Diabetic Neuropathy

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Conditions of the nervous system can dramatically impact an individual’s health and overall quality of life. That’s because nerves are essential to how the human body functions, as they enable movement and control critical functions such as breathing. Even so, diseases that are seemingly unrelated to the nervous system can wreak havoc on the body when they are not managed effectively. An example is diabetes. Medical News Today explains that uncontrolled diabetes can cause complications within the nervous system from high levels of fats and sugars in the blood. This condition is known as diabetic neuropathy.

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) reports that between one-third and one-half of those with diabetes experience some form of neuropathy. Yet, there is a wide range of symptoms, depending on the type.

Neuropathy: Types

Peripheral Symmetric Neuropathy

As the most common type of diabetic neuropathy, peripheral symmetric neuropathy includes symptoms such as numbness, pain and tingling that begins in the toes and fingers. These sensations, along with burning, may extend to the legs and arms. In turn, individuals may experience loss of muscle tone in the hands and feet, along with inability to feel heat or cold. This type of neuropathy might also lead to an increased risk of falling, as well as joint damage.

Automatic Neuropathy

Occurring in the nerves that control digestion, urination and heart rate, automatic neuropathy encompasses many symptoms. These include heartburn, bloating, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, hypoglycemic unawareness, difficulties speaking and/or swallowing, orthostatic hypotension, faster than normal heart rate, bladder problems, muscle weakness and more.

Thoracic and Lumbar Root, or Proximal Neuropathy

Proximal neuropathy can result in pain in the lower region of the body, often more on one side than the other. This is because nerves are damaged in specific areas of the body, such as the chest wall or legs.

Mononeuropathies

Mononeuropathy is a conditions describing damage to any individual nerve in the body.

As one can imagine, symptoms and pain from diabetic neuropathy range from mild to disabling. Developing a better understanding of which nerves are affected is vital to developing an effective treatment.

At Allied Pain & Spine Institute, we realize that diabetic-related nerve damage cannot be reversed. Yet, we also know that using a combination of medication and pain management techniques can significantly improve an individual’s condition. To schedule an appointment, call today!

Posted on behalf of Dr. James Petros, Allied Pain & Spine Institute