Frequent Questions on Peripheral Neuropathy
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Other than diabetes, what can cause neuropathy?
Diabetes is the most common cause of peripheral neuropathy—up to 70% of people with the disease will develop some amount of nerve damage according to some studies—but it’s far from the only one. Other possible contributors include:
- Trauma (acute or overuse injuries from sports, car accidents, repetitive motions, etc.)
- Alcohol abuse
- Certain medications
- Bacterial or viral infections
- Vitamin deficiencies (particularly Vitamin B variants, Vitamin E, and niacin)
- Autoimmune diseases
- Inherited disorders
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Exposure to toxins or poisons
If you notice the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy in your feet—usually a tingling, burning, prickling, numbing, or similar sensation—don’t wait for the problem to get much worse before seeking help. A careful diagnosis and prompt treatment from Dr. Keith McSpadden and the team at North Austin Foot & Ankle Institute at the earliest possible stage can help you limit the extent of the damage, alleviate any painful issues, and restore as much nerve function as possible. Request an appointment online, or give us a call today at (512) 593-2949.
How often should I perform diabetic self exams?
At least daily.
Self-exams are a crucial part of daily diabetic foot care. Since complications of diabetes can limit your body’s ability to heal itself and also inhibit sensation in your lower legs, a manual exam is sometimes the only way to detect problems such as blisters, cuts, and scrapes before they get infected and become open sores or ulcers.
A good policy is to perform a quick exam morning, night, and any time you remove your shoes. You should be looking for signs of pressure, redness, swelling, or broken skin anywhere, including your sole, toenail edges, and between toes. If you need some assistance, ask a loved one to help or use a small mirror to check every spot.
If you have diabetes but no obvious foot deformities or problems such as neuropathy or vascular disease, you should still get a professional exam annually. If you have symptoms, we’ll advise you how often you should come in.
Need to schedule a check-up? Have any concerns about your diabetic foot care? Contact Keith McSpadden, DPM today. You can book online, or set up an appointment at one of our two Austin-area offices by calling 512-593-2949.