Do I Have Neuropathy?
Neuropathy can only be diagnosed by your doctor after thorough physical examination and tests.
What is Neuropathy?
There are three types of nerves in our feet. These are sensory nerve, motor nerve and autonomic nerve. Any or all of these nerves can be damaged in diabetes.
- The sensory nerves are being damaged from chronically high levels of sugar molecules in the blood.
- Symptoms include tingling, burning, pins and needle sensation, and having stabbing pain in the foot. You feel as if there are millions of ants crawling on your leg.
- If you have chronic and uncontrolled diabetes for a long time, then you will gradually lose the ability to feel sharp and dull sensations and your feet will eventually become numb.
- If you lose the pain sensation, you will have difficulty in feeling cuts and feeling hot and cold.
When you lose pain sensation, the calluse at the bottom of the foot is no longer felt, continued ground pressure causes break of calluse and eventually become infected .
Autonomic nerves affect sweat secretion and oil production that lubricates the skin of the foot. So damaged nerves can lead to excessively dry cracked skin especially around the heel and brittle and dry toenails that are vulnerable to fungal infection.
The motor nerves controls the muscles and tendons of your feet. Damaged motor nerves cannot keep the shape of the foot intact but allow gradual change in the shape of your feet. Then you notice gradual development of hammertoes, and bunion, buildup of calluses at the bottom of the foot and loss of the foot arch.