Medical City Dallas

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Baylor, Scott & White Plano

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Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

by Dr. David R. Northcutt
Dr. David Northcutt is a podiatrist and foot and ankle surgeon at Dallas Podiatry Works in TX.
“My name is Dr. David Northcutt. I’m one of the podiatrists here at Dallas Podiatry Works. Today I want to discuss diabetic peripheral neuropathy. There are several reasons for the development of peripheral neuropathy, but diabetic peripheral neuropathy is one of the most common.

Diabetic peripheral neuropathy simply means nerve damage that is caused from having diabetes. This is not something that develops rapidly, but is a slowly worsening and progressive condition which happens over the period of several years. The loss of sensation that occurs with nerve damage from diabetes makes the patient more prone to developing open sores or ulcers.

Patients often do not know that they have a sore or wound, due to this lack of sensation. This can lead to significant complications including amputations. Diabetic peripheral neuropathy usually occurs in patients who do not maintain their blood sugar well, however it can occur in anyone with diabetes.

The symptoms of neuropathy include numbness, tingling, pain, burning in the feet which can progress up to the legs, there’s often loss of muscle tone, loss of balance, and changes to foot structure. To determine whether you have diabetic peripheral neuropathy, a history and physical will be performed. Simple, in office, non-invasive testing helps to diagnose the problem. Neurologic tests sometimes are ordered. Sometimes a biopsy of the peripheral nerves in the skin may also be performed. Treatment of diabetic peripheral neuropathy begins with good control of your blood sugar. There are oral medications as well as topical medications that may reduce your symptoms. Prevention of diabetic peripheral neuropathy includes maintaining good blood sugar levels.

If you have any symptoms of numbness, burning, tingling in your feet or legs, please give us a call at Dallas Podiatry Works. We will work to get the correct diagnosis to help relieve your symptoms.”

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