Many people with diabetics experience strange sensations in their feet. Some of the common symptoms are
- burning of the feet, especially at night,
- tingling or pins and needles sensation in the feet,
- numbness or “walking on cotton” feeling in their feet
It is important to listen to your feet as these are all signs of diabetic neuropathy. The nerves of the person with diabetes can be damaged due to constant exposure to elevated blood sugars. This neuropathy can lead to
- poor quality of life due to the constant pain
- dry skin and cracks in the feet
- easy damage to feet due to lack of feeling
- frequent risk of wounds and ulcers
- imbalance and difficulty walking
- inability to keep slippers on
- non-healing wounds and amputation of toes and feet
Neuropathy can also affect other parts of the body in a diabetic such as the heart, the digestive system, the brain and the penis. It leads to giddiness, poor digestion and stomach bloating and alternating diarrhea and constipation, fast and uncontrolled heart rates and difficulty maintaining erections.
What can be done?
Control of blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible leads to prevention of neuropathy. Once it occurs, maintaining good blood sugar levels remain the only way to control neuropathy. Then there are medicines to reduce the pain and burning sensations. Good foot cleanliness and care, with appropriate foot wear remains the cornerstone of neuropathy treatment.
Talk to your doctor about getting a neuropathy test done for your feet. If you have hard thickness on the soles of your feet (callus) or cracks have your feet checked at specialized diabetic foot care clinics
Despite all efforts diabetic neuropathy remains one of the most difficult complications to control and treat.
So always prevention is better with good blood sugar control.