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Diabetic Neuropathy

September 11, 2015 by  
Filed under Featured

Diabetic Neuropathy

High blood glucose levels can damage your nerves. That damage, called neuropathy, can be very painful.

There are four types of neuropathy associated with diabetes. They are peripheral, autonomic, proximal, and focal. When blood glucose levels are elevated, nerve fibers throughout your body can be injured. Typically the nerves in your legs and feet are injured, but the whole body can be affected. Problems with the digestive system, urinary tract, blood vessels, and heart can arise. These problems can range from mild to painful and can even be fatal. The best way to avoid developing or controlling diabetic neuropathy is with strict blood glucose control and a healthy lifestyle. Here is a brief overview of the four types of diabetic neuropathy:

Peripheral Neuropathy

This type usually affects the feet and legs, however the arms, back, and abdomen can also be affected. Symptoms include:

  • A burning sensation, especially in the evening
  • Numbness
  • Pain
  • Tingling

If you have these symptoms, you should check your feet daily, ask your doctor if you need to see a podiatrist, and wear shoes that fit well to avoid injury.

Autonomic Neuropathy

This type usually affects the digestive system, but it can also affect the blood vessels, urinary system, and sex organs. Symptoms include:

  • Blacking out when you stand up quickly
  • Dizziness
  • Faster heartbeat
  • Feeling full sooner than normal
  • Inability to have or keep and erection and/or dry ejaculations
  • Incontinence
  • Less Vaginal Lubrication and/or fewer orgasms
  • Low blood pressure
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

If you have any of these symptoms it is important that you talk with your doctor. There could be other causes beyond diabetes. You should avoid standing up too quickly, try compression stockings, and possibly take a medication to treat the symptoms.

Proximal Neuropathy

This type causes in the hips, thighs, or buttocks. It is usually on one side of the body, and can lead to weakness in the legs. Treatment for this condition generally includes medication and physical therapy.

Focal Neuropathy

This type typically comes on suddenly. It affects specific nerves often in the head, torso, or legs. It can cause muscle weakness and pain. Typically this will resolve itself over a few months or weeks, but you should discuss the pain with your doctor to see if you need any kind of a treatment.  


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