Neuropathy is the loss of sensation of nerves, peripheral neuropathy is the  loss of sensation in peripheral nerves. There are several causes of this condition both systemic or caused by disease processes. The most common cause of  peripheral neuropathy is diabetes that is poorly controlled. If a peripheral nerve is damaged the patient will initially feel tingling in the feet the skin may become hypersensitive and quite painful just to touch. As time goes by the sensation in the foot reduces. This is a major complication especially for diabetic patients. It means that they loose protective sensation ie they cannot feel damage to their foot. If a normal patient cuts their foot they will feel it however a patient with peripheral neuropathy may not feel it, in a diabetic patient this can have serious consequences it means they will leave an open wound untreated which can lead to serious infection. Patients who suffer from diabetes should have their risk for peripheral neuropathy checked by a Podiatrist. They should check the condition of their feet daily even if that means using a mirror on the floor to see the bottom of the foot. Their Podiatrist should also advise them on good fitting shoes and any corns and callus should only be removed by the Podiatrist, they should never use corn pads and home treatment methods. Peripheral neuropathy can have serious consequences in the diabetic patient most of these are avoidable with a regular visit to the Podiatrist.
















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Page last updated 14 October, 2007