Diabetic neuropathy is caused when diabetes causes damage to your nerves, and it can impact various types of nerves in the body, such as in the feet, organs, and muscles.
Diabetic neuropathy most usually results in nerve damage to the legs and feet. Its symptoms include tingling sensation and discomfort in the hands, feet, and legs, depending on which nerves are damaged. It may also result in problems related to the heart, blood vessels, digestive system, and genitalia.
Many people with diabetes are prone to diabetic neuropathy. But with a healthy lifestyle and constant blood sugar control its possible to prevent diabetic neuropathy or reduce its progression.
There are four basic kinds of neuropathy in diabetes patients:
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Autonomic neuropathy
- Proximal neuropathy
- Focal neuropathy
The following are common signs and symptoms of the various forms of diabetic neuropathy:
- Nausea, indigestion, or vomiting
- Sensitivity to touch
- Numbness in hands or feet
- Difficulty with coordination when walking
- Burning sensation in feet, especially at night
- Bloating or fullness
- Muscle weakness or wasting
- Excessive or decreased sweating
- Vaginal dryness
- Bladder problems
- Double vision
- Inability to sense low blood glucose
- Increased heart rate
When To See A Doctor?
Book the appointment if you experience:
- A foot injury or sore that is infected or delayed healing.
- If hands or feet are burning, tingling, weak, or painful to the point where it affects your ability to function or sleep.
- Fainting and dizziness
- Difficulty to perform daily activities
A prolonged high blood sugar level leads to diabetic neuropathy. Nerve injury may result from other reasons, such as:
- High cholesterol levels can affect blood arteries.
- Damage caused by carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Lifestyle choices like drinking or smoking.
Inadequate consumption of vitamin B-12 might cause neuropathy. Metformin, a common diabetic drug, can cause a reduction in vitamin B-12.
Anyone with diabetes is susceptible to neuropathy. But these risk factors increase the possibility of nerve damage:
Poor Blood Sugar Control
Poor blood sugar management increases the risk of complications associated with diabetes, including nerve damage.
Having prolonged diabetes is more likely to cause diabetic neuropathy, mainly if blood sugar levels increase.
Kidney disease: In a few cases, diabetes may lead to kidney injury. Damaged kidneys release toxins into the blood, which causes nerve injury.
Overweight :Diabetic neuropathy risk is higher in people with a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or higher.
Smoking also causes the arteries to narrow and harden, which reduces blood flow to the legs and feet, and this harms the peripheral nerves and makes healing more difficult for wounds.
- Maintain blood sugar levels within the prescribed limit.
- Exercise regularly
- Maintain healthy weight as per your height
- Give up smoking
- Call the doctor if you experience pain, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet.
Diabetic neuropathies are diagnosed by knowing the patient's medical history, a clinical examination, blood tests, blood glucose testing, and additional laboratory testing. The diabetic neuropathy diagnosis consists of:
- Checking the reflexes and muscle power of the patient.
- Evaluate the muscles' sensitivity to vibration, temperature, posture, and light touch.
- Ultrasound test to monitor the condition of the urinary tract.
- Muscle response to electrical impulses can be measured via electromyography (EMG).
- Nerve conduction studies check the flow of electrical current through a nerve.
- Skin biopsies to evaluate cutaneous nerve innervation.
- Nerve and muscle biopsies for histopathological evaluation.
Diabetic neuropathy is incurable. Slowing the progression of the illness and easing painful symptoms are treatment objectives. Keeping blood glucose levels under control will reduce further damage.
The treatment focuses on reducing pain and discomfort and also helps to prevent more tissue damage. The treatment may include:
- Pain medications
- Antidepressants to ease pain and discomfort
- Skin creams
- Transcutaneous electronic nerve stimulation (TENS) therapy
- Relaxation training
- Special shoes to safeguard feet from injuries
Dos and Don’ts
Diabetes-related nerve damage is known as diabetic neuropathy. The hands and feet experience tingling, discomfort, and numbness sensation. Adopting these dos and don’ts may prevent the disease from worsening and improve the quality of life.
|Keep the blood pressure under control||Skip meals|
|Cut your toenails with caution||Walk barefoot outside|
|Keep feet clean and dry||Add artificial sweeteners to the diet|
|Take medications as prescribed by the doctor||Eat saturated fats and junk foods|
|Don't eat refined grains||Drink excess alcohol|
Follow the diabetic neuropathy dos and don'ts to manage the symptoms and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Track the condition's progress, seek treatment as soon as possible and follow up with the doctor.
Care at Medicover Hospitals
At Medicover hospitals, we have the best endocrinologists who provide diabetic neuropathy treatment with utmost precision. Our highly skilled medical staff uses recent techniques, and technology to treat various ailments and conditions. We utilize a multidisciplinary approach to provide comprehensive care to our patients and to attend all their medical needs for faster and more sustained recovery from diabetic neuropathy.