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.
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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.
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Numbness can happen due to various reason. Some of them are:
- Frequent alcohol intake
- Vitamin B12 deficiency
- Spinal cord injury
- 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.
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)