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Diabetes can make your toes numb and affect walking ability: Quit smoking, have Vitamin B12-rich diet

Toe numbness may also lead to injuries and wounds.

ET CONTRIBUTORS|
Updated: Nov 13, 2019, 03.47 PM IST
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Even the mildest symptoms should not be ignored.
By Dr Roopak Wadhwa

The numbness of toes is a symptom that occurs when the patient experiences absence of feeling in his/her toes. This primarily happens when diabetes affects the nerves, which is called Diabetic Neuropathy, or the peripheral vessels, also known as peripheral vascular disease.

This can either be a temporary symptom or a chronic condition. The numbness can affect your ability to walk, and possibly lead to injuries and wounds. It is frequently called as Diasobic Foot. The numbness can also cause the feeling of pins & needles in your toes. This is also one of the leading causes of amputation in the world after the trauma.

Want To Keep Diabetes Away? Eat Walnuts, Apples, Carrots

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Foods For Diabetics

14 Nov, 2018
While being active, staying hydrated, and checking blood glucose levels can work wonders, it is important to stick to a dietary plan that will ward off diabetes in the long run. A recent study showed that antioxidant-rich walnuts can nearly halve the risk of developing Type-2 diabetes. For patients, the ideal diabetic diet plan would be to have 1200-1600 calories per day. It is recommended that diabetics should eat good carbs, fats, and healthy proteins, but in small portions. Doctors and dieticians share ultimate list of foods you must consume to stay healthy. Also read: The comprehensive diabetes guide
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Numbness can happen due to various reason. Some of them are:
  • Smoking
  • Frequent alcohol intake
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Sciatica
  • Peripheral vascular disease
  • Nerve compression syndromes

Some people experience exercise-related toe numbness, especially after a long run or physical activity. However, it tends to recover after resting for some time.

toes-numb1_iStock
The numbness can also cause the feeling of pins & needles in your toes.

How to manage toe numbness:
  • Visit your doctor
  • General physician or clinical examination is enough for diagnosis
  • Routine blood investigations can reveal the cause of numbness
  • Nerve conduction study, MRI of brain & spine, USG Doppler, angiography of limbs will also help
  • Treatment should be done aggressively
  • Diabetes management is the corner stone of the treatment
  • Replacement of deficient vitamins gives relief from symptoms
  • Nerve decompression at spinal or local level with surgery is sometimes only option
  • Medications altering the nerve excitation is needed for therapy both for temporary numbness and long terms.
  • Foot hygiene is also important in many cases for healing
  • Blood circulation is to be ensured surgically or medically for better control of symptoms
  • Even the mildest symptoms should not be ignored

(The author is Consultant, Diabetes, Endocrinology & Metabolic Disorder Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh)


(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this column are that of the writer. The facts and opinions expressed here do not reflect the views of www.economictimes.com.)
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