Castro Valley

19845 Lake Chabot Rd. Suite #301
Castro Valley, CA 94546

Phone: 510-581-1484
Fax: 510-581-7779

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group podiatrist photo of foot doctors working at the Castro Valley location of Bay Area Foot Care

Diabetes affects an incredible number of Americans and is a leading cause for individuals to seek medical attention concerning their feet. About 60% to 70% of all people who have diabetes will develop a condition called Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy, or DPN.

DPN is caused by two things: chronically high blood sugar and, of course, diabetes. The condition progresses to a loss of sensation and sometimes even pain in your hands, feet, and/or legs.

The chronically high levels of blood sugar damage the nerves in your extremities, and once damaged, they can no longer carry messages between the brain and other parts of the body. This means a person with DPN will experience diminished sensitivity or even a complete lack of response to heat, cold, or pain in the legs, feet, or hands.

Why is this a bad thing? If a patient were to get a cut or sore on an extremity affected by DPN, they may not know it. Because of a lack of blood flow to the areas affected by DPN, these wounds refuse to heal and become infected, which then can lead to amputation or even death. Therefore, if you have diabetes, it is incredibly important that you check your feet and legs daily.

Wouldn’t I know if I was experiencing numbness? The simple answer is no. Nerve damage caused by DPN presents itself differently in each person.

A person may begin to experience tingling in the affected extremity and later feel pain. Others may lose feeling in the extremity. The main complication lies in the slow progression of these changes as they occur over a period of years, and many affected never even notice until it becomes severe.

Another factor we hear on a regular basis is that because these are slow and subtle changes that most commonly come paired with advanced age, people tend to ignore the signs of nerve damage and think that they just come as a consequence of growing old.

Luckily, there are treatments for DPN. A visit to our San Francisco Post location will allow you and your clinician to decide on which treatments may be right for you and allow for greater confidence in managing the consequences of diabetes.

There are a few early signs and symptoms that a person can watch for that can serve as indicators to make an appointment:

  • Increased Sensitivity to Touch: The presence of this in an extremity or a persistent tingling sensation are often precursors to a complete loss of sensation. These issues coupled with diabetes are a prime indicator to visit our clinic.
  • Foot Drop: Foot Drop is a condition that results from muscle weakness caused by chronically elevated blood-sugar levels. The condition makes it difficult to begin or complete the movement of the foot, leading to your foot “dropping” unexpectedly. Foot Drop is a precursor to more severe muscle weakness that will further limit movement.
  • Balance Issues: It is very common to begin to feel uncoordinated and unsteady. This is a secondary consequence of the muscle damage as the body attempts to compensate and adapt.

The best way to avoid mild or serious consequences of DPN is by taking pain (or lack thereof) seriously, especially when coupled with diabetes.

If you feel like you experience any of these symptoms, make an appointment at our San Francisco Post clinic. Our clinicians will be ready to help you take the necessary steps to a healthy life with DPN.

 

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