Diabetic nerve pain

Diabetes can cause a lot of unwanted symptoms and side effects. Nerve pain is just one of the problems that may be dealt with by a diabetic patient. Nerve pain is also referred to as neuropathy. Neuropathy can cause pain, tingling, burning and numbness in the hands and feet of patients. The patient may also have problems feeling hot and cold sensations in the hands or feet. Diabetics usually have more problems with neuropathy in their legs and feet than in their hands. This can be very challenging since walking can be affected by the neuropathy and getting around may become increasingly difficult if the pain and numbness is not treated.

Many times diabetics can be affected with different forms of neuropathy. The form that affects the hands and feet is called peripheral neuropathy. There is also a form of neuropathy called autonomic neuropathy which starts to affect the inside organs of the person as well. Although any organ can be affected, the most common organs that are affected from diabetic autonomic neuropathy include the bladder, heart, sexual organs and digestive tract. All forms of neuropathy should be taken serious since they can all affect the quality of one’s life.

In most cases of diabetes a person will suffer from some form of neuropathy at some point in their lifetime. It may take several years for a diabetic patient to have their first symptom of neuropathy. Many people who begin noticing neuropathy symptoms have had diabetes for 20 or more years. Both factors, including the older the person is and the longer they have had diabetes can contribute to the chances of developing neuropathy and the severity of the symptoms.

By now you may be wondering what causes the neuropathy in diabetic patients. Well it seems that high blood glucose levels play a big role. Problems with the metabolism, having abnormal fat levels in the blood and low levels of insulin can all affect the nerves in the body. Also damage to blood vessels that are responsible for carrying oxygen to the nerves or a having an injury that has damaged the nerves can also cause neuropathy. Often people who suffer from diabetes are overweight or have other illnesses such as an auto-immune disease and both can cause damage to the nerves in the body. Lifestyle factors may also play a big part in contributing to neuropathy. Both smoking and alcohol use can cause side effects that affect the nerves.

In order to prevent diabetic nerve pain you must pay close attention to the way you are taking care of yourself. It is crucial that you keep your blood glucose levels in check and see your doctor often. Monitor your food intake and your weight and also avoid smoking and limit alcohol consumption. Make sure you report any new signs of pain, tingling or numbness to your doctor right away since treatment can only be started once the source of the neuropathy has been diagnosed. Since neuropathy can affect more than just the hands and feet, make sure you talk to your doctor about any other strange symptoms as well. Symptoms such as indigestion, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, weakness, dizziness, low blood pressure, problems urinating or problems with sexual organs can all be signs of autonomic neuropathy.

Luckily there are ways to treat and prevent neuropathy, if you talk to your doctor about your symptoms as soon as they begin. Waiting too long to address the problem can only make it worse overtime. Living with neuropathy can be challenging but it does not have to consume your life.

Last updated on Apr 24th, 2010 and filed under Diabetes Mellitus. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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