Podiatrists near Scottsdale regularly see diabetic patients who report different symptoms of diabetic neuropathy. Diabetic neuropathy is a general term for different forms of nerve damage that affect about half of diabetic individuals and can lead to serious health problems. Fortunately, an experienced doctor can alleviate painful symptoms and prevent further damage. If you or a loved one suffers from diabetic neuropathy, contact your foot and ankle doctor, and check out this brief overview of the different kinds of diabetic neuropathy.
The most common symptom of peripheral neuropathy is a tingling sensation in the feet that most patients say feels like pins and needles. Many people also report burning or shooting pains in the feet and ankles, extreme sensitivity to touch, and difficulty sleeping due to pain in the feet or varying sensations of heat and cold. Numbness or weakness are also prevalent. Due to nerve damage, some people cannot feel their feet at all or feel unsteady when walking.
Autonomic neuropathy affects the autonomic nerves, which control the bladder, intestinal tract, and genitals, among other organs. With this kind of neuropathy, many patients suffer from bladder paralysis, which can cause urine to remain in the bladder and lead to infections. The stomach may also stop functioning properly, leading to vomiting and bloating. If the stomach loses its ability to move food through the digestive system, doctors can have a hard time managing a patient’s insulin doses.
Also called Charcot joint or Charcot foot, this type of neuropathy makes it impossible for a sufferer to feel pain in the foot. The nerve and muscle damage also make it impossible for a patient to sense his or her foot’s position or walk properly. Without treatment by a podiatrist or foot and ankle specialist, the foot can collapse completely. Common symptoms of Charcot joint include swelling, redness, heat, and foot insensitivity, and should be immediately reported to a foot doctor.