Peripheral neuropathy causes serious foot pain, numbness, and other issues in at least 30 million Americans today. The earlier you’re diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy, the better you can prevent not only troublesome symptoms but also long-term nerve damage. At Momentum Foot & Ankle Clinic, highly skilled podiatrist Aamir Mahmood, DPM, diagnoses peripheral neuropathy and explains the best evidence-based treatment options to every patient. Call any of the three offices located in Michigan City and Chesterton, Indiana, and Lombard, Illinois, or click on the online appointment maker now.
Neuropathy encompasses a large group of conditions that cause nerve damage. Peripheral neuropathy, the form of neuropathy that affects the feet, is a frustrating and sometimes debilitating condition for many adults.
Peripheral neuropathy often causes troubling symptoms in your feet, such as:
Because peripheral neuropathy so often deadens feeling in your feet, you might hurt your feet and be unaware. So, unexpected foot wounds can be another symptom.
Peripheral neuropathy and narrowed arteries often go hand-in-hand, especially in diabetes sufferers. If you have a foot wound and you don’t get enough blood to the wound for healing, an infection can develop.
Infected wounds can spread, killing healthy tissue as they do so. That’s why peripheral neuropathy and circulatory problems can ultimately cause foot amputations if you don’t get expert foot care.
There are many causes, including:
The most common cause of peripheral neuropathy is diabetes, specifically high blood sugar levels. High blood sugar damages your nerves, which is often most obvious in your feet. Around 60-70% of diabetes sufferers have peripheral diabetic neuropathy.
Heavy alcohol consumption can damage nerves, especially when combined with nutritional deficiencies common in alcoholics. This type of neuropathy is alcoholic neuropathy.
HIV sufferers make up another group that is prone to peripheral neuropathy. HIV can damage the nerves, and certain forms of HIV medications can also cause neuropathy. This form of neuropathy is HIV neuropathy.
Some of the many other health problems that may cause neuropathy include physical nerve trauma, tumors, and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Peripheral neuropathy treatment usually includes a few different lifestyle changes and therapies, such as:
Controlling your underlying disease to the maximum extent possible is also very important. For diabetics, this means tracking your blood sugar every day, eating healthy, and taking medication (if you have it) consistently.
Dr. Mahmood may prescribe other evidence-based treatments for your neuropathic foot pain. His goal is to end your pain and prevent peripheral neuropathy from holding you back.