Managing Your Neuropathy
With diabetes reaching epidemic proportions in the USA, you will be hearing more and more about neuropathy in the coming years. Diabetics not only have the challenge of monitoring and controlling the disease itself, they also need to be on the lookout for complications of uncontrolled sugar levels like nerve damage. We want you to understand this condition, so you know how important it is to get help in managing it.
Breaking Down the Term
Neuro means anything to do with your nerves. Pathy comes from the Greek word pathos, which means suffering or disease. Together, neuropathy refers to any disease or problem involving your nervous system. With diabetes, the most common nerves affected are those in your extremities—your hands and feet—although problems can also occur with your autonomic nerves that control things like circulation, respiration, digestion, and so on.
What Does Neuropathy Feel Like?
The most common symptoms come in two forms:
- Lack of sensation, when the receptors malfunction and don’t pick up signals from your environment (leading to unnoticed injuries, ulcers, and possible infections).
- Sensation for no reason, when receptors sense things that aren’t there but send pain warnings to the brain anyway (leading to tingling, burning, sharp shooting pains).
You can treat and even prevent these bothersome problems with your nerves by maintaining a blood glucose level within the normal range, so they do not become damaged by the excess levels.
A related problem that often accompanies diabetes is poor circulation. When this is the case, oxygen and nutrients don’t reach the cells in your feet properly and nerve damage may result. To keep your nerves healthy, you should eat a diet that resists the formation of plaque on the walls of your arteries (which slows down blood flow) and get enough exercise to get your blood going (to flush the excess plaque out of your system).
Managing Neuropathy Symptoms
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, follow instructions for medications and diet to keep strict control of your sugar levels. Eat healthy meals, and ask us about a safe and effective exercise routine that can help promote circulations and nerve health.
If these remedies do not reduce your pain, or the symptoms get worse, call us and we’ll try other treatments that may work. These include pain medications, anti-seizure drugs, antidepressants, or a cream with capsaicin.
Other therapies that may help include transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), plasma exchange, physical therapy, or surgery to remove a tumor or other tissue that is pressing on a nerve. There is some promise for using laser therapy to relieve nerve pain and help regenerate the tissue.
We are also pleased to offer therapy for neuropathy as well as other foot issues. It uses electromagnetic current to increase blood flow, thus bringing needed nutrients to the nerves in your extremities. In most cases, you can’t make new nerve cells, so healing the ones you have is the only way you can regain healthy nerve function.
Finding Foot Care in Warren and Edison, New Jersey
When you need answers and solutions to nerve pain or numbness in your feet, contact Dr. Jyotsna Thapar at Ankle and Foot Specialist of New Jersey. We can get to the bottom of your symptoms and determine what type of treatment will help best. Our offices are conveniently located in Edison, Hillsborough and Warren. Call today at (908) 222-8980 to set up an appointment, or request one on our website. We want your feet to be the best they can be.