The United States is the second leading country for amputations in the world. More amputations are related to neuropathy than any other cause.
Neuropathy is a condition that affects nerves and results in damage to the nerves when sugar levels are elevated in diabetes. When this occurs nerve impulses may not be transmitted from the feet to the brain to warn our bodies of impending danger to the feet, such as: hot temperatures, sharp objects and pressure. Typically a patient with neuropathy may experience complete numbness or tingling sensation in the feet which may be warning signs of more serious trouble.
Every diabetic should have an annual foot exam by a podiatrist in which neuropathy can be found be for an ensuing amputation. Your doctor may also wish to discuss one of the newest methods to diagnose neuropathy by performing a tiny skin biopsy that reveals neuropathy at its earliest stages by counting the number of tiny free nerve endings in the skin or in sweat glands which can be found many years before it presents in the feet. This latest method may diagnose neuropathy 5-8 years ahead of time before normal routine testing.
Equally exciting is a new medicine which helps the damaged nerve fibers to repair as opposed to treating just the symptoms.
We recommend discussing this new testing and treatment options with your podiatrist to see if you are a candidate.