Diabetic Neuropathy: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

What is diabetic neuropathy?

Diabetes is a common health problem that is engulfing an increasing number of people around the world and in the US. It is a chronic disease that also brings several mild to severe complications. One common serious complication experienced by both type 1 and type 2 diabetes patients is diabetic neuropathy. This condition often develops gradually and may take decades to be apparent. Common Symptoms for Diabetic Neuropathy can be pain, weakness, tingling, or numbness in hands or feet. 

Type of Diabetic neuropathy

Diabetic neuropathy can broadly be classified into 4 categories:

  • 1. Peripheral neuropathy

    This condition first affects your feet and legs and then gradually hands and arms. You would feel numbness, cramps or sharp pain, tingling, and extreme sensitivity. Symptoms worsen at night. You may also develop serious ulcers, infections, and joint pain.

  • 2. Autonomic neuropathy

    This condition impacts the autonomic nervous system.  Sex organs and organs like the heart, bladder, stomach, intestine, eyes, or usually suffer impaired function due to autonomic neuropathy. You experience low sexual response, bowel problems, and poor adjustment of eyes with darkness and light.

  • 3. Proximal neuropathy

    This type of neuropathy affects hips, thighs, legs, and buttocks. In some cases, the nerves across the abdominal region and chest may also be affected. The problem starts on one side of the body and may move to the other side. You would feel severe pain and shrunk muscles in affected areas, difficulty in rising, and severe stomach pain.

  • 4. Focal neuropathy

    This condition often causes poorly focused vision. You may also feel pain behind one eye, paralysis on one side of the face, extreme weakness, and numbness in hands and fingers.

Causes of diabetic neuropathy

Exact diabetic neuropathy causes are unknown. However, studies have shown that high blood sugar levels cause these conditions over time. It damages your nerves or weakens the walls of the nerves. This leads to a poor supply of blood, oxygen, and nutrients and poor signaling causing diabetic neuropathy. Factors like prolonged diabetes history, kidney history, smoking, deficiency of vitamin B12and excess weight can elevate your risk.

Can diabetic neuropathy be reversed?

Diabetic neuropathy is a severe complication of diabetes that cannot be reversed. However, being diabetic you can take some effective measures to prevent it.

  • 2. Stay active and manage your diet.
  • 3. Stick to your prescription and seek regular check-ups.
  • 4. Take care of your feet. Keep them clean and moisturized and wear cushioned shoes.

Diabetic neuropathy is a condition caused by prolonged high blood sugar levels that damages nerves. This is a serious condition that should not be ignored and may lead to a serious nerve condition later on. 

It is advisable for diabetes patients to seek Diabetic Neuropathy Treatment immediately. 

A good read is this article published by Mayo Clinic On Diabetic Neuropathy in 2020