Neuropathy

This term refers to any class of symptoms affecting the nerves of the body. In the foot, most commonly it is caused by diabetes mellitus and refers to a group of symptoms which are the result of diseased or injured nerves. Initially patients will relate symptoms of burning, tingling, “ants crawling” on feet and/or “electric shocks” in the feet. In the later or more severe stages of neuropathy patients will develop numbness or “anesthesia” of the foot. Patients will lose the ability to feel the bottoms of their feet. This is extremely dangerous as it can result in limb threatening consequences such as ulcers, and injury due to altered gait patterns. If you are experiencing these types of symptoms you should be seen by a podiatrist immediately and you should advise your family doctor as often times, these symptoms are the first signs of diabetes mellitus. Patient who have undergone chemotherapy or have a history of alcohol abuse can also develop neuropathy. Treatment options, depending on the root cause of the problem, range from topical creams, to customs made inserts and shoes, to medications, to dietary supplements, to surgical treatments of the nerves.

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