Diabetic Neuropathy is a problem caused by Diabetes that results in nerve damage. Elevated blood sugar levels injure the nerves throughout the body. Nerves in the legs and feet are the most often damaged by this condition.
Diabetic Neuropathy is the most common chronic complication, and it affects 60 to 70 percent of all people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Diabetic Neuropathy is a disease that progresses over time, with symptoms becoming more severe. So early care is recommended by diabetes and endocrinology care professionals.
Diabetic Neuropathy Symptoms can scale from pain and numbness in the legs and feet to difficulties with the digestive system, blood vessels, urinary tract, and heart, depending on which nerves are affected.
The Types of Diabetic Neuropathy
1. Peripheral Neuropathy
2. Autonomic Neuropathy
4. Focal Neuropathy
It is necessary to look after your feet because Diabetic Neuropathy can worsen and lead to ulcers and sores in some foot areas that do not heal due to a lack of feeling or sensation. However, one can prevent or slow down the effect of Diabetic Neuropathy by managing blood sugar and adopting a healthy lifestyle with foot care for diabetic neuropathy routine.
What is the Cause of Diabetic Neuropathy?
Diabetic Neuropathy causes are unknown. Experts believe that nerve damage occurs when blood sugar levels are uncontrolled for an extended time. Long-term diabetic patients can develop difficulties in nerve function, such as loss of feeling and changes in their sense of taste.
Another possibility is that high blood sugar weakens the capillary walls, which deliver oxygen and nutrients to the nerves. Poor circulation may also make it challenging to regulate their body temperature.
The Symptoms of Diabetic Neuropathy
The main symptoms are a pain in the feet, numbness in the toes or foot, and pain while walking. However, depending on the type of Neuropathy, the symptoms will vary. Here are a few common symptoms observed in patients with diabetes and nerve damage.
- Loss of sense of touch
- Numbness or pain in the affected areas
- Muscle weakness
- Vision problems
- Poor physical coordination
- Elevated heart rate
- Dizziness while standing
- Tingling sensation
- Inflammation in the feet
- Excess sweat or no sweat
There are four types of Diabetic Neuropathy. The symptoms of the four types are not similar and vary according to the nerves affected. Here are a few specific symptoms of different types of Diabetic Neuropathy.
It is the most common Diabetic Neuropathy. The feet and legs are the first to be affected, followed by the hands and arms.
- Weakness of muscles
- Poor coordination
- Sharp pains or cramps
- Oversensitivity to touch
- Tingling or burning sensation
- Loss of balance
The nervous system controls your heart, bladder, stomach, intestines, sex organs, and eyes. Autonomic Neuropathy can affect nerves in these organs, causing various symptoms.
- Excessive sweating
- Erectile dysfunction
- Vaginal dryness
- Shortness of breath
This type affects the nerves of the thighs, hips, buttocks, or legs. It can also affect the abdominal and chest area. Other symptoms include:
- Severe pain in the lower body
- Weak thigh muscles
- Severe stomach pain
- Standup difficulties.
It is also known as mononeuropathy. The most affected parts are the hand, head, torso, and leg with this condition. The symptoms are:
- Double vision
- Pain behind the eyes
- One side of the face is paralyzed (Bell’s palsy)
- Muscle weakness
Anyone who has Diabetes can develop Neuropathy. Here are a few other risk factors that increase a patient’s chances of developing Neuropathy.
- Spiked blood sugar levels
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Alcohol consumption
- Advanced kidney disease
- Certain medications, usually anti-cancer drugs
The Diagnosis of Diabetic Neuropathy
The Diabetic Neuropathy doctor will ask about your symptoms and your medical history. You will also get a physical examination, and the doctor may test your foot sensitivity. The doctor will use nylon fiber to assess your limbs for any lack of sensation during this test.
- Your doctor will check the following:
- Touch Sensitivity and vibration
- Overall muscle strength and tone
You can use a tuning fork to determine your vibration threshold and ankle reflexes. Your doctor will also check your heart rate, blood pressure, and muscular tone. The doctor also advises specific Diabetic Neuropathy tests like Filament, Sensory, Nerve conduction testing.
How to Treat Diabetic Neuropathy?
The cure for Diabetic Neuropathy is unknown, and it worsens with time. The essential step for Diabetic Neuropathy treatment is to regulate blood sugars, excessive blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.
In short, the goals of the treatment are
- To slow the progression of the disease
- Relieve pain
- Restore function and manage complications
Slowing the progression of diabetic Neuropathy requires careful blood glucose management. Doctors frequently establish a goal range within which blood glucose levels must be maintained.
Medication and physical therapy can help manage the Diabetic Neuropathy pain caused by diabetic Neuropathy. Antidepressants are shown to be effective. Anti-seizure drugs are known to help with the discomfort related to this illness.
The Complications of Diabetic Neuropathy
Several types of Diabetic Neuropathy will cause a lot of serious complications. Some complications include:
- Loss of a Limb – The infection might spread to the bone or cause tissue death under challenging situations. It may be necessary to remove a toe, foot, or lower leg surgically.
- Urinary Tract Infections and Urinary Incontinence – You may not be able to empty your bladder if the nerves that control it are injured.
- Charcot’s joint – It occurs when a joint, usually in the foot, deteriorates because of nerve damage.
- Digestive problems – Constipation and diarrhea are possible symptoms. Gastroparesis can be caused by diabetes-related nerve degeneration.
Other complications include:
- Sharp drops in blood pressure
- Sexual dysfunction
- Increased or decreased sweating
- Hypoglycemia unawareness
- Muscle damage or loss of muscle mass
Prevention of Diabetic Neuropathy
Medications, therapies, and lifestyle changes prescribed by your doctor can help you manage many of the difficulties associated with diabetic Neuropathy. With blood sugar and foot care, this condition can be minimized.
Blood Sugar levels Management
Maintaining and constant monitoring of blood sugar levels is one of the best Diabetic Neuropathy cures. This balance of blood sugars can be achieved with a healthy lifestyle and eating a diabetic neuropathy diet plan.
Many issues can be avoided by getting a complete foot exam once a year, having your doctor check your feet at each office visit, and adopting proper foot care at home. You can look after your feet with a foot care routine advised by doctors.
- Check your feet every day
- Keep your feet clean and dry
- Moisturize your feet
- Trim your toenails carefully
- Wear clean, dry socks
- Wear cushioned shoes that fit well
Diabetic Neuropathy is a condition of Diabetes that causes numbness in the toes and foot pain. It occurs when minor nerve pathways in your feet are damaged (Neuropathy), resulting in a loss of touch or sensation in some parts of the body. There is a condition named diabetic amyotrophy, which affects one in 1000 diabetic patients. If you have this illness, you can make sure you take care of yourself by exercising regularly, eating healthier foods, getting enough sleep each night, and taking your medications as directed. Do not neglect your checkups with diabetes and endocrinology care specialists for a painless cure of Diabetic Neuropathy.