Diabetes is a dangerous proposition. If you’ve got high blood sugar levels, you need to watch out and keep them under control because it could have life threatening consequences. Not convinced? Ever heard of diabetic neuropathy?
Diabetic neuropathy, in straightforward terms, is nerve damage caused by diabetes. Nerve damage affects around half of diabetes-diagnosed individuals. It normally affects the individual’s legs, feet, eyes or even the nerves controlling vital body functions such as blood pressure, heart rate and digestion.
Any Kind of Diabetic Neuropathy Can Strike
Diabetic neuropathy can be classified into many kinds:
- Peripheral neuropathy refers to issues with the peripheral nerves, particularly those of the feet and legs. The feet or the lower legs usually experience tingling or numbness with this condition, or sometimes pain or a burning sensation.
- Autonomic neuropathy affects nerves controlling vital body functions including blood pressure, bowel and bladder emptying, digestion and heart rate. People with this condition may experience nausea, diarrhea, fainting, dizziness, low blood pressure and even difficulty in swallowing.
- Femoral neuropathy causes dysfunction of the femoral nerves which results in hip or groin pain, tingling in the knee, foot and calf and lack of proper control while walking.
- Thoracic or lumbar radiculopathy is the result of irritation or compression of nerves that exit the spine. This condition can also be caused by infection or a tumor. Localized back and neck pain are the most common symptoms.
- Charcot’s joint or neurogenic arthropathy is a degenerative condition that could affect a single, or more than a single, joint of the body. The patient will experience the joint being unstable, swelling, heat, hemorrhage, and also hypertrophic changes affecting the bone.
- Foot drop refers to the inability of the person to lift the front portion of the foot. The toes are dragged through the ground, as a result.
So How Do You Diagnose This Condition?
Diagnosis of diabetic neuropathy involves thorough evaluation of the health status of the patient. After the reported symptoms are studied, EMG (electromyography) is carried out along with neurological tests for determining the level of sensation that has been lost and the exact area affected. A customized treatment plan will be formulated based on the evaluation.
Treating Diabetic Neuropathy
Diabetic neuropathic treatment would normally involve chiropractic adjustment which helps improve the performance of the nervous system. The treatment aims at reducing the symptoms and enabling the nerves to repair themselves. Nerve damage pain is treated with medications involving tricyclic antidepressants, narcotic pain medication, and opioids. Physical therapy involving regular exercises is also performed for strengthening the muscles of the leg and foot and restoring balance in the individual’s walking.
Diabetic neuropathy can be prevented by managing your blood glucose levels and getting them monitored regularly. Get serious about your diabetes.