What Does Neuropathy of the Foot Feel Like?

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Feet like these can suffer from nerve damage.
Feet like these can suffer from nerve damage. (Image: Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Sasha Wolff)

Neuropathy is a condition in which your nervous system has been damaged. If you think you are experiencing symptoms of neuropathy, see your doctor to treat the condition and prevent further damage as soon as possible. According to the Mayo Clinic, you can often improve your neuropathy symptoms over time. This is particularly true if you are successful in treating the medical condition that causes your neuropathy.

Types

There are two main categories of your nervous system. Your brain and spinal cord are included in the central nervous system. The peripheral nervous system includes all other nerves, such as motor nerves for muscle movement and sensory nerves to detect sensations (such as heat).

Identification

Some common symptoms of peripheral neuropathy include tingling, numbness and burning and sharp pain. You may also experience a lack of coordination, sensitivity to touch and muscle weakness.

Causes

There are several possible causes for peripheral neuropathy, such as vitamin deficiencies, alcoholism, autoimmune diseases (like lupus), other diseases such as kidney or liver disease, some inherited disorders, poison exposure and diabetes. Your neuropathy may also be caused by trauma to the nerves.

Considerations

If your feet have turned numb, don't walk around barefoot. You may not be able to sense if you've stepped on something and injured your foot. Check your feet at the end of each day for any cuts that might become infected.

Treatment

Your doctor will propose a plan of treatment specifically designed to address the underlying condition that causes your neuropathy. For example, if diabetes causes it, then you'll need to carefully control your blood sugar levels. She may also prescribe pain medications and recommend topical pain relievers, such as a lidocaine patch.

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