There are over than 21 million known people with diabetes in the United States, and this staggering figure continues to grow by almost one-half million annually. It has been estimated that an equal number of persons with diabetes remain undiagnosed. A person develops diabetes when their body is unable to maintain a normal level of sugar in the blood. Insulin, the hormone that regulates the level of sugar, is either not used properly by the body or it is produced in inadequate amounts. When this occurs, diabetes is the result.
Diabetes wreaks havoc with many major organ systems in the human body. Among others, it tends to create some of the worst and life altering complications in the feet. Over one half of diabetic hospital admissions are foot related. This is typically due to the disease process’ effect on the nerves and blood vessels. As a result, the main complications include neuropathy (altered sensations which can eventually lead to numbness), peripheral arterial disease, increased risk of infection, decrease in tissue integrity and compromised healing capacity.
Peripheral Neuropathy can manifest itself as abnormal sensations such as burning, tingling, numbness, and pain. Often, patients report feelings of ants crawling on their skin. Treatment can include medications, infra-red light therapy such as Anodyne, and surgical nerve decompression.