The Dangers of Peripheral Neuropathy

If you are a diabetic patient and are experiencing numbness, tingling, burning or loss of sensation in your feet you may be developing peripheral neuropathy. Neuropathy is nerve damage and is frequently associated with the disease of diabetes. At Goldsmith Podiatry, we know that peripheral neuropathy in your feet can lead to serious diabetic complications, including ulcers and infections. For this reason, it’s important to recognize the symptoms and to let our podiatrists, Dr. Howard Goldsmith and Dr. Rosanna Troia, know immediately if you have any of them.

What Nerves are Affected?

The symptoms you experience from neuropathy can vary depending on the type of nerve that is damaged. There are three kinds of nerves, each with their own symptoms:

Sensory—numbness, pins and needles sensations; pain, burning or other discomfort in feet or legs

Motorloss of muscle tone and muscle weakness; changes in foot shape; balance issues

Autonomic—dry feet, cracks in the skin

It’s easy to see how any type of nerve damage can result in injury and infection. A decrease in the ability to perceive pain, cold, etc. means that a patient with neuropathy could get a cut on the foot or have a blister or other irritation develop without even realizing it. Cracks in the skin can allow bacteria to enter the body and cause an infection.

Preventing Complications

As a patient, there are several steps you can take to help prevent the possible the development of peripheral neuropathy and its consequences. These include:

  • Following your doctor’s instructions for keeping your blood sugar levels under control

  • Scheduling regular appointments at our upper west side Manhattan office for an examination of your feet and to take care of routine podiatric care

  • Inspecting your feet daily to check for changes that could indicate a problem. These would include: redness, blisters, cuts, changes in toenails, swelling

  • Wearing shoes with roomy toe boxes that fit properly without rubbing or putting pressure on any part of your feet

The podiatrist is a partner in the treatment and management of your diabetes. If you have any questions about this condition, don’t hesitate to contact us by calling: 212-877-1002.