Diabetic neuropathy is a form of nerve injury that occurs if you’re diabetic. It occurs when the high blood glucose or sugar injures the nerves in your body resulting to the damage of nerves in your feet and legs. The signs can vary depending on the nerve that is affected. Other people have mild symptoms while others have painful experiences.
It is no secret that diabetic neuropathy is a severe complication that can even lead to a loss of your leg. Nonetheless, the best news is that you can stop diabetic neuropathy or slow its advancement with a healthy lifestyle and tight blood sugar management. Also, you can make your foot to relax by buying a foot massager for diabetics. Here are different types and symptoms of diabetic neuropathy;
Types of Neuropathy and its Symptoms
There are four main forms of diabetic neuropathy. There is a possibility that you can have more than one type of neuropathy. The symptoms that you get will depend on the type of neuropathy and the nerves that are affected. The signs usually develop steadily and you may not notice that until there is considerable nerve damage.
a) Peripheral Neuropathy
This is the most common form of diabetic neuropathy. The ailment affects the legs and feet first, followed by the arms and hands. Its signs are usually worse during the night. The symptoms may include:
- Numbness or lessened capability to note temperature changes or pain
- Burning or tingling feeling
- Sharp cramps or pain
- Surge sensitivity to touch (others can experience pain even at the weight of the bed sheet)
- A weakness of the muscles
- Loss of coordination and balance
- Loss of reflexes, especially in the ankle
- Severe foot challenges, such as infections, ulcers, and joint and bone pain
b) Autonomic Neuropathy
Autonomic nervous system usually controls your eyes, sex organs, stomach, intestines, bladder, and the heart. Diabetes can affect your nerves in any of the locations, possibly resulting in:
- Hypoglycemia unawareness or lack of awareness of the levels of blood sugar
- Problems with your bladder such as urinary retention and urinary tract infections
- Uncontrolled diarrhea or constipation or both
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Challenges managing body temperature
- Surge or decreased sweating
- Surge heart rate whilst at rest
- Gastroparesis or slow emptying of the stomach resulting in vomiting, loss of appetite, and nausea
- Alteration in the manner in which your eyes change from light to dark
- Erectile dysfunction
- Lessened sexual response
- Vaginal dryness
- A sharp decrease in blood pressure after standing or sitting that may result in feeling lightheaded or faint
c) Radiculoplexus Neuropathy (Diabetic Amyotrophy)
It is also referred to as proximal neuropathy, femoral neuropathy, and diabetic amyotrophy. This form of neuropathy affects nerves in the hips, legs, buttocks, or thighs. It is common in older adults and those people with type 2 diabetes. Most people can improve partially over time, though the signs can worsen before they become better.
Usually, the signs are on one side of the body but can sometimes spread to the other side. You may experience:
- Weight loss
- Stern pain in a thigh, hip, or buttock
- Ultimate weak and shrinking muscles of the thigh
- Experience difficulties while rising from a sitting posture
- Abdominal swelling when the abdomen is affected
d) Mononeuropathy/Focal Neuropathy
This is a damage that occurs to a specific nerve in the face, leg, or the middle of the body (torso). It is usually common in older people and strikes suddenly to cause severe pain. Nonetheless, it doesn’t result in any long-term challenges.
The signs usually go away without any treatment over a few weeks or months. Specific symptoms of the neuropathy depend on the nerve involved. It is possible to experience pain in the:
- Chest or abdomen
- Foot or shin
- Front of thigh
- Pelvis or lower back
Also, it may cause nerve challenges in the face and eye, leading to:
- Double vision
- Challenges in focusing
- Bell’s palsy or paralysis on one side of the face
- Aching behind one eye
Sometimes, this neuropathy can occur if there is something that is pressing on a nerve. It results to tingling or numbness in your fingers or hands, except your little finger and it can make you feel week to a point of dropping things.
When should you visit a doctor?
It is necessary to see a doctor if you got the following:
- A sore or cut on your foot that is infected and would never heal
- Tingling, burning, pain, or weakness in your hands or feet that obstruct with sleep or daily events
- Urination, varying in digestion, or sexual function
Causes of Diabetic Neuropathy
- Destruction of nerves and blood vessels
The precise cause usually differs for each form of neuropathy. The common cause of diabetic neuropathy includes controlled high blood sugar damages nerves and hinder with the capacity to send symptoms. Also, high blood sugar can weaken the walls of the capillaries that supply the nerves with nutrients and oxygen.
Nonetheless, a mixture of aspects may cause nerve injury, including:
- Genetic reasons – There are genetic factors of diabetes that may make some individuals more likely to develop the nerve injury.
- Nerves inflammation – It can be caused by an immune response where the immune structure mistakes the nerves as foreign and assaults them.
Alcohol and Smoking abuse – It is a dangerous practice as it can injure both blood vessels and nerves and importantly surge the risk of infectivity
Risk Factors of Diabetic Neuropathy
- Poor blood control – If there is uncontrolled blood sugar, it puts you at the risk of each diabetic obstacle, entailing the nerve damage.
- Diabetes history – The danger of diabetic neuropathy surges the longer you’ll get diabetes, particularly if your blood sugar is not well managed.
- Kidney ailment – Diabetes has the capability of damaging your kidneys. The kidney injury sends toxins into your blood causing nerve damage.
- Overweight – The act of being overweight is a risk factor. If you got a body mass index (BMI) that is greater than 24 may surge your threat of developing diabetic neuropathy
- Smoking – If you’re a smoker, you’re at a risk of developing diabetic neuropathy. Smoking usually narrows and makes your arteries hard lessening the flow of blood to your feet and legs. Normally, this makes it hard for wounds to heal and damage the peripheral nerves.
Complications of Diabetic Neuropathy
- Loss of foot, leg, and toe
The nerve destruction can make you lose the feeling in your feet. The foot cuts and sores may mutely become harshly infected or revolve into ulcers. Even those small foot sores that do not heal can easily turn into ulcers. Severe cases can cause the infection to spread to the bone and this can cause tissue death (gangrene). In such cases, amputation of a foot, toe, or even the lower leg is required.
- Joint damage
Diabetic neuropathy can cause your joint to deteriorate resulting in a condition referred to as Charcot joint. Usually, this ailment happens in the small joints in the feet. Signs entail joint swelling and loss of sensation, instability, joint swelling, and sometimes joint deformity. Rapid treatment can assist to heal and thwart further joint injury.
- Urinary Incontinence and Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
In case the nerves that control your bladders get damaged, you may be incapable to completely empty your bladder. The bacteria can easily buildup in the kidneys and bladder, causing UTI. Also, it can affect your capacity to feel when you require to urinate or to manage the muscles that discharge urine, leading to incontinence or leakage.
- Hypoglycemia Unawareness
If you have low blood sugar that is below 70 milligrams per deciliter, it can cause sweating, shakiness, and a fast heartbeat.
- Sharp drops in your blood pressure
The injury on your nerves that manage blood flow can influence your body’s capacity to regulate blood pressure. A quick drop in blood pressure when you stand after you sits down leading to fainting and dizziness.
- Digestive Issues
You can face bouts, diarrhea, and constipation if the nerve damage strikes your digestive tract. Any diabetes-related nerve destruction can cause gastroparesis. This is a condition that causes your stomach not to empty or empty slowly. It is a situation that can obstruct digestion and sternly affect nutrition and blood sugar levels. The symptoms entail vomiting, bloating, and nausea.
- Sexual Dysfunction
Autonomic neuropathy regularly injures the nerves that distress the sex organs causing erectile dysfunction. Women can have hardship with arousal and lubrication.
- Surge or Lessening Sweating
The nerve destruction can disturb how the sweat glands work and make it hard for your body to manage its temperature correctly. Some person with autonomic neuropathy have extreme sweating, especially while eating or at night. It is significant to understand that little or no sweating is life threatening.
There is no need to talk about diabetic neuropathy if we don’t highlight how to take good care of your legs and feet. It is possible to delay or prevent diabetic neuropathy and its obstacles by keeping a tight control of your blood sugar. Also, you need to take proper care of your feet.
- Blood sugar management
It is essential that you buy an at-home blood sugar screen to check and ensure that it stays within a given target range. It is vital that you do this on list. Alteration in the levels of blood sugar can accelerate nerve destruction.
- Foot Care
Always, follow your physician’s recommendations for proper foot care. The foot challenges ranges from ulcers, sores that don’t heal, and sometimes amputations. However, you can avoid these challenges by having an all-inclusive foot examination at least once a year, having your physician check your feet at each office appointment and taking proper care of your feet at home.
To Protect the health of your Diabetic feet
- Check your feet daily
It is important that you look for cuts, blisters, redness, peeling skin, swelling, and cracked. Ask a friend or use a mirror to explore parts of your feet that is hard to see.
- Keeping your feet dry and clean
Ensure that you wash your feet each day and keep your feet clean. Use mild soap and lukewarm water. Avoid to immerse your feet, dry your feet, and between your toes cautiously by blotting or patting with a soft towel. Make sure that you moisturize your feet methodically to avert cracking. It is essential that you avoid getting lotion between your toes as it can stimulate fungal growth.
- Trim your toenails cautiously
Trim your toenails straight across and file your edges carefully so that there will be no sharp edges.
- Wear dry and clean socks
Make sure that you buy nice socks that are made of moisture-wicking or cotton fibers that don’t have thick seams or tight bands.
- Wear some cushioned shoes that fit properly
Ensure that you put on some cushioned shoes that fit properly. Always ensure that your footwear fit properly and permit your toes to move freely. In order to purchase properly fitted diabetic footwear, you need to properly understand the features you need to buy.
The article has explored on the signs of diabetic neuropathy. It has examined on the different types of neuropathy and the cause of each type of neuropathy. Also, the causes of diabetic neuropathy have been explored. It is necessary to consult your doctors to assist to prevent more-serious situations. A diabetic doctor should understand that even small sores can swiftly turn into strict infections if it left untouched. If you’re eligible for Medicare, this plan can cover at least a pair of footwear annually.