- What Is It?
- Who Is At Risk?
The four types of diabetic neuropathies involve:
- Peripheral distal symmetry polyneuropathy: It is the most common form of neuropathy. It affects the nerves going to the legs, feet, hands, and arms.
- Autonomic neuropathy: It affects the autonomic nerves that control the majority of the body’s function.
- Proximal motor neuropathy: This type of neuropathy causes muscle weakness. It mainly affects the muscles in the upper part of the legs, buttocks, and hips.
- Focal mononeuropathy: In this type of neuropathy, only one specific type of nerves are affected.
What is diabetic neuropathy?
Diabetic neuropathy is a common complication of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Diabetic neuropathy can be extremely painful. It can also lead to life-threatening health conditions like foot ulcers, amputations, heart attacks, digestion problems, and low blood sugar. Neuropathy mainly occurs due to high blood sugar for a prolonged period.
What are the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy?
The symptoms of diabetic neuropathy differ in different types of neuropathy, which include:
Peripheral neuropathy: Symptoms include:
- Burning especially in the evening
Autonomic neuropathy: It affects the digestive system, blood vessels, urinary system, and sex organs. Symptoms of the digestive system include:
If the nerves supplying blood vessels are affected, symptoms are:
Symptoms when the urinary system is affected:
- Leaking urine
- Incomplete bladder emptying
- Frequent urination at night
Symptoms when sex organs are affected:
Proximal neuropathy: Symptoms include:
- Pain in one side (thighs, hips, or buttocks)
- Weakness in the leg
Cranial neuropathy: Symptoms include:
Who are at risk of diabetic neuropathy?
Factors that may further increase the risk of diabetic neuropathy include:
What are the complications of diabetic neuropathy?
Diabetic neuropathy, if left untreated, can cause the following complications:
How is diabetic neuropathy treated?
Management of diabetic neuropathy include:
- Control of blood sugar level
- Pain control
- Foot care to prevent complications
To prevent complications of the foot, tips for proper care of feet include:
- Check your feet and legs daily
- Use lotion to smoothen dry feet
- Take proper care of your toenails
- Wear proper-fitting shoes
- Visit your doctor once a year for foot examination
Other preventive measures include:
- Taking smaller meals
- Avoid standing up too quickly
- Wearing special stockings
- Quitting cigarette smoking
Ways to control blood sugar include:
- Regular monitoring of blood sugar level
- Eat a healthy diet
- Exercise can lower the blood glucose level
- Take insulin along with oral medications
Physical therapy, medications, or surgery may also be useful in relieving certain symptoms of diabetic neuropathy.
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Peripheral NeuropathyPeripheral neuropathy is a problem with the functioning of the nerves outside of the spinal cord. Symptoms may include numbness, weakness, burning pain (especially at night), and loss of reflexes. Possible causes may include carpel tunnel syndrome, shingles, vitamin or nutritional deficiencies, and illnesses like diabetes, syphilis, AIDS, and kidney failure. Peripheral neuropathy is diagnosed with exams and tests. Treatment for the condition depends on the cause. Usually, the prognosis for peripheral neuropathy is good if the cause can be successfully treated or prevented.
What Causes Neuropathy?Neuropathy is the damage or dysfunction of the nerves. Nerves are the fibers that transmit sensations to the brain or spinal cord. Any nerve damage results in tingling, weakness of the muscle it is connected to, and numbness and pain in the affected area.
What Causes Peripheral Neuropathy?The nervous system has two main parts: the central nervous system (CNS) and the peripheral nervous system (PNS). The brain and spinal cord are part of the CNS. The nerves that connect the CNS to the rest of the body are called the PNS.