Peripheral Neuropathy, Diabetes, and Your Feet

When you have peripheral neuropathy caused by diabetes, your feet and skin need extra care and attention.

Very small, repetitive injuries to the feet -- like those caused by poorly fitting shoes -- can lead to bigger problems, says Tom Elasy, MD, MPH, a diabetes researcher at the Diabetes Center at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. "Calluses, blisters, sores, infections, and foot ulcers may appear on numb areas of the foot, because pressure or injury goes unnoticed. This happens simply because you can't feel the problem."

Type 2 diabetes is a common and serious disease in the United States and worldwide. However, it’s thought that one-third of those with type 2 diabetes are unaware that they have this serious illness. Because often there are no symptoms with type 2 diabetes, early screening may help people avoid the more serious complications of this disease, including chronic hyperglycemia that’s associated with long-term damage of the eyes, kidneys, nerves, heart, and blood vessels. Persons with undiagnosed type...

Read the Type 2 Diabetes Screening article > >

Also, people with uncontrolled diabetes have a hard time fighting infections. They may also have poor circulation that can lead to problems with healing. That means a minor cut in the skin could become an ulcer or develop into a serious infection. With good foot care, you can prevent most of these problems.

Inspect Feet Daily if You Have Diabetes

"We recommend that patients inspect their feet on a daily basis for cuts, any signs of redness, calluses, or blisters," says Elasy. "Using a little mirror can help. Also, it's important to moisturize. But avoid getting it between the toes, because that area is already moist. So extra moisture tends to cause fungal infections."

Even if you have diabetes, caring for your feet is easy. It's best to do it when you are bathing or getting ready for bed. And remember that good foot care also involves getting medical help early if a problem develops. It's very important to see your doctor for treatment right away -- to prevent serious complications like infections.

Here are good everyday foot care habits to follow:

Inspect feet daily. Wash your feet, and then thoroughly dry them. Use a handheld mirror (like a magnifying mirror) to inspect them. Look for blisters, cuts, cracks, dry skin, redness, tenderness, or sores on the skin, between the toes, and on the soles of your feet.

Powder in between your toes. This helps keep that moist skin dry and helps prevent fungal infections.

Rub lotion on feet and legs to prevent dry cracked skin. But don't put lotion between the toes because of the risk of fungal infections.

Keep nails trimmed. Use an emery board for filing so you don't hurt your skin.

Protect your feet. Always wear shoes or slippers to protect feet from injury. Don't use a heating pad or hot water bottle to warm your feet.

Get checkups at the doctor. On each visit, make sure the doctor inspects your feet.

Don't use corn removers or other drugstore foot treatments. These can be harmful. Let a doctor treat your foot problems.

Wear properly fitted shoes. Also, wear socks at all times to prevent injury.

20 Replies

  • If not a Thyroid patient then add


    Alpha Lipoic Acid has been used as primary line of treatment in Germany. Prefer that you take this with Biotin.

  • Sir,,kindly give the brand names of ALA and Boitin,,so that I can buy in stores and also ASTAXANTHIN PLEASE

  • Anup Sir,

    Can you give some more details of This ALPHA LIPOIC ACID Treatment

    sharatsnh has given good info,Thanks Dear

  • Alpha Lipoic Acid is recommended by Dr Bernstein to every diabetic. I am a staunch follower of Dr Bernstien as i live on Lower CARBS and HIgher FAT diet.

    Dr Bernstein recommends that this be taken alongwith Biotin. M ore on ALA:

    I order mine online and i dont suffer from neuropathy so my dose i have kept at 300mg OID. This is an antioxidant also. I take Alpha Lipoic Acid 300mg and ASTAXANTHIN 6mg as supplements.

  • anupji aap kya kya jante hai

    regards panchsheel

  • More here:

    Since this is also said to reduce BGL if you are taking Anto Diabetic drug you will need to monitor the dose.

    This is not recommended for Thyroid patients.

  • Very very informative article and comprehensive too.Please keep blogging on each of such topics that are of vital importance to the diabetics.

  • i am suffering from this problem for the past 6 years.every time i used to go the diabetologist,he used to tell me that there is no medicine for this problem,until i get my blood sugar levels to normal levels.ultimately about 4 months back,i changed my doctor who diagonised the problem correctly and started the god.s grace the blood sugar levels are normal and the burning sensations in my foot has totally stopped and slowly the numbness is disappearing.


  • An excellent information please.

  • can it be stopped by medicines or some other sort of treatment.? i m feeling this problem at initial stage.

  • Dear Ravindranath Shenoy, thank u for the information. I am a diabetic type 2 patient. i am a veg and at 64 yrs. it is for the last 5 years. i am a smoker and trying to give it up. now reduced to 6 to 7 cig daily. i am having sometime burning, numb and cramping although my diabetic level is 80 fasting and 150 pp. Dr.advised me to leave the cig totally and this problem will go off once and for all. i am trying my level best. pls suggest what are the medicines u are taking or suggestion please. Regards

  • It is a good article and everybody should know this and beware of injuries in foot.Thank u sir.

  • in di patioent smoking injured dangrusly to act long infectionand blood vesels infection so others muust stop smking.previously i use 10 packets and half bottle rum ill seriously medicinces not work the pitutary effect dia bectic inspidus my out put 8 lits used manymedicences , isuffer many type lastls ipush in s s s y i completcure twoor twoand half out put my weight 30kgs to65 kgs no iam64 just iused drugs prvently mentally and phycically i right.


  • Dear Ravindranathshenoy,

    Thanks for the information you provided. Please give the name, contact no. and location/ address of the Doctor you are under treatment. I am Type 2 Diabetic for the last 10 years, also feeling numbness in my feet for the last six month and taking "PREGAB M 75" one daily along

    with other diabetic treatment.

    Please inform me on my email ID:

  • Dear All,

    Any diabetic who is having such foot problems or peripheral nerves problems MUST quit tobacco in any form as well as intoxicating drinks.Half of your problem is solved,

  • Excellent article very informative and useful for diabetics like me.Please keep writing.

  • Please Advise me how to keep the muscles strong despite Controll of Diabetes -2 with hypoglycemic tablets Or using insulin And especially how to Avoid Nuropathy of Heart ,Retinopathy of eyes, And Renal failure ,i feel My musles are going week day by day despite mu blood sugar fasting 80 And 175 PP,I anm Taking minerals ,Omega -3 etc AS Supportive Suppliments to Avoid Nuropathy ??????? Also Please let me know is Insulin is better than hypoglycemic tablets to controll Diabetes-2 And Also is it safer in comparison if be consider Side Affects ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  • very good information

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