Why Can't I Feel My Toes? ---
Causes and Top 7 Remedies
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October  28, 2012, last updated November 3, 2015
By Susan Callahan, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist

[Health and fitness articles are reviewed by our team of Doctors and
Registered Nurses, Certified fitness trainers and other members of
our Editorial Board.]

In our quest for better health, our toes quite literally are
the last part of our bodies to get our attention.  If you
examine yourself from head to toe, and ask, how much
time you spend daily on each part of your body, you would
probably find that most of your time is spent on the parts
of your body that other people see – your face, your waist
line, your fingernails. Other than giving them a coat of
toenail polish during the summers, most of us pay very little
attention to our toes unless of course they hurt.  And yet,
your toes hold important clues to your health.  

Not being able to feel your toes can be more than an
annoyance –it can be a warning sign of serious health
problems. If you can’t feel your toes, you are not alone.
Millions of Americans can’t feel their toes, according to the
National Toe
Foundation. What are the reasons you cannot
feel your toes? What health conditions do numb toes
indicate? Are there natural remedies that can restore
feeling to your toes?

Top 7 Causes and Remedies of Numb Toes

Diabetes Can Make Your Toes Numb. If you can’t
feel your toes, it could be that you have diabetes.

Diabetes can cause nerve damage (diabetic neuropathy)
which can make your extremities feel numb.  In fact,
neuropathy is the reason may diabetics suffer cuts
to their feet which they cannot feel, and thus leave them
untreated too long. These untreated wounds can become
infected ad lead, in some cases, to gangrene.

About 28.5% of diabetics were found to suffer from
neuropathy in a 1993 study of 6,487 diabetic patients in
the U.K. co-sponsored by the European Association for the
Study of Diabetes. This is nearly one-third of all UK diabetic
patients.  But the percentage of diabetics who suffer from
nerve damage in the U.S. is even worse --- about
twice as
bad.  About 60% to 70% of all diabetic patients in the U.S.
suffer from some degree of neuropathy, according to the
American Diabetic Association.

Thus, chances are, if you have diabetes, you probably also
have nerve damage and this damage can in fact make your
toes feel numb or without sensation. Nerve damage can
also cause cold hands and feet. (Read more about
causes cold hands and feet.)

Nerve damage can be tricky to treat. But studies have
found that some foods can help. Clams, for example, are
rich in Vitamin B12, which studies have found helps
encourage nerve growth. For this reason, Vitamin B12
helps relieve
numbness in hands caused by nerve damage
and helps many sufferers of the nerve condition that
mimics stroke called
Bell's palsy.

It's easy to think of little problems that crop up in one
place on our bodies as isolated problems. But they rarely
are. In the case of numbness in your feet or toes, for
example, the thing to remember is that if your numb toes
are caused by nerve damage, such damage is often not
limited to just your toes. It can also affect the nerves of
your brain.

Scientists have started connecting the dots between nerve
damage which shows up as numbness in the skin --- or
toes or anywhere external on your body --- to nerve
damage in your brain.  The same Vitamin B12 deficiency
which shows up as numbness elsewhere in your body also
has been linked to increased risk for brain atrophy and
Alzheimer's disease, according to a 2013 study from the
Academy of Micronutrient Medicine in Zweigertstr,

The German study warns doctors to be on the lookout for
Vitamin B12 deficiency, saying that they should accurately
"diagnose and treat early Vitamin B12 deficiciency to
prevent irreversible structural brain damage"

Your body is better at absorbing meat sources of Vitamin
B12 (clams, eggs, organ meats such as liver) better than
plant sources, according to the University of Maryland.

How you treat diabetes depends on the type of diabetes
you have. With Type I diabetes, you will need daily doses
of insulin to substitute for the insulin your body cannot
produce. With Type 2 diabetes, also known as diabetes
mellitus, treatment depends on the severity but usually
changes in diet and exercise can help you to control this
condition. (Read more about
dietary changes that help

Tight Shoes Can Cause Loss of Feeling in Your Toes.
Women suffer more from loss of feeling or numbness in
their toes than men.  The reason for the difference is
largely because of higher body mass indeces (BMI) and the
fact that women wear shoes with high heels and arrow toe
boxes.  Wearing
high heels can cause or exacerbate a
condition known as
Morton’s neuroma, which is a
thickening of tissue around the nerves of your feet often
between your toes. (Read more about
health dangers of
wearing too-tight shoes.)

Asthma Can Lead to Numbness in Your Toes.  It
may surprise you to learn that there is a connection
between asthma and toe numbness. A condition known as
Churg-Strauss syndrome (CSS) can occur when you have
asthma and can lead to death of tissue in your toes
(necrosis).  When you have Churg-Strauss Syndrome,
granules form in your arteries which can block the flow of
blood to your extremities and to your lungs. The lack of
blood flow leads to tissue death and loss of sensation in
your toes.

Peripheral Arterial Occlusive Disease May Cause Toe
.  Peripheral arterial collusive disease (PAOD), as
its name suggests, is the loss of your arteries ability to
carry blood to the periphery of your body, including your
hands and feet.  Few people know that about 25% of all
those who have diabetes and 25% of Americans over the
age of 55 suffer from this disease, according to the
National Institutes of Health.  Management of this disease is
complex and, in advanced stages, may require surgical

Fortunately, more and more doctors are becoming aware of
the importance of checking for the presence of this disease
as a part of your annual check-ups. Doctors may want to
examine your ankles for the presense of what is called a
“pedal pulse”. They may also order tests if they suspect
you have this arterial disease.

What can you do about arterial disease? You should of
course eat a diet that supports artery health. You should
also stay active, as this helps in general to improve blood

Finally, you should also consider massage. A 2011 study
from the University of Almeria in Spain (led by Drs. Castro-
Sanchez and Moreno-Lorenzo) found that massaging the
connective tissues of the feet and legs helped diabetic
patients with peripheral artery disease. As the study
concluded, "Connective tissue massage improves blood
circulation in the lower limbs of type 2 diabetic patients at
stage I or II-a and may be useful to slow the progression
of PAD."

Scleroderma-a Rare Cause of Numb Toes.
Scleroderma is an auto-immune disease that thickens the
tissues affected. In its mild form, scleroderma can either
affect the skin and extremities, leading to numbness in
hands and feet. In its severe form, it can also affect internal
organs. (Read more about

Mönckeberg's Sclerosis. People with chronic kidney
disease can sometimes develop calcified deposits in their
arteries, a condition called Mönckeberg's sclerosis.  This
condition can stiffen your hands and feet, leading to a
sensation of numbness.

Leprosy (Hansen’s Disease). Leprosy, also known as
Hansen’s disease, has afflicted humankind for thousands of
years. It may surprise you to learn that leprosy still exists
in the world today, afflicting more than 200,000 people
worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.
This ancient disease is caused by bacteria spread through
coughing and sneezing. But did you know that one of the
earliest signs of leprosy is a numb finger or toe? These
early signs are then followed by development of lesions on
the skin.  

Fortunately, leprosy is curable. Today, doctors treat leprosy
by prescribing antibiotics such as clofazimine , rifampin and

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foot massage improves foot circulation and numbness
Massaging your feet at the end of the
day can improve circulation and