I read an article recently concerning a former English soccer star, Gary Mabbutt. He was visiting his daughter in South Africa. While he was sleeping, a rat chewed into his foot and ate his big toe “down to the bone”. I read the comments at the end of the story and was amazed at the lack of knowledge the general public has concerning one of the most severe problems that affect millions of Americans. It is so endemic and most people have no clue to the complications that can occur with this disease. How can someone not know that a rat is biting them? Can they not feel any pain? Are they too intoxicated or under the influence of narcotics? Well, the answer is that peripheral neuropathy, specifically diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) in this case is the cause of loss of sensation including not feeling pain! If you can not feel pain, then you are extremely susceptible to severe limb and life threatening injuries.
You ask, how can this happen? Peripheral neuropathy has many causes, some are not quite understood, but we do know that a large number of diabetics will develop progressive peripheral neuropathy in their legs and feet. Symptoms usually start gradually developing over time. By the time a person knows something is wrong, they are already at high risk for developing sores on their feet called ulcers (skin breakdown due to pressure). The ulcers can deepen all the way to bone and most of the time, the bone becomes infected (osteomyelitis). When this occurs in the toes or ball of the feet, then amputation of toes or feet becomes necessary to stop the infection. Partial toe or foot amputations can progress to either below the knee or above the knee amputations. Patients with a leg amputation have a 50% chance of losing the other leg within 5 years. This often leads to premature death usually from a heart attack (myocardial infarction).
Now that you know the real story, how can someone treat peripheral neuropathy to prevent amputations? First of all, there is no magic pill to take. Medication can alleviate some of the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy but there is no known cure for neuropathy. However, there are new exciting treatments available that can reverse the nerve damage. Our Neurogenx treatment (electronic signal treatment) uses sophisticated computerized electronic frequencies with varying amplitudes to help heal the nerve damage caused not only from diabetes but from other causes such as chemotherapy. Reversing the nerve damage is not possible in every patient, but 4 out of 5 of our patients relate improvement of varying degrees.
If you have peripheral neuropathy of any type, please call our office at 937-435-7477 for a complimentary Neurogenx consultation.