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What Causes Diabetic Nerve Pain In The Feet

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What Is Diabetic Nerve Pain Or Diabetic Neuropathy

Living With Diabetic Nerve Pain of the Feet

Neuropathy is an over-arching term that means nerve pain. There are four types of neuropathy, including:

  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Radiculoplexus neuropathy
  • Mononeuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy refers to nerve pain that is experienced on the periphery of your body, like the hands and feet. This area is enervated by the peripheral nervous system .

There are many conditions that can result in nerve pain in the farthest reaches of the body, including:

  • Vitamin deficiencies
  • Certain medications

The most common cause of peripheral neuropathy, though, is poorly controlled diabetes.

The hallmark of diabetes is a nearly constant fluctuation of the blood sugar, with spiky highs and cavernous lows. This constant fluctuation damages the capillary walls responsible for delivering blood to the nerves, especially in the hands and feet. As the capillaries become more damaged, diabetic neuropathy symptoms begin to appear.

Increased Pain At Night

Whether its because you are no longer distracted by the concerns of the day or the hypersensitivity and pain caused by even the sheet touching your feet, diabetic nerve pain is often much worse at night, making sleep impossible.

Because poor sleep and increased pain are bidirectional, one makes the other more intense in a cycle that is hard to break.

What Are The Causes Of Neuropathy In The Feet

When there is damage to the nerves in the feet, neuropathy can develop. There are several causes of neuropathy in the feet, including metabolic disorders, hormonal problems, vitamin deficiencies, trauma, and alcoholism. Various types of blood disorders may also lead to neuropathy. Some people may also have hereditary neuropathy in the feet.

Symptoms of neuropathy in the feet include pain, tingling, burning, difficulty walking, and a loss of balance. Since sensation may decrease, people with foot neuropathy may not realize when they develop sores or blisters. Infections can develop and go unnoticed, which can prevent needed treatment.

One of the most common causes of neuropathy in the feet is diabetes. Over time, the nerves in the feet become damaged from the blood sugar in the body becoming too high. Blood vessels may also constrict easier in people with diabetes, leading to diabetic neuropathy.

Additional causes of neuropathy in the feet include a lack of certain vitamins. Vitamin B6, B12, and E are needed for proper nerve function in the body. When there is a deficiency in these vitamins, the nerves in the feet can be affected and symptoms of neuropathy in the feet can develop.

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What Causes Diabetic Nerve Pain In Feet

Diabetes is a slowly progressive metabolic disorder, a medical condition characterized by widespread changes in the body. Insulin resistance or deficit causing elevated blood glucose levels is characteristic of this disease.

Glucose is essential to fulfilling the energy needs of body and especially nerves, but our body is very sensitive to its levels. Two body tissues that are demonstrated to be extremely sensitive to the changes in the glucose levels in the blood are small blood vessels and peripheral nerves.

Insulin is a hormone that opens the so-called glucose gates of the various body cells so that that glucose can enter the cells. Deficit or resistance to insulin means that less of the gates are opening. Thus body cells start starving, while there is an excess of glucose in our circulating blood.

This excess of circulating glucose in the blood changes the osmotic pressure of the blood it leads to damage to cells in various ways, including loss of liquid. As nerve cells do not have any other sources to fulfill their energy needs, they seem to start suffering from the very beginning of diabetes.

High blood glucose level also damages the internal epithelial layer of blood vessels, and many of the small blood vessels supplying oxygen and other essential elements to nerves become injured in the process.

How Is Diabetic Neuropathy Treated

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Theres no cure for diabetic neuropathy, but you can slow its progression. Keeping your blood sugar levels within a healthy range is the best way to decrease the likelihood of developing diabetic neuropathy or slow its progression. It can also relieve some symptoms.

Quitting smoking and exercising regularly are also parts of a comprehensive treatment plan. Always talk to your doctor or healthcare team before beginning a new fitness routine. You may also ask your doctor about complementary treatments or supplements for neuropathy.

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Why Are Feet More Sensitive To Diabetic Nerve Pain

No matter how hard you try, every stand, walk, skip or jump seems more painful than the next. So, what is it about the feet that causes so much pain?

If you are living with diabetes, you may have experienced nerve damage or neuropathy. Neuropathy is a common side effect of diabetes and can lead to chronic, widespread nerve pain. However, its the feet that suffer the most from a tingling or burning sensation and even numbness. The reason for this is due to peripheral neuropathy.

Peripheral neuropathy is one of four types of diabetic nerve pain. Its one of the more common types of diabetic nerve pain that typically affects the feet and legs first. Some of the more common signs of peripheral neuropathy can include, sharp pains, muscle weakness, loss of balance, foot infections or ulcers and an increase in sensitivity to touch.

What Are The Complications Of Diabetic Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy can challenge your balance. Nerve pain may make it hard to walk or even sit still comfortably. Nerve damage may mean you donât notice foot injury right away.

For people with diabetes, foot and leg wounds need treatment right away. Diabetes can cause or worsen problems such as peripheral artery disease . Without treatment, PAD can lead to amputations.

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What Does Diabetic Nerve Pain Feel Like 11 Common Symptoms

Diabetes is a complex chronic condition that comes with a host of symptoms if not properly managed. One of the most complicated and challenging symptoms to treat is diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Also referred to a peripheral neuropathy or diabetic foot pain, this complicated condition requires thoughtful diagnosis and comprehensive treatment. What is peripheral neuropathy, and what does diabetic nerve pain feel like? Heres what you need to know.

Protect Your Feet From Hot And Cold

Peripheral Neuropathy Treatment [Leg & Foot Nerve Pain HOME REMEDIES]

If you have nerve damage from diabetes, you may burn your feet and not know you did. Take the following steps to protect your feet from heat:

  • Wear shoes at the beach and on hot pavement.
  • Put sunscreen on the tops of your feet to prevent sunburn.
  • Keep your feet away from heaters and open fires.
  • Do not put a hot water bottle or heating pad on your feet.

Wear socks in bed if your feet get cold. In the winter, wear lined, waterproof boots to keep your feet warm and dry.

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Control Your Blood Sugar

The best prevention for nerve pain, ultimately, is to manage your diabetes well. In fact, a 2006 study by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases showed that strict blood glucose control with intensive insulin therapy lowered the chances in people with type I diabetes of having symptoms of peripheral neuropathy — tingling, burning, and pain — by 64%. These results have also been shown to hold true in type II diabetes, too.

The two most important determinants of whether you get diabetic neuropathy are how many years you have had diabetes and how well you control your blood sugar. Other factors, including controlling blood pressure and blood fats and not smoking are also important to prevent diabetic neuropathy.

Controlling your blood glucose also helps reduce the symptoms of diabetic nerve pain. So the good news is that controlling your glucose levels with diet, exercise, and if needed, medications can not only help prevent diabetic peripheral neuropathy, but they can also help ease its effects.

What Causes Nerve Damage

Nerve damage is the result of high levels of blood glucose over long periods of time. It isnt entirely clear why high glucose levels damage nerves.

A number of factors may play a role in nerve fiber damage. One possible component is the intricate interplay between the blood vessels and nerves, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Other factors include high blood pressure and cholesterol levels and nerve inflammation.

Diabetic peripheral neuropathy usually first appears in the feet and legs, and may occur in the hands and arms later.

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What Is The Outlook For People With Diabetic Neuropathy

Although reversing nerve damage is difficult, you can still live a high quality of life. Your healthcare provider may prescribe medications to keep pain at bay.

Lifestyle adjustments can be effective, such as:

  • Using a cane to help you move easier.
  • Wearing special shoes to try to protect feet from injuries and skin breakdown.
  • Getting help from a wound clinic to treat and heal foot and leg wounds.
  • Removing throw rugs and other tripping hazards to prevent falls.

What Are The Types Of Diabetic Neuropathy

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Diabetic neuropathy can damage different nerves throughout your body. Types of diabetic neuropathy include:

  • Autonomic neuropathy: Damage to nerves that control your organs.
  • Mononeuropathy: Damage to a single nerve, such as in your hand or leg.
  • Peripheral neuropathy: Most commonly affects your feet and legs and sometimes affects the hands.
  • Proximal neuropathy: Leads to weakness in hips, thighs, buttocks and shoulders.

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Who Is Most Likely To Get Diabetic Neuropathy

If you have diabetes, your chance of developing nerve damage caused by diabetes increases the older you get and the longer you have diabetes. Managing your diabetes is an important part of preventing health problems such as diabetic neuropathy.

You are also more likely to develop nerve damage if you have diabetes and

  • are overweight

Research also suggests that certain genes may make people more likely to develop diabetic neuropathy.

Who Gets Charcots Foot

Charcots foot is most commonly seen in diabetic patients, but it can also be caused by other factors. These include injuries to the nerves or blood vessels of the lower legs and untreated high blood pressure which results in poor circulation.

The condition mostly affects people who have had diabetes for a while , although it can occur earlier.

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Symptoms Of Foot Ulcer

The black tissue surrounding a severe foot ulcer is the most visible symptom. This occurs as a result of an absence of adequate blood flow to the surrounding area.

The ulcer can cause gangrene, which refers to tissue death as a result of infections. In this situation, there might be a noxious odor, discomfort, and numbness.

Foot ulcers are difficult to detect. You may not exhibit symptoms of the ulcer until it has become infected, despite the fact that you have a painful ulcer.

If you notice any skin discoloration, especially tissue that has turned black, or feel any discomfort in an area that appears callused or irritated, talk with your doctor.

Your doctor will most likely assess your ulcers severity using the Wagner Ulcer Classification System, which ranges from 0 to 5.

  • 0: no open lesions may have healed lesion
  • 1: superficial ulcer without penetration to deeper layers
  • 2: deeper ulcer, reaching tendon, bone, or joint capsule
  • 3: deeper tissues involved, with abscess, osteomyelitis, or tendonitis
  • 4: gangrene in a portion of forefoot or heel
  • 5: extensive gangrenous involvement of the entire foot

Complications Of Charcot Foot

What causes foot pain in diabetic individual? – Dr. Mahesh DM

Your bones might break and move out of place as they become weaker. When this happens:

  • Your foot may lose its shape. The arch in your foot may fall until the bones are lower than your heel or toes. This is known as rocker bottom by doctors.
  • Your toes may curl.
  • Your ankle might become twisted and unsteady.
  • Bones may press against your shoes. Its important to keep your diabetic foot properly moisturized. Sores can develop on your skin as a result of not doing so.
  • Your circulation may be restricted, which makes it more difficult for infections to heal. If this persists for an extended period of time, you may require amputation of your foot.

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Peripheral Neuropathy And Diabetes

Diabetic foot pain is mainly due to a condition called peripheral neuropathy. Approximately 50% of people who have type 2 diabetes will develop peripheral neuropathy, which happens when high blood sugar levels cause damage to the nerves in the legs and the feet.

If you are frequently feeling foot pain, your type of neuropathy may be sensory, where even the slightest touch can cause overwhelming pain. The reaction is not proportional to the stimulus, because the nerves are overly sensitive.

Another type of peripheral neuropathy is motor neuropathy, wherein the nerves that connect to the muscles are weakened and therefore hurt. As a result, it may be a challenge to balance yourself with weakened legs and feet. This imbalance may lead to the development of corns, calluses, cuts, scrapes, and swelling.

For diabetics with motor neuropathy, customized orthotics may help address the balance issues and prevent the development of other foot issues. Its important that you keep your muscles in use so that your legs and feet stay strong.

Topical Pain Massage Creams

Generally, for the management of neuropathic pain, doctors prescribe pain-relievers like non-addictive analgesics or opioids. However, drugs from both these classes come with different side effects with opioids being the worst – causing withdrawal symptoms and addiction. In this light, topical analgesics that bring about temporary numbness in the neuropathic area relieving pain have become widely popular today. There are two reasons for this popularity. One, topical analgesics are easy to apply and do not cause any serious side effects on the body, unlike opioids and NSAIDs. Second, some topical analgesics or pain management creams that are available today in the market have the added benefit of aiding in the reversal of nerve damage. Though fully damaged nerves cannot be completely reversed back to their normal stage, some Advanced Neuropathy Creams like the DSC Advanced Cream are known to help reverse the damage to some extent.

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Can Diabetic Neuropathy Cause Heel Pain

Is neuropathy a problem for the heel? Neuropathy of the periphery When these neurons are destroyed or inflamed as a consequence of an accident, a condition such as diabetes, a tumor, or an infection, you may suffer pain, tingling, and numbness in your foot and heel.

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Does diabetic nerve pain have a similar sensation to plantar fasciitis? Diabetes-related foot pain often feels distinct from other forms of foot pain, such as tendonitis or plantar fasciitis. Rather than a dull aching, it is more often than not an acute, shooting agony. Additionally, it may be accompanied by: Numbness.

What does it signify if your foots heel hurts? Heel pain, particularly stabbing heel pain, is most often caused by plantar fasciitis, a disease that is sometimes referred to as heel spur syndrome in the presence of a spur. Heel pain may also be caused by a stress fracture, tendinitis, arthritis, nerve irritation, or, in rare cases, a cyst.

Check Both Feet Daily

Diabetic Neuropathy: Causes, Types, and Natural Relief Tips

Look over both feet carefully every day, and be sure you check between all of your toes. Blisters and infections can start between your toes, and with diabetic neuropathy, you may not feel them until they’ve become irritated or infected.

If a physical challenge keeps you from checking your own feet, ask a family member to help.

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Maintain Proper Foot Care

You have the ability to prevent further damage and pain in your feet by simply maintaining a proper foot care regimen. Here are some things you can do at home.

  • Make it a daily habit to check your feet for blisters, bruises, cuts or cracked skin. You may also want to check for any swelling or redness.
  • Try to keep your feet dry and clean at all times. When you wash your feet, use lukewarm water and mild soap. Be sure to dry in between your toes and pat with a towel.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that provide support and allow your toes to move. You may want to consult with your podiatrist to properly fit you for shoes.
  • When wearing your shoes, be sure to wear clean, dry socks. You want to use cotton or moisture lock socks without tight bands for more comfort.

If you suffer from chronic nerve pain as a result of diabetes, consult with your physician regarding treatment options. Your physician may refer you to Loma Linda University Health Neuropathic Therapy Center. Intraneural Facilitation is an innovative new therapy that treats chronic nerve pain.

What Are Diabetic Foot

Diabetic foot are one of the complications of diabetes. Over time, people with diabetes start feeling numbness in their foot because of poor blood flow. Nerve damage is the main reason for this. One can have nerve damage in any part of the body. But nerves in your legs and foot are mostly affected areas.

Frequent infection, slow healing power, and weak immunity being some of the symptoms that contribute to it. Even small cuts and bruises can turn into serious complications. A diabetic foot would develop sores, deformities, and infections more easily.

There are about 15% chances that a diabetic patient is going to develop diabetic feet at some point in his/her life.

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