Diabetes has been closely associated with neuropathy because of the potentially devastating complications-
Diabetic neuropathy grabs the headlines but millions on non-diabetics also suffer from this condition. As mentioned there are many other causes of neuropathy including thyroid disorder, auto-immune diseases, alcoholism, vitamin deficiencies, lower spinal problems, side effects from chemotherapy and other medications, exposure to certain chemicals, injury and inherited disorders. Surprisingly in over 50 % of all patients diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy, the exact cause in unknown-which is called idiopathic neuropathy.
Whether a person has neuropathy from diabetes or some other cause, there are some common denominators for both:
• A proper diagnosis is essential. For example neuropathy due to thyroid disorder or from a side effect from a prescription medication must be identified and treated. Similarly, neuropathy as a result of a vitamin deficiency (often Vitamin B12, B6 or folic acid), also must be addressed.
• Peripheral neuropathy primarily effects the feet, although in some cases the hands as well. People with neuropathy should check their feet on a regular basis to make sure that problems such as a blisters, corns, calluses and ingrown toenails have not developed as this can lead to more serious problems.
• Foot problems should be treated by a podiatrist-self treatment including the use of strong acid medications often results in additional complications.
Whether a person has diabetic or non-diabetic neuropathy, extreme caution is advised for prevention of potentially dangerous foot complications. Although we generally look upon pain as a negative sensation, it actually can be considered” a warning alarm system.” Pain alerts us to the fact that something is amiss in our bodies. Many neuropathy sufferers lack proper sensation and minor problems, especially in the feet, can become much more serious if gone undetected. It therefore is incumbent on people with peripheral neuropathy, to exercise due diligence and check your feet on a regular basis
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The Foot Pain Center was established in 1974 by Dr. Marc Spitz. An all-inclusive practice, we offers comprehensive diagnostic and therapeutic medical care for patients with general foot and toenail disorders, diabetic problems and peripheral neuropathy.