What is diabetic neuropathy?
Diabetic neuropathy is the most common complication of diabetes that affects the nerves. It is a chronic complication that arises in more than 40% of diabetic patients. Damage to these nerves is permanent and can happen in anyone who suffers from type-I or type-II diabetes. When the nerve cells called neurons are negatively affected, they malfunction or get destroyed. It results in the disruption in the commutation of neurons between each other and the brain.
Neuropathy may impact a collection of nerves of the same type or a combination of nerves in a specific region. These can either affect both hands and feet (symmetrically) or affect only one hand or one foot (asymmetrically).
Diabetic neuropathy treatments and symptoms differ depending on the kind. In rare situations, you may have more than one form of diabetic neuropathy at the same time. Due to these complex conditions, the town of Broomfield in Colorado guarantees pain relief because of the advanced machinery options to treat neuropathic patients.
Types and their symptoms
There are several types of nerve degeneration due to diabetes, each having a varied outcome. These include:
- Peripheral Neuropathy
It is also known as the distal peripheral neuropathy that refers to the damage of the nerve cells of the peripheral nervous system. Your peripheral nervous system consists of nerves forming a network outside the brain and spinal cord. It connects the central nervous system with the rest of the body.
Peripheral neuropathy is further classified to distinguish between the different nerve signals that are motor neuropathy, sensory neuropathy, and combination neuropathies. Combination neuropathies cause 2 or 3 types of neuropathies to occur together, for example, sensory-motor neuropathy.
Most patients have claimed that the symptoms of numbness begin from the feet followed by the hands. Hence, known as “glove and stocking.” Other signs of this condition include:
- From tingles like pins and needles to sharp pain in the bones.
- Burning sensation
- Foot disease or ulcers
- Proximal Neuropathy
Damage of nerves in the thoracic and lumbar parts such as the chest, hips, and thighs or legs is a reaction to this type of neuropathy. It is more common in men above the age of fifty. The specified symptoms maybe:
- Severe stomach aches
- Chest aches
- Trouble standing up after being seated.
- Pain in the hip area
- Autonomic Neuropathy
Since autonomic nerves control the body’s involuntary actions like digestion, urination, and heartbeat, degeneration of these nerves can be fatal. That may lead to:
- Low blood pressure and abnormal heart rate
- Loss of bladder control
- Little response of reproductive organs.
- Diarrhea, bloating, or nausea
- Muscle contraction and weakness
Mono-neuropathy gives rise to only single nerve damage or nerve group. It can either be focal neuropathy (cranial) or peripheral. Unlike the other types, focal neuropathy develops suddenly and results in:
- Vision disturbances such as double vision
- Muscle weakness or paralysis on one side of the face for a short period.
- Eye pain
Some types of neuropathy do not always result in discomfort, and the symptoms of pain may worsen or get better.
Pain is good (for this case)! Yes, but how? Pain can sometimes be good because it means that you have not lost the ability to feel. If you feel pain in the affected area, it simply means that your neuropathic dysfunction can get better. Whereas numbness is a lack of sensation, you are unable to feel anything in that specific region. A decrease in pain can mean your neuropathy is getting worse because of the degeneration of the nerve cells.
For people who suffer from peripheral diabetic neuropathy, it is common for the damaged nerves to have an opposite effect that results in pain. These fibers in the affected area degenerate or die over time that causes loss of sensation. You may be feeling less pain because of the increase in numbness.
What causes diabetic neuropathy?
Researchers believe that high blood sugar levels are the primary cause of diabetic neuropathy. High sugar weakens the capillary walls that are accountable for delivering enough oxygen and nutrients to the neurons. The following factors may also be the reasons for nerve damage:
- Consumption of alcohol
- Physical injury by a car accident trauma
- Improper and sufficient vitamin levels
- Genetic disorder
- Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common cause of mono-neuropathy.
The prognosis for diabetic neuropathy should undergo a complete blood test, detailed metabolic profile, fasting blood sugar, vitamin B12, and thyroid-stimulating hormone levels. Additionally, if the diagnosis is still unclear, your doctor might perform a thorough clinical analysis followed by appropriate laboratory testing, electromyography (EMG), and nerve biopsy.
Diabetic Neuropathy Treatment
A controlled diet is very significant for health, and it should include a sufficient amount of serving of the following foods that also help in diabetic neuropathy treatment:
- Keep your blood sugar levels moderate.
- Taking warm baths naturally alleviates pain symptoms and increases blood circulation throughout the body.
- Fish oil helps treat neuropathy as it is anti-inflammatory. Therefore it is capable of repairing mildly damaged nerve cells. New research has shown that fish oil tends to reverse acute diabetic neuropathy. It is available in the form of supplements that provide you with multiple other benefits too.
- Cod liver oil, canola oil, soybeans, and chia seeds are some other foods that also possess the same omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil.
- Fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains such as whole-wheat bread, brown rice, and barley
- Low-fat dairy products
- Make fishes such as sardines and salmons a source of protein consumption.
- The intake of herbal supplements such as curcumin is best known for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidants, and pain-reliving properties. Powdered turmeric also contains curcumin. You can utilize it in various foods such as curries or add it to your tea.
- Intake of Vitamin B-12 is to ease any burning sensation.
- Topical ointments
- The car accident clinics in Broomfield provide all the necessary treatment for a neuropathic injury caused by motor vehicle accidents.
Although, a point to remember is that you must always consult your physician before taking any medications.
Other methods for diabetic neuropathy treatment include magnetic therapy and galvanic stimulation. Galvanic stimulation is the therapeutic use of electric current, particularly for stimulating the nerves and muscles. Surgical procedures may take place in exceptional cases.
How to maintain diabetic neuropathy?
When it comes to your health, remember that you steer your life’s boat. However, it is essential to note that the progression of nerve breakdown can be slowed down and even prevented if the diabetes is well controlled.
But To keep an intact lifestyle modification, you should engage in light exercises three to four times a week along with a balanced diet.
What are the complications of this type of nerve damage?
If diabetic neuropathy is not under control, it may lead to complications in your heart and kidney. Your heart, along with the kidneys, works as a connected system. Diabetes can damage the blood vessels in your kidneys. The kidneys filter out the toxins from the blood your heart pumps. Thus a negative impact on any of the two may result in a life or death situation.
Having to deal with such circumstances can be frustrating. Moreover, the neuropathic clinics in Broomfield do their best for you to live an endurable life by providing support groups that encourage you to remain optimistic regarding your condition and have emotional support.