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Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetic neuropathy is a type of nerve damage that can occur if you have diabetes. High blood sugar can injure nerve fibers throughout your body, but diabetic neuropathy most often damages nerves in your legs and feet. Diabetic neuropathy is a common serious complication of diabetes. Nerve damaging disorders associated with diabetes mellitus.

Causes of Diabetic Neuropathy

  • Damage to nerves and blood vessels: Prolonged exposure to high blood sugar can damage delicate nerve fibers, causing diabetic neuropathy.
  • Being overweight. Having a body mass index greater than 24 may increase your risk of developing diabetic neuropathy.
  • Poor blood sugar control this is the greatest risk factor for every complication of diabetes, including nerve damage.
  • Genetic factors unrelated to diabetes that make some people more susceptible to nerve damage.
  • Smoking and alcohol abuse, which damage both nerves.

Symptoms of Diabetic Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy is the most common form of diabetic neuropathy. Your feet and legs are often affected first, followed by your hands and arms. Signs and symptoms of peripheral neuropathy are often worse at night, and may include:

  • Numbness or reduced ability to feel pain or temperature changes
  • A tingling or burning sensation
  • Sharp pains or cramps
  • Increased sensitivity to touch — for some people, even the weight of a bed sheet can be agonizing
  • Muscle weakness
  • Loss of reflexes, especially in the ankle
  • Loss of balance and coordination
  • Serious foot problems, such as ulcers, infections, deformities, and bone and joint pain.

Autonomic neuropathy

  • A lack of awareness that blood sugar levels are low (hypoglycemia unawareness)
  • Bladder problems, including urinary tract infections or urinary retention or incontinence
  • Constipation, uncontrolled diarrhea or a combination of the two
  • Slow stomach emptying (gastro paresis), leading to nausea, vomiting, bloating and loss of appetite
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Erectile dysfunction in men
  • Vaginal dryness and other sexual difficulties in women
  • Increased or decreased sweating
  • Inability of your body to adjust blood pressure and heart rate, leading to sharp drops in blood pressure after sitting or standing that may cause you to faint or feel lightheaded
  • Problems regulating your body temperature
  • Changes in the way your eyes adjust from light to dark
  • Increased heart rate when you're at rest.

Radiculoplexus neuropathy (Diabetic amyotrophy)

This condition is more common in people with type 2 diabetes and older adults.

Symptoms are usually on one side of the body, though in some cases symptoms may spread to the other side.

  • Sudden, severe pain in your hip and thigh or buttock
  • Eventual weak and atrophied thigh muscles
  • Abdominal swelling, if the abdomen is affected
  • Difficulty rising from a sitting position
  • Weight loss

Mononeuropathy

Mon neuropathy involves damage to a specific nerve. The nerve may be in the face, torso or leg. Signs and symptoms depend on which nerve is involved and may include:

  • Difficulty focusing your eyes, double vision or aching behind one eye
  • Paralysis on one side of your face (Bell's palsy)
  • Pain in your shin or foot
  • Pain in your lower back or pelvis
  • Pain in the front of your thigh
  • Pain in your chest or abdomen.

Tests and diagnosis

Diabetic neuropathy is usually diagnosed based on your symptoms, your medical history and a physical exam. During the exam, your doctor is likely to check your muscle strength and tone, tendon reflexes, and sensitivity to touch, temperature and vibration.

Your doctor may also conduct tests that include:

  • Filament test: Sensitivity to touch may be tested using a soft nylon fiber called a monofilament.
  • Nerve conduction studies: This test measures how quickly the nerves in your arms and legs conduct electrical signals. It's often used to diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Electromyography (EMG): Often performed along with nerve conduction studies, electromyography measures the electrical discharges produced in your muscles.
  • Quantitative sensory testing: This noninvasive test is used to assess how your nerves respond to vibration and changes in temperature.
  • Autonomic testing: If you have symptoms of autonomic neuropathy, your doctor may request special tests to look at your blood pressure in different positions and assess your ability to sweat.

The American Diabetes Association recommends that all people with diabetes have a comprehensive foot exam — either by a doctor or by a foot specialist (podiatrist) — at least once a year. In addition, your feet should be checked for sores, cracked skin, calluses, blisters, and bone and joint abnormalities at every office visit.

Lifestyle and home remedies

These measures can help reduce your risk of diabetic neuropathy:

Keep your blood pressure under control:
People with diabetes are more likely to have high blood pressure than are people who don't have diabetes. Having both high blood pressure and diabetes greatly increases your risk of complications because both damage your blood vessels and reduce blood flow. Try to keep your blood pressure in the range your doctor recommends, and be sure to have it checked at every office visit.

Make healthy food choices:
Eat a balanced diet that includes a variety of healthy foods — especially fruits, vegetables and whole grains — and limit portion sizes to help achieve or maintain a healthy weight.

Be active every day:
Daily activity protects your heart and improves blood flow. It also plays a major role in keeping your blood sugar and blood pressure under control. The American Diabetes Association generally recommends about 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day at least five times a week.

If you have severe neuropathy and decreased sensation in your legs, your doctor may recommend that you participate in non-weight-bearing activities, such as bicycling or swimming.

Stop smoking:
If you have diabetes and use tobacco in any form, you're more likely than are nonsmokers with diabetes to die of heart attack or stroke. And you're more likely to develop circulation problems in your feet. If you use tobacco, talk to your doctor about finding ways to quit

Preventive Tips For Diabetic Neuropathy

You can help prevent or delay diabetic neuropathy and its complications by keeping your blood sugar consistently well-controlled, taking good care of your feet and following a healthy lifestyle.

Blood sugar control

Keeping your blood sugar tightly controlled requires continuous monitoring and, if you take insulin, frequent doses of medication. But keeping your blood sugar consistently within your target range is the best way to help prevent neuropathy and other complications of diabetes. Consistency is important because shifts in blood sugar levels can accelerate nerve damage.

The American Diabetes Association recommends that people with diabetes have a blood test called the HB A1C test at least twice a year to find out your average blood sugar level for the past two to three months. If your blood sugar isn't well-controlled or you change medications, you may need to get tested more often.

Foot care

Foot problems, including sores that don't heal, ulcers and even amputation, are a common complication of diabetic neuropathy. But you can prevent many of these problems by having a comprehensive foot exam at least once a year, having your doctor check your feet at each office visit and taking good care of your feet at home.

  • Check your feet every day: Look for blisters, cuts, bruises, cracked and peeling skin, redness and swelling. Use a mirror or ask a friend or family member to help examine parts of your feet that are hard to see.
  • Keep your feet clean and dry: Wash your feet every day with lukewarm water and mild soap. Avoid soaking your feet. Dry your feet and between your toes carefully by blotting or patting with a soft towel.
  • Moisturize your feet thoroughly to prevent cracking. Avoid getting lotion between your toes, however, as this can encourage fungal growth.
  • Trim your toenails carefully: Cut your toenails straight across, and file the edges carefully so there are no sharp edges.
  • Wear clean, dry socks: Look for socks made of cotton or moisture-wicking fibers that don't have tight bands or thick seams.
  • Wear cushioned shoes that fit well: Always wear shoes or slippers to protect your feet from injury. Make sure that your shoes fit properly and allow your toes to move. A podiatrist can teach you how to buy properly fitted shoes and to prevent problems such as corns and calluses.

Homoeopathic Management for Diabetic Neuropathy

Constitutional medicine is required to treat Diabetic Neuropathy. Chronic cases involving pain must be handled by an experienced homeopathic physician. The medicines which fit the whole personality may be one of the enormous materia medica available to us through the genius of Samuel Hahnemann and his disciples and successors in the remarkable art and science of homeopathy.

We have been successful in giving good relief to a large number of patients suffering from Diabetic Neuropathy and giving a better quality of life to them. Holistic healing forms the foundation of the treatment that we provide at Kanakaveda.

Homeopathy can offer good relief to patients with Diabetic Neuropathy especially those in the early stages of the disease. The medication can help in controlling symptoms Neuropathy.

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