Diabetic Neuropathy

Neuropathy often causes nerve damage to the legs and feet of diabetic patients. Learn here about the causes, preventive measures, and treatment for neuropathy.
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Diabetic Neuropathy

Common Symptoms

In addition to pain or numbness in the legs and feet, diabetic neuropathy can also negatively affect the urinary tract, blood vessels, heard, and digestive system. There are four types of diabetic neuropathy. Each type has varying symptoms.

Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy is the most common type of diabetic neuropathy and the symptoms usually begin in the feet and legs and progress to the hands and arms. The symptoms can include:

  • Numbness and/or the inability to feel pain or temperature changes
  • Tingling or burning sensations
  • Cramping or sharp pain
  • Extreme skin sensitivity
  • Ulcers or infections in the feet

Autonomic Neuropathy

Diabetes affecting the autonomic nervous system can affect the stomach, intestines, bladder, heart, eyes, and sex organs. The symptoms can include:

  • Hypoglycemia unawareness
  • Bladder or bowel problems
  • Stomach emptying too slowly (causing nausea and other issues)
  • Changes in eye adjustment
  • Decrease in sexual response or loss of sex drive

Proximal Neuropathy

This type of neuropathy affects the thighs, hips, buttocks, and legs. It can also affect the abdomen and chest. Symptoms usually begin on one side of the body but can spread to the other. Symptoms of proximal neuropathy can include:

  • Pain in hips, thighs, or buttocks
  • Weak or shrinking muscles of the thighs
  • Difficulty standing from a seated position
  • Stomach pain

Mononeuropathy

Mononeuropathy is the damage of a specific nerve and the symptoms can include:

  • Double vision and/or difficulty focusing
  • Aching behind one eye
  • Bell’s palsy
  • Numbness or tingling in all fingers except for the pinky fingers
  • Weakness of the hands

Causes

Although the exact cause of neuropathy is unknown, it is probably caused by high blood sugar levels in diabetic patients. Poor circulation contributes to the problem. There are several risk factors that can increase your chances of developing neuropathy, including:

  • Poor control of blood sugar
  • History of diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Kidney disease

Prevention

Preventing neuropathy really comes down to monitoring blood sugar levels and foot care. Once developed, neuropathy pain and neuropathy of the feet can be difficult to manage without treatment. Preventing neuropathy is a better choice.

If you have developed neuropathy, you can seek help from a doctor to figure out a treatment and management plan that is right for you. Diabetes can cause a lot of different physical issues. Nerve problems are among the most frustrating. If you feel that you have issues related to your diabetes such as neuropathy, you should consult a professional to get the help that you need so that the pain can be managed and the problem can be resolved.

Neuropathy can have dangerous or debilitating side effects, but if you properly manage your blood sugar levels and take care of your feet, neuropathy can be avoided. If you have foot and ankle problems caused by diabetes, do not wait to address them. In some cases, the longer that you take to address the problem, the harder it will be to resolve.

Get professional advice and treatment at Diablo Foot and Ankle. Their medical specialists will help to get you back on your feet. Call or schedule an appointment today. We are here for you!

Abnormally high blood sugar levels can affect various parts of the body, including the nerves. Poor circulation can also damage the nerves. As a result, many patients with diabetes experience neuropathy, which is weakness, numbness, or pain. The legs and feet are commonly affected because circulation tends to be a problem in diabetic patients and the legs and feet are furthest from the heart. Below is a closer look at neuropathy and how it can affect diabetic patients.