Diabetic Neuropathy is a medical complication associated with diabetes. Diabetics often experience nerve damage, which is believed to be related to elevated blood sugar levels over a long period of time. There are four different types of diabetic neuropathy, the most common of which is peripheral neuropathy, occurring in the feet and legs.
Peripheral Neuropathy occurs when nerve damage is done to the feet and legs. The loss of sensation associated with Peripheral Neuropathy causes mild injuries to go unnoticed and become complicated medical issues. This is why foot care is so important for diabetics. Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy include tingling and numbness, burning, sharp, jabbing pain, pain during movement, extreme sensitivity, muscle weakness, and problems with infections or ulcers.
It is possible to manage the discomfort and pain associated with peripheral neuropathy with medication and control of blood sugar levels. Like all four types of neuropathy, it develops gradually and may go unnoticed for a period of time before it becomes a serious condition. It is important to pay close attention to your feet and legs, and watch for any of the symptoms if you are diabetic.
Autonomic Neuropathy affects the body’s nervous system. Damage to the nervous systems results in problems with the bladder, lungs, heart, stomach, intestines, sex organs, and eyes. Complications from these problems result in an inability to recognize blood sugar variations, bladder problems, constipation, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, difficulty swallowing, increases and decreases in sweating, vision problems, increased heart rate, erectile dysfunction, and other sexual difficulties for both men and women. Most patients also experience problems with blood pressure that cause lightheadedness and an inability to regulate body temperature.
Proximal Neuropathy, also called Radiculoplexus Neuropathy, Femoral Neuropathy, or Diabetic Amyotrophy, affects nerves in the hips, thighs, buttocks, and legs. Symptoms include sudden and severe pain in the hips, thighs, or buttocks, weak thigh muscles, difficult rising after sitting, abdominal swelling, and weight loss. Symptoms associated with pain and weakness typically occur on only one side of the body.
Focal Neuropathy, also known as Mononeuropathy, affects a specific nerve. It typically occurs in the face, legs, or torso. In most cases it causes severe pain, but rarely does it result in long-term damage and is relieved once the affected nerve is no longer compressed. Symptoms typically last a few weeks or months and include difficult focusing the eyes, pain in the legs or feet, Bell’s palsy, and chest or abdominal pain. These symptoms are typically preceded by numbness, pain, and tingling, as well as signs of weakness.
It is important for people with diabetes to pay close attention to changes that occur in their bodies. Something that seems minor could eventually result in long-term serious damage. If you are diabetic and you experience problems with healing, dizziness, changes in digestion, bathroom habits, or sexual performance, or burning or tingling sensations anywhere in your body, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Minor problems can turn into serious issues quickly when you are coping with diabetes. Proper care and monitoring of your body is an important part of managing your disease and preventing unnecessary complications.