What Causes Neuropathy in Your Feet?


Quick Answer

The most common cause of neuropathy in the feet is diabetes, explains the American Podiatric Medical Association. About 60 to 70 percent of people living with diabetes develop neuropathy within their lifetime. Other causes of neuropathy in the feet include certain medications such as chemotherapy drugs, hereditary conditions, advanced age, arthritis, alcoholism, neuropathy disorders and injury.

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Full Answer

Peripheral neuropathy is characterized by damage in the peripheral nerves in the toes and fingertips, notes the American Podiatric Medical Association. When these nerves are damaged, they fail to function properly. People suffering from this condition have decreased abnormal sensation in their toes, sometimes having problems moving their feet.

Some symptoms of neuropathy in the feet include tingling and numbness, which sometimes spreads upward into the legs; sharp, burning or jabbing pain; extreme sensitivity to touch; lack of coordination and falling; and paralysis or muscle weakness if motor nerves are affected, according to Mayo Clinic. If autonomic nerves are affected, signs and symptoms may also include altered sweating and heat intolerance; bladder, bowel and digestive problems; and change in blood pressure, which may cause lightheadedness or dizziness. Peripheral neuropathy may affect one, two or more nerves in different areas. Early diagnosis and treatment offer the best chance for controlling the symptoms and preventing further damage to the peripheral nerves.

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