Diabetes is a condition where insulin levels in blood sugar levels are out of whack, causing your body’s energy levels to be in flux at all times throughout the day. Scarier still, is that diabetes cannot only mess with your energy levels, but it can also cause nerve damage. This kind of damage is called diabetic neuropathy and can result in a whole series of conditions that are permanently damaging to the patient’s health.
Sometimes, diabetes does not lead to pain or any other symptoms, but that doesn’t mean that the effects are not taking their toll. For those that do feel pain, the general symptoms are pain and numbness in the hands, arms, legs, and feet. The risk factor for people with diabetes in regard to neuropathy, is 60% to 70%. Although this number might seem high, and majority of the people affected by this condition have had diabetes for longer than 20 to 25 years. Also, many of the sufferers of diabetic neuropathy have been unable to manage blood glucose levels either through lack of treatment or from being overweight.
Most of the damage comes as a result of high blood glucose levels, which affects blood vessels that are important for carrying oxygen and other nutrients to the nerves in your body. This can also lead to autoimmune conditions, in which the body attacks itself to try and repair the damage. Other factors, such as genetics, smoking, and alcohol abuse can all lead to diabetic neuropathy as well. This means that if your family has a history of diabetes, then you should strongly consider not smoking or drinking and so you are certain that you are not affected by this condition.
Although at first the symptoms are only pain and numbness in the affected areas, eventually motor functions can become impaired if not disabled permanently. This can lead to a whole host of problems that can make your life miserable to say the least. There are basically four kinds of diabetic neuropathy, which affect different areas of the body. The first has peripheral neuropathy, which affects your limbs for the most part. Autonomic neuropathy tends to affect your glands, your digestive system, your sex organs, and your cardiovascular system. Proximal neuropathy tends to affect your lower body, while focal neuropathy tends to affect eyes, face, spinal area, and other areas where there are high nerve bundles.
It would be fair to talk about all the issues that arise with diabetic neuropathy if we didn’t talk about the treatments available to help you deal with the condition. Because the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy are so widespread, there are a variety of treatments used to help fill the whole body. The first thing you need to do, is to get you blood glucose levels in check by a series of insulin related treatments. Once that is done, then you can begin treating the pain through a variety of prescription drugs. The most common prescription drugs are opiates, which are very effective at reducing pain. Doctors also use anti-inflammatories and antidepressants to help people cope with their condition. A proper diet is also important so that you can regulate blood glucose levels without medication. Diets high in fiber also help to relieve gastrointestinal issues that can arise from diabetic neuropathy. The thing to remember is that only a doctor can properly diagnose a condition as serious as this. If you start to feel or notice any of these symptoms, then you should schedule doctor’s appointment as soon as possible. The earlier that you find in treat this disease, the better off you will be in the long run.
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