When the nerves in the toes and fingertips are damaged, it is called peripheral neuropathy. This a common condition for people with diabetes. Neuropathy in the feet often causes pain, numbness and weakness. The complaints can vary from tingling to burning.
Causes of foot neuropathy
Nerve damage in the feet can be caused by a number of factors. The primary cause for foot neuropathy is diabetes. Diabetes causes the blood glucose levels in the blood to rise causing damage to the nerves in the extremities of the body, like fingers and toes. Other causes for neuropathy include alcoholism, infections, vitamin deficiencies, autoimmune diseases, toxic substances, medication, trauma on the nerves or cancer.
The most common symptoms of foot neuropathy include tingling, burning, numbness or stinging pain in the toes. This may gradually spread upward to the whole feet and legs. Other symptoms that could occur are muscle weakness, lack of coordination, changes in skin and intolerance to heat and cold.
Neuropathy often causes numbness in the feet or a lack of sensation. Because of this, it can be difficult to feel small cuts or sores in the skin. This can cause nasty infections. If not treated properly, it can even lead to amputation of the foot.
Preventing foot neuropathy
Once the nerves in the feet are damaged, they cannot be healed. Treating neuropathy often consists of proper foot care and pain relief through oral medication. The best thing is preventing foot neuropathy. Make sure you keep your blood glucose levels balanced.
Furthermore, it is important to check feet regularly for small sores or cuts so that immediate and proper action can be taken to prevent them from getting worse. People with foot neuropathy should wear properly fitted shoes and avoid walking barefoot to prevent injury. A pedicurist or podiatrist can help with managing foot neuropathy.