Everything You Need to Know about Diabetic Neuropathy
If you are experiencing diabetic neuropathy symptoms, you probably have a lot of questions related to the causes, treatments, and other factors related to this debilitating medical condition. The following contains many of the answers you will need to face your condition and take care of yourself properly.
What is diabetic neuropathy?
Essentially, it is nerve damage and pain caused by diabetes. If not managed correctly,any diabetic can eventually suffer from this condition, although it is most often seen in older patients with Type II diabetes or in long-term Type I diabetics. Maintaining optimal blood-glucose levels is the only meaningful way to avoid diabetic neuropathy.
Diabetic Neuropathy Causes
Elevated blood-sugar or blood-glucose levels are the primary culprit and cause of diabetic neuropathy. The higher the levels, the faster the symptoms tend to develop. Additionally, long-term elevated blood-sugar can cause other complications as well related to the nervous and renal systems. The excess sugar in the blood stream has a deleterious effect on nerves, causing them to grow or create new connections when and where they should not.
Diabetic Neuropathy Symptoms
Most diabetics begin feeling tingling or numbness in their extremities, especially the feet and toes, before developing full-blown diabetic neuropathy. These symptoms are an early warning that you should see a doctor, particularly an endocrinologist, before these symptoms worsen. Vision impairment is another sign of diabetic neuropathy, although somewhat less common than pain in the extremities.
Diabetic Neuropathy Treatment
Although many people will experience diabetic neuropathy pain in their lifetimes, treatment options remain largely limited to medications like Lyrica (pregabalin) and to traditional pain management therapies. Some suffers experience relief through hyperbaric oxygen therapy, especially in the early stages, and through receiving acupuncture. The pain may improve somewhat if blood-glucose levels are brought under control.
Diabetic Neuropathy Foot Pain
Foot pain is among the most common diabetic neuropathy symptoms. Many diabetics also report numbness and tingling as well, the former of which can effect mobility and lead to fall-related injuries. Like all types of nerve pain, diabetic neuropathy pain can be quite severe and debilitating, sometimes leading to disability and the loss of the ability to walk with the assistance of a cane or wheelchair. The pain can also impact sleeping habits as well.
Diabetic neuropathy causes are generally well understood, even if treatment options remain limited. If you are diabetic, you should strive to maintain good control and lead a healthy lifestyle to avoid potential complications like diabetic neuropathy foot pain and other symptoms related to this serious condition.