Diabetic Neuropathy

Virginia Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates

Foot & Ankle Surgeons located in Charlottesville, VA & Culpeper, VA

If you have diabetes, you need to watch out for a number of complications, not the least of which is diabetic neuropathy. In fact, worldwide, upwards of 50% of diabetics experience problems with neuropathy. To fight back against irreversible nerve damage, both Melissa L. Gulosh, DPM, and Joseph R. Disabato, DPM, at Virginia Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates have extensive experience managing diabetic neuropathy. If you’re in Charlottesville or Culpeper, Virginia, call or use the online scheduler to set up an appointment.

Diabetic Neuropathy Q & A

What is diabetic neuropathy?

Among diabetics, neuropathy remains at the top of the list of dangers that are brought about by the disease. Neuropathy, in its simplest definition, is damage to your peripheral nerves — any nerves outside your central nervous system — and for diabetics, this usually means the feet.

When you have diabetes, the levels of glucose, or sugar, in your bloodstream aren’t regulated properly, which can lead to a buildup that compromises your circulation. Since your feet are farthest from your heart, your body has to work harder to ensure sufficient circulation in these extremities under normal circumstances. With diabetes, this task is rendered all the more difficult because of sluggish blood flow.

This, in turn, often leads to nerve damage, which can be irreversible if you don’t seek intervention at Virginia Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates.

What are the signs of diabetic neuropathy?

The most common signs of diabetic neuropathy in your feet include:

  • Pain
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Muscle weakness
  • Insensitivity to heat and cold
  • Hypersensitivity to touch
  • Loss of reflexes and balance

Again, the importance of vigilant monitoring and early intervention can’t be stressed enough, so if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important that you get in to see one of the podiatrists at Virginia Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates as soon as possible.

How is diabetic neuropathy treated?

When it comes to diabetic neuropathy, the goal at Virginia Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates is twofold: to bring you relief and to stop irreversible nerve damage. First, the doctors use an innovative technique to diagnose the extent of your neuropathy — epidermal nerve fiber density (ENFD) testing. Once they have a better idea of what they’re dealing with, they typically recommend one, or more, of the following:

  • Regulation of your blood sugar levels
  • Custom orthotics
  • Medications to control the pain

Your doctor may also recommend some lifestyle changes, including losing weight and exercising. An important part of your management of diabetic neuropathy also includes diligent foot care, which includes:

  • Checking your feet daily
  • Washing and drying your feet every day
  • Wearing warm, dry socks
  • Wearing comfortable shoes with orthotics
  • Taking care to trim your toenails properly

For expert management and oversight of your diabetes, and to prevent diabetic neuropathy, call Virginia Foot & Ankle Associates or use the online booking tool to schedule a consultation.