The brain and spinal cord make up the Central Nervous System, and the outlying nerves that transmit information to and from the brain are referred to as peripheral nerves. When these transmitting nerves suffer loss or are damaged, it is called peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral Neuropathy is often associated with Diabetes. Initial symptoms may be mild and nearly impossible to detect, but damaged nerves do not repair themselves, the symptoms simply advance. Most likely, the patient will experience a burning sensation, numbness or both. When this occurs, not only are the feelings themselves problematic, but it can also lead to a wide variety of related issues such as weakness, loss of ability to control muscles, falls and fractures.
Since nerve damage cannot be repaired, there is a two-prong attack when it comes to managing the symptoms, first is pain management and second is keeping strict control of the Diabetes. Peripheral Neuropathy, again, is not curable; at best, progression may be held off. There are at least three things that people can do to slow down advancing neuropathy. These are control their diet, stop smoking and avoid alcohol. Contributing factors to neuropathy include advanced age, high blood pressure and height.
Research indicates that all races are affected, as well as both genders. But where both men and women are equally at risk, severity tends to escalate in women. Forewarned is forearmed. Education is vital. Good nutritional habits are important and so is activity and exercise. It is also important that the patient take a little extra care of the feet.  Good hygiene, careful nail trimming and sensible well fit shoes are essential. Also it is important to stay caught up on medical appointments so that health care providers are aware of the changing conditions of the patients’ feet and can alter treatment as indicated. If you are diabetic, it is crucial that you see a podiatrist on a regular basis as well to maintain the health of your feet. Contact Dr. Andrew Marso, podiatrist in Hales Corners, WI at 414-425-8400 or http://www.forestviewfoot.com.

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