Living with Neuropathy

During times of war, pigeons were once used to deliver messages. Imagine if the bird was unable to complete its journey -- an important message sent but never received could have had serious consequences. In comparison, your nervous system is in charge of sending messages to your brain. When nerve damage occurs in your feet, those messages might not reach their destination, and like in the case of a war-time wayward pigeon, results can be dangerous.

Scrambled Signals

Peripheral nerves send signals to your brain from your skin and muscles. When these nerves are damaged causing neuropathy in your feet, signals can get disrupted and leave you vulnerable to injury. If the message that something is too hot to touch doesn’t get through, you can get severely burned. If a message that something is painful doesn’t reach your brain, you can sustain a serious injury. Understanding what’s behind your neuropathy, and being aware of symptoms, is essential to treat and manage the condition so you can maintain an active life.

Causes of Neuropathy

Neuropathy can stem from a variety of culprits. Exposure to toxins, certain medications, alcoholism, and vitamin deficiencies can all be to blame. Trauma to the nerves from an automobile accident or sports injury can also be behind the problem. Still other causes include chemical or hormonal imbalances as well as underlying diseases, the most common of which is diabetes. Once the reason for your nerve damage is determined, it can be treated appropriately. Prompt care is key to avoiding further problems and also why spotting symptoms early is so important.

Signs That Signals Are Crossed

Symptoms to watch out for include numbness in your feet, a tingly feeling, burning or freezing sensations, muscle weakness, and sharp or stabbing pain. At first indication of any of these symptoms, you should come in for a visit so we can assess your feet, get to the bottom of the problem, and get you on the right treatment plan. If it’s determined that you have diabetes, not only does this underlying condition need to be addressed, but it is imperative that precautions are taken in order to prevent major complications.

The Dangers of Diabetic Neuropathy

When you have diabetes, the combination of neuropathy and poor blood flow associated with the disease can pack a dangerous one-two punch. Numbness in your foot can allow an injury to occur without notice, and since poor circulation causes the healing process to be drastically reduced, that unnoticed injury can quickly become infected and major complications can ensue -- including ulcerations, gangrene, and amputation. Even the smallest of wounds can get you in big trouble, so diligent care is a must!

  • Manage glucose levels by eating a healthy diet
  • Exercise regularly to encourage blood flow
  • Check your feet every day for anything out of the ordinary, including blisters, scrapes, redness and irritation, temperature changes, discoloration of skin or nails, and dry patches.
  • Limit alcohol and don’t smoke

You Don’t Have to Let Neuropathy Negatively Impact Your Life

In addition to lifestyle changes, there are other things you can do to enjoy a full and active life while living with neuropathy. Medications can help minimize symptoms, physical therapy and massage can be beneficial as well. Laser treatments and electrical stimulation are alternative methods that have also proven to successfully bring relief. To determine what the best course of action is for you, make an appointment at our Houston, TX office by calling (713) 493-7372 or by using our online contact form. If you have any signs of nerve damage in your feet, don’t delay! The sooner we can get you on a treatment plan, the more likely you can avoid problems and continue an enjoyable quality of life.