Dr. Lasday: Hi there! How may I help you today?
New Patient: Dr. Lasday, my feet are tingling and numb, and sometimes they even burn. I’m really starting to get concerned.
Dr. Lasday: Alright–I have a few questions for you and then I will want to take a look…
This is a conversation I have quite frequently in my office. Peripheral neuropathy is a condition in which the nerves of the feet and/or legs do not function properly. Symptoms may include numbness, tingling, raw or burning sensation. Peripheral neuropathy wreaks havoc with the peripheral nervous system. This is the communications network that transmits information from the brain and spinal cord (the central nervous system) to every other part of the body. The peripheral system also sends information back to the brain and spinal cord, like “Ouch, that stove is hot!”
There are many causes of peripheral neuropathy. It may result from diabetes, alcohol, autoimmune diseases like Lupus, inherited disorders such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease, or vitamin deficiency. Physicians will diagnose peripheral neuropathy through a comprehensive evaluation of the feet and legs. Physicians may also test the nerves of the feet and legs for their ability to conduct certain impulses. Some physicians may also conduct a skin biopsy of the feet or legs in order to examine the nerves under a microscope.
Treatment of peripheral neuropathy is dependent upon the cause. For example, Thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency is a well known cause of peripheral neuropathy. Oftentimes, people with diabetes are also Thiamine deficient. Reversing thiamine deficiency is often a successful treatment for peripheral neuropathy. For those who are suffering from peripheral neuropathy due to Thiamine deficiency, Neuremedy may be the answer you are looking for to find relief. This is an over-the-counter pharmaceutical grade medical food that nourishes the affected nerves. You may purchase it here without a prescription or doctor visit, although a visit to your podiatrist is highly recommended.
General ways to possibly alleviate the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy include maintaining a healthy weight for your frame, avoiding exposure to toxins, following a physician-supervised exercise program, eating a balanced diet, and limiting or avoiding alcohol consumption.
Quitting smoking is also important because smoking constricts the blood vessels that supply nutrients to the peripheral nerves and can worsen neuropathic symptoms. If you are diabetic, self-care skills such as proper foot care and careful wound treatment is critical to alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life. In diabetes, one of the best things you can do is make sure you have tight control over your blood sugar.
If you suspect you may have peripheral neuropathy or are suffering from the symptoms mentioned above, please contact my office for an appointment for a complete and thorough evaluation.