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.
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.