Diabetic Neuropathy

Podiatrists in Scottsdale, AZ and Renton, Silverdale, Redmond, Puyallup and Everett, WA

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Diabetic Neuropathy services offered in Scottsdale, AZ and Renton, Silverdale, Redmond, Puyallup and Everett, WA

Up to 50% of people with diabetes also experience diabetic neuropathy, or permanent nerve damage, caused by high blood sugar. If you have diabetes, routine checkups at the podiatrist can keep your blood sugar in check, reducing your risk of complications. At Southwest Foot & Ankle Center, podiatrist Petrina Lewis, DPM, FACFAS, provides various treatments for diabetic neuropathy, including laser therapy and wound care. To make an appointment, call the office in Scottsdale, Arizona, or book online today.

What is diabetic neuropathy?

Diabetic neuropathy is permanent nerve damage that tends to affect the legs and feet. It occurs when your blood sugar levels remain high for extended periods without intervention.

If you have diabetes, it’s crucial to regularly check your blood sugar. Diabetic neuropathy doesn’t always present obvious symptoms, so you might be at risk and not know it.

What are the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy?

Symptoms of diabetic neuropathy include:

  • Reduced ability to feel pain or temperature changes
  • Tingling or burning sensations in your hands or feet
  • Muscle weakness
  • Sharp pain or cramps
  • Extreme sensitivity to touch

As the condition worsens, you might also develop slow-healing wounds on your legs and feet.

Who should see a podiatrist about diabetic neuropathy?

Make an appointment at Southwest Foot & Ankle Center if you have diabetes and experience a cut or sore on your foot that doesn’t heal. That’s especially true if you experience other symptoms, like weakness, burning, or tingling, that affect your mobility or sleep.

Who is at risk of diabetic neuropathy?

Anyone with diabetes can develop neuropathy, but several factors may increase your risk, including:

  • Smoking
  • Being overweight
  • Having kidney disease
  • Failing to keep your blood sugar in check

The length of time you’ve had diabetes also plays a role. The longer your blood sugar remains high, the more likely you are to experience neuropathy.

How is diabetic neuropathy diagnosed?

At Southwest Foot & Ankle Center, Dr. Lewis diagnoses diabetic neuropathy by reviewing your medical records, asking about your symptoms, and performing an exam. 

During the exam, she checks your feet for sores and open wounds, tests your tendon reflexes, and assesses your sensitivity to touch. She also orders electromyography and nerve conduction testing.

Electromyography measures the electrical charges produced by your muscles, while nerve conduction testing assesses how quickly the nerves in your arms and legs respond to electric signals.

How is diabetic neuropathy treated?

There’s no cure for diabetic neuropathy, but with routine checkups, healthy lifestyle changes, and treatment, it’s possible to relieve pain, manage complications, and slow the disease’s progression. 

Depending on your age, symptoms, and medical history, Dr. Lewis might recommend:

  • Keeping your blood sugar in check
  • Insulin therapy
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Eating a balanced diet
  • Exercising regularly
  • Quitting smoking
  • Wound care
  • Laser treatment
  • PRP treatment
  • Shockwave therapy

At first, it may take some trial and error to determine the approach that works best. Be patient and make sure to attend each of your checkups.

If you’re concerned about having diabetic neuropathy or think you might have it, make an appointment at Southwest Foot & Ankle Center. Click the online booking feature or call the office today.