripheral neuropathy.