You might be surprised to learn how many people are living with Charcot’s foot. There are no accurate estimates concerning the exact number of people that suffer from the condition because it is not a “disease”.
It is usually a complication of diabetic neuropathy. There are some 24 million diabetics in the US alone. of that 24 million, 60-70% will develop neuropathies or nerve damage that can lead to Charcot’s foot.
Neuropathic joints often called Charcot’s joints, are caused by loss of sensation in the joint so that it is severely damaged and disrupted. The Charcot’s foot is triggered by a combination of mechanical, vascular and biological factors which can lead to late diagnosis and incorrect treatment and eventually to the destruction of the foot.
Charcot’s joint, also known as neurogenic arthropathy, is a chronic, progressive and degenerative disease of one or more joints characterized by swelling, joint instability, hemorrhage, heat and atrophic or hypertrophic changes in the bone.
This disease can be caused by neurological disorders, diabetic neuropathy, leprosy and reduced or absent pain sensation in the joint. This condition usually affects the knees.
Charcot’s foot is a condition used to describe the effect of bone softening that happens within the foot. This occurs as a result of neuropathy or extreme nerve damage. The bones become too weak and eventually become easily fractured.
Because the nerves have become too damaged, stimuli are no longer being transmitted such as feelings of pain. In addition, muscle movement is also hampered. Since nothing is felt within the area due to nerve damage, the whole bone structure of the feet experiences stress and trauma repeatedly until it collapses.
As the person continues to use his or her feet for walking despite the condition, the foot begins to change its shape. In its developed stage, the arch of the foot will probably collapse, therefore giving the foot a rocker-bottom shape. As a result, normal walking becomes almost impossible to handle.
Charcot’s foot is a very serious degenerative condition which can lead to disability and if not treated immediately, can result in foot amputation.
People with diabetes are highly susceptible to Charcot’s foot. This is because diabetes is highly associated with neuropathic occurrences which are the primary factor for exhibiting Charcot’s foot. Preventive measures are thereupon enforced and immediate medical attention is sought upon the occurrence of any symptoms.
What are the signs and symptoms of Charcot’s Joint Disease?
Initial signs may begin to appear after the foot suffers from repeated trauma. This trauma may be caused by lengthy walking or any other high-impact activity which puts great pressure on the feet. Even accidents-causing objects to be dropped on the foot or fractures can also lead to foot trauma.
There are many risk factors which can lead people to suffer from neuropathy disease. It is not always simple to determine the causes of peripheral neuropathy, because of the numerous factors which can cause neuropathy (neuropathies). The triggers contain:
- Expose to poisons: This exposure can include a number of toxic substances such as certain medications and heavy metals
- especially the medications for treating cancer (chemotherapy).
- Tumors: The tumor’s growth may directly affect the nerves, or tumors can put pressure on surrounding nerves. Both noncancerous (benign) and cancerous tumor (malignant) may contribute to peripheral neuropathy.
- Genetic Disorders: Examples include amyloid polyneuropathy and Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.
- other Diseases: Liver disease, kidney disease, an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) can lead to peripheral neuropathy.
- The autoimmune Disease: Including lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and Guillain-Barre syndrome.
- Infections: some bacterial or viral infections can lead to this disease, including hepatitis C, Epstein-Barr virus, shingles (varicella-zoster), Lyme disease, and HIV / AIDS.
- Alcoholism: A lot of alcoholics get peripheral neuropathy as they have terrible and unhealthy eating plan, causing some severe vitamin deficiencies.
- Vitamin Deficiencies: Vitamin B
- B-1, B-6, and B-12 are especially important for the nerve health. Vitamin E and niacin are also important for nerve health.
- Diabetes: When the damage happens to some nerves, it is often caused by diabetes. At least half of those diabetes patients develop neuropathy.
once Charcot’s foot becomes triggered, the following symptoms may be observed: – The affected area becomes warmer than the other foot.
- A recurring redness can be seen on the foot area.
- Swelling becomes evident.
- A certain pain or sore feeling begins to happen.
- Joint dislocation is evident upon X-ray results
- A strong pulse suddenly develops.
- The bones become misaligned.
- The affected foot suddenly becomes numb and insensitive to any form of sensation.
If you see these signs and symptoms, you must seek immediate medical help. The attending doctor would initially perform examinations on your foot and do some background checking prior to the occurrence of the symptoms. A test for diabetes will also be conducted to rule out any possible effects brought by the illness.
Home Remedies for Charcot Joint Disease:
Use of Wheelchair
A wheelchair can help in reducing the activities the affected area is subjected to. Wheelchair helps in resting the affected area which is good for healing processes.
Use of Crutches, Casts
Crutches can be helpful when you are in the recovery stage as they help in providing support to the body so as to prevent injuries that can be as a result of a fall. Casts can also help in preventing the progression of deformity. For the casts to be helpful they have to be changed every week so as to evaluate for proper fit. Casting can be for about 3 to 6 months.
Eat Healthy Meals
Following a healthy diet is very important to ensure that you get enough the vitamins and minerals which are essential for your body and overall health.
Remember to add more dairy products and low-fat meats to your daily diet and consume a lot of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains on a regular basis to reduce the risk and influences of neuropathy. This is one of the best home remedies for neuropathy that people should not miss out!
Custom Shoes And Bracing
Custom shoes can be helpful in ensuring that you feel comfortable while walking. Custom shoes can be made for you upon re?uest. Braces can also be helpful as they protect the foot. When the case is removed you can wear a brace.
Stress makes inflammation worse and raises the risk for diabetic complications of all sorts. Exercising, meditating or practicing healing prayer, spending more time doing hobbies or being in nature, and being around family and friends are all natural stress relievers you should try.
Acupuncture is another beneficial treatment that not only helps lower stress and pain but also has been shown to be ease symptoms of neuropathy safely with very few, if any, side effects.
Limiting Activities That Cause The Conditions
Avoiding activities that can cause Charcot joints can be helpful. It’s better to prevent than to treat. Preventing further injuries reporting trauma, checking your feet everyday, receiving professional foot care and noting temperature changes can be helpful when treating the condition.
Vitamin B6 is known as pyridoxine, which helps to reduce neuropathic hip pain, the tingling, and numbness in the sciatic nerve; helps to repair the damage of the sciatic nerve, which acts to support the red blood cell production, synthesize protein, and increase the dopamine and serotonin production – the neurotransmitter substances that support the central nervous system of human beings.
Foods rich in vitamin B6 include bananas, garbanzo beans, peanut butter, tomato juice, spinach, soybeans, sunflower seeds, walnuts, poultry, and wheat bran.
Monitor Your Blood Glucose Levels
If you have diabetes, you will need to monitor your blood glucose levels to improve your neuropathy as your blood glucose levels are under control.
B Vitamins – Rich Foods
B vitamins are water-soluble vitamins that support in the breakdown of foods during digestion. According to a health expert, B vitamins are necessary for healthy nerve function and may help people who are living with developing neuropathy that is unassociated with a specific disease, such as diabetes.
You can find valuable rich sources of vitamin B in whole grain cereals and protein-rich foods, such as meats, poultry, fish, brewer’s yeast, milk, eggs, legumes, potatoes, and peanuts. If you are suffering from peripheral neuropathy, you should add a variety of vitamin B-rich foods regularly to achieve the best potential results.
Besides, you should learn how to practice yoga poses and useful and natural ways to sleep well to speed up the neuropathy healing process because resting yourself and doing yoga are among the best remedies for any pain.
Get The Heat And Swelling Under Control
Controlling the heat and swelling can help in speeding up the process of healing. Heat and cold therapy can help in controlling heat and swelling. Applying cold therapy can help in reducing swelling and heat.
Reduce Exposure To Toxins and Quit Smoking
People with neuropathy are more likely to develop kidney stone symptoms and other kidney problems, including kidney disease, which is why it’s important to take added stress off your kidneys in order to prevent an accumulation of toxins in the blood that worsens the problem.
Lower your exposure to pesticide chemicals sprayed on non-organic crops, chemical household cleaners and beauty products, unnecessary prescriptions or antibiotics, and too much alcohol and cigarettes/recreation drugs.
Quit smoking as quickly as possible, since if you have diabetes and use tobacco in any form, you’re more likely than diabetic nonsmokers to develop nerve damage and even have a heart attack or stroke.
In fact, protein contributes to tissue repair and also allows the body to build lean muscle tissue. A lot of health and neuropathy experts suggest that people should eat more lean-protein foods, such as low-fat dairy products and poultry as important elements of a healthy daily meal plan that is necessary for those people who are suffering from peripheral neuropathy and other forms of neuropathy.
Foods that are high in trans and saturated fats, such as highly processed foods, cheeses, butter, whole milk, and deep-fried or fatty meat, will be able to increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and other conditions that should be avoided.
Therefore, you should add a lot of lean protein foods to your daily diets, such as fish, legumes, tofu, yogurt, low-fat milk, and skinless white-meat poultry to achieve desirable results.
If in addition to neuropathy, you have to suffer from diabetes, you should also eat lean protein foods because they are proven especially valuable for this condition. They will leave a mild effect on your blood sugar levels as well. When you do consume high-fat foods, you should limit the portion size of your intake and try your best to make such intake a occasional occurrence.
In general, the treatment of Charcot’s foot aims to stabilize the condition of the joint once more so that the foot can take its original form and normal walking can be facilitated again. Rest is the primary form of treatment.
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