We have discussed in this blog the many issues a diabetic may face in maintaining their health. Neuropathy, or loss of sensation, is a major contributor to the development of pain and diabetic ulcers. What can be done to battle this problem? Let’s discuss.
First and foremost, a person with diabetes must look at their feet frequently. Their eyes need to become surrogate nerves for their feet. By performing a daily inspection of the soles of their feet, in between the toes, and on top, they are more apt to finding a developing ulcer sooner. If it is too difficult to inspect their feet themselves, have a family member do it, or place a mirror somewhere it can be used to see the feet.
Another important tool that can be used is a temperature gauge like the TempTouch. An ulcer usually occurs because of excess pressure and friction on a certain spot on the foot. These rubbing forces create heat. By using a device that can measure the temperature of the skin, you can get an idea of where the pressure and friction are concentrated before an ulcer occurs i.e. the hot spots. You can then take measures to off-load or add extra padding to that part of the foot. This type of temperature gauge can help alert you before an ulcer occurs, and it costs about the same as a month’s worth of neuropathy medication.
Lastly, there have been some recent advances in pharmaceutical treatment of neuropathy. Lyrica and Cymbalta are two newer drugs that have been very effective. In the past, neuropathy medications required you to take them three times a day and you needed to slowly build up the levels in your body to avoid side effects. Both Cymbalta and Lyrica are taken once a day, do not require slow introduction, have very minimal side effects, and provide relief sooner.