5 Questions to Ask Your Podiatrist About Neuropathy
March 19, 2019
Did you know diabetes is the leading cause of neuropathy in the United States? About 60 - 70% of people with diabetes have mild to severe forms of nerve damage. Nerve damage causes symptoms like tingling, burning feet, pain, and numbness. If you have diabetic neuropathy, it is highly recommended to see a podiatrist that knows about diabetic foot. Here are 5 questions you should absolutely ask your podiatrist.
1- Should I be tested for a vitamin deficiency?
Vitamin B12 deficiency is one of the causes of nerve damage. B12 is known to help build and maintain a protective layer around the nerves, as well as, boost and repair damaged nerves.
When you see your doctor, ask about whether or not he/she believes you have a vitamin deficiency. A simple blood test can show if you need to take extra vitamins or change your diet.
2- How can I manage numbness, burning, tingling in my feet and toes?
If you have nerve damage, you may feel numb, burning, or tingling in your feet and/or toes. Both prescription and over-the-counter medications can help some of these symptoms. In addition to oral pain relievers, there are topical creams made to help with the symptoms of neuropathy.
Some creams contain capsaicin. This component brings temporary relief if you have nerve damage.
3- Are there any local support group or networks for people with nerve damage?
With diabetes, often comes anxiety or depression. The symptoms of depression are restless sleep, mood swings, hopelessness, loss of interest, insomnia.
You can join local networks or online support groups to connect with people going through the same thing than you. Join our Diabetic and Charcot Foot America Facebook support group to benefit from the experience and testimonials of thousands of people with diabetes.
4- Is there anything I need to be cautious about?
Since neuropathy often causes numbness, it is essential that you take extra care of your feet. Avoid extreme cold or heat and check your feet daily for any signs of injury.
Check for blisters or infections or other signs of problems. Wash your feet daily with warm water and be sure to dry them thoroughly. Make sure your shoes and socks fit comfortably and aren’t causing any pressure or irritation on the feet – as this may go unnoticed with numbness.
You don't want to cause more problems when some simple preventative measures can protect you from them. When you’re visiting your podiatrist, it should be part of your conversation.
5- How can we prevent it from becoming a bigger problem?
With more information, you will be able to choose the best treatment for you. Ask your doctor how to prevent the larger complications of nerve damage. They may tell you to change your diet, exercise, or take different medical tests.
We hope you enjoyed reading this article. Feel free to share in the comments other questions you recommend to ask a podiatrist. If interested you can also read The Doctors That Can Help With Your Diabetic Neuropathy or The Best Shoes for Diabetic Neuropathy.