What is Diabetic Neuropathy? Its Types, Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Diabetes has been one of the major prolong medical conditions affecting people these days. With the rise in unhealthy health style and unmanaged diet, diabetic cases have been on quite a rise. Diabetes on itself is known to cause the alteration in blood sugar levels and imbalance of the glucose levels in the bloodstream.

However, it’s not diabetes that just causes grieve pain and stress. It’s the aftermath of the complications that come as part of the parcel with diabetes which is more severe to bear. We here would profile one such complication associated with diabetes, i.e. Diabetic Neuropathy and deal with the ins and outs of the conditions.

What is Diabetic Neuropathy?

Neuropathy refers to the nerve related disorder that is caused as a result of the uncontrolled level of diabetes for a long time. The condition relates to feelings of numbness, pain or even weakness of the bodily parts like hands or legs.

Diabetic-Neuropathy

Diabetic Neuropathy is seen in patients suffering from Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. It is further categorized into four types as Peripheral Neuropathy, Proximal Neuropathy, Autonomic Neuropathy and Focal Neuropathy. We’ll talk in brief about these three types down below.

Types of Diabetic Neuropathy

As aforementioned, diabetic neuropathy is of three types as Peripheral, Proximal, Autonomic and Focal ones. We’ll have brief dealings on all these segmented below. Read along.

a) Peripheral Neuropathy

  • The first type is often referred to as diabetic nerve pain and distal polyneuropathy. It’s the most common one of the lot and affects the nerves related to the extremities like hands, feet, arms and legs.
  • The damage in the nerves related to extremities can cause problems like ulcers, infections and furthermore amputation in extreme cases.

b) Proximal Neuropathy

  • Also typified as the diabetic amyotrophy, this one causes weakness in the muscle region of the body. Proximal Neuropathy affects the upper parts of legs, hips, and buttocks. It might induce nerve pain in some cases, Proximal Neuropathy is common in elderly people who have a previous history of diabetes.

c) Autonomic Neuropathy

  • The type of diabetic neuropathy where autonomic nerves are affected the most, this is one of the lesser seen cases around. The automatic nervous system that renders control over the heart, stomach digestion and breathing sense are affected with autonomic neuropathy.

d) Focal Neuropathy

  • Focal Neuropathy as the name suggested is the condition where a specific nerve is affected rather than the polyneuropathy cases seen above. Here the nerves generally affected are either in the head or on the torso and legs. Focal neuropathy induces pain in the specific body areas.

Is Diabetic Neuropathy a common theme around?

On a general note, as the diabetic neuropathy is induced as part of the complications arising in diabetes, one can render that the longevity of diabetes has a say on it. A person who suffers from diabetes for a long term will be potentially at a risk for diabetic neuropathy.

Neuropathy is also common among people with obesity, high blood sugar levels and in old age. Almost 50% of complicated diabetes cases see the risk of contracting diabetes later on.

The Cause of Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetic Neuropathy is induced when diabetes gets complicated along. There are quite a few reasons as to why diabetic neuropathy can cause. We’ll look to list them out for you over here.

  • Prolonged exposure to higher glucose levels.
  • Higher levels of blood fat, also known as triglycerides.
  • Higher blood pressure.
  • Excessive usage of Alcohol or tobacco.
  • Chronic disease pertaining to kidney or liver.
  • Deficiency of Vitamin B in the body.
  • Side-effects of Medications.

The Symptoms of Diabetic Neuropathy

There are many symptoms and initial signs of Diabetic Neuropathy that shall warn you against the rising condition. We’ll look to present the symptoms in a list version for better viewing.

  • Numbness in feet, legs, arms and other body areas.
  • Tingling sensation in muscles.
  • Pain in muscles and nerve regions.
  • The wasted feeling in muscles areas of feet and hands.
  • Indigestion, stomach upset and vomiting.
  • Urinary Problems.

The Diagnose Procedure

The diagnose procedure for Diabetic Neuropathy involves medical examination and physical test. The medical advisor will go through the tests for blood pressure, strength and sensitivity. Other essential tests will include Nerve conduction and Electromyography and sensory tester.

Doctors advise the patients to seek the tests and examination at least once a year to know the health status better. Furthermore, other tests like ultrasound, biopsies may result in the cases show signs of neuropathy related disorders.

The Treatment Procedure

The treatment procedure varies according to the type of neuropathy. However, as a common theme, control of blood sugar levels and improvement of blood circulation is advised to most of the lot. Ample physical exercise and weight loss regime are further typified by the medical advisor.

A special note goes for limiting the habits like drinking and indulging in tobacco consumption. That being said, one should also be cautious to care for their body parts, especially the feet and legs.

The Complications of Diabetic Neuropathy

The complications range from affecting the digestive part to the dysfunction of sexual organs to the prevalence of non-healing wounds. Diabetic Neuropathy if untreated for can cause quite a few complications that shall affect the life rituals of the person.

Many show signs of digestive disorder like vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, nauseating and more. While a good many suffer from disoriented sexual functioning along with infections around the body parts like feet and legs. Urinary problems and excessive sweating are also part of the complications caused by diabetic neuropathy.

Can Diabetic Nerve damage be reversed?

With the medical science and technology at its highest point of all time, there have been numerous breathtaking inventions resulting from the diabetic nerve damage. With the recent study showcasing opportunity for reversing the damage caused by diabetic nerve damage, one can finally breathe a sigh of relief.

However, with that still in the study and research phase, the best we can count for now is the management of diabetic nerve pain. A properly guided treatment procedure followed by specially curated rehabilitation plan will provide ample support to the body and help gain better health status.

Look to include a proper meal with ample nutrients and pair the diet with physical workout and you’d be good to go. Furthermore, medications for managing the symptoms and recurring of warning shall prove beneficial for you.

Diabetic Neuropathy is a great bit of pain and turmoil to suffer from. With the prior diagnosis and treatment, the pain and the condition can be treated well. However, as things stand, if untreated for, many complications arise out of it. Diabetes Self Caring strongly advise you to seek the help of medical personnel so that you be on the safe side.

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