Understanding the Concept of Diabetic Neuropathy
Of course, no one wishes to be sick, but sickness can creep in when we least expect it. Unfortunately, the illness of diabetic neuropathy afflicts many people. Diabetic neuropathy refers to a type of nerve damage which occurs in people with diabetes. High levels of glucose, also known as blood sugar, can cause serious injury to nerves throughout your body. The damage presents itself mostly in your hands and legs.
Symptoms of diabetic neuropathy vary, depending on the affected nerves. Some people experience numbness and pain in their legs and feet. Others, have problems within their digestive systems, blood vessels, urinary tracts, and hearts. In some people, the symptoms seem mild. But for some others, diabetic neuropathy can be quite unsettling and painful.
Here at Epic Healthcare & Physical Medicine, we know diabetic neuropathy is a serious and common complication associated with diabetes. But we can help you to prevent diabetic neuropathy. Also, we can slow down its progress with blood sugar control and a healthy lifestyle.
Some Symptoms of Diabetic Neuropathy
Did you know there are four primary types of diabetic neuropathy? People can have one or more types of diabetic neuropathy. Typically, the symptoms of the disease will depend largely on the type which affects you as well as the affected nerves. Generally, symptoms develop gradually. Unfortunately, you may never notice anything until the damage has enveloped the affected nerve.
Types of Diabetic Neuropathy
Consider the four main types of diabetic neuropathy:
The most common form of diabetic neuropathy is peripheral neuropathy. The legs and feet typically become the first areas affected. This will then migrate to the arms and hands. Symptoms and signs of peripheral neuropathy typically present the worst at night, and they may also include:
- Burning or tingling sensation
- Reduction in the ability to feel pain, numbness, or temperature changes
- Cramps or sharp pains
- Increasingly sensitive to touch—even a bedsheet’s weight can present a problem for some people
- Weaknesses in muscles
- Loss or limitation of reflexes, particularly in the ankle
- Loss of coordination and balance
- Serious and disturbing foot problems like infections, ulcers, joint, and bone pains.
This type of neuropathy affects the nerves in the autonomous nervous system. This nerve system controls the bladder, heart, intestines, bladder, eyes, and sex organs. When the nerves in any of these areas become affected, it may result in;
- Uncontrolled diarrhea, constipation, or both
- Bladder problems such as urinary tract infections or urinary incontinence or retention
- Difficulty in swallowing foods
- Decrease or increased sweating
- Increased heart rate when resting, and more.
If you experience any of these symptoms, we at Epic Healthcare & Physical Medicine can help you. Just call us at (972) 355-0083 and let us help you to recover yourself.
This type of diabetic neuropathy affects the nerves located in the hips, thighs, legs or buttocks. Radiculoplexus neuropathy remains more prevalent among people suffering from type 2 diabetes and aged adults. This type of diabetic neuropathy can also be known as femoral neuropathy or proximal neuropathy.
Especially relevant, the symptoms of this disease usually occur on one side of the body. However, it may sometimes spread to other parts of the body. The symptoms may include:
- Weight loss
- Rising from a sitting position becomes difficult
- Additionally abdominal swelling
- Shrinking and weak thigh muscles and more.
Also known as local neuropathy, this type damages some specific nerves in the torso, face, or leg. Most common in older adults, the disease usually strikes without warning and can result in severe pain. But the good thing is that it doesn’t cause any long-term problems.
Within a few weeks or months, symptoms usually go away. Whatever symptom a victim feels will largely depend on which of the nerves have become affected.
When affected by mononeuropathy, you may have pain in the:
- Foot or shin
- Pelvis or lower back
- Thigh or front
- Abdomen or chest
Mononeuropathy can also affect the face and eyes, leading to;
- Double vision
- Inability to focus
- Aching behind one eye
- Bell’s palsy or paralysis on one side of the face
Diagnosis of Diabetic Neuropathy
At Epic Healthcare & Physical Medicine (972) 355-0083, we can help in diagnosing diabetic neuropathy in several different ways. First of all, we do this by performing a physical examination, including a careful review of your medical history and symptoms.
We may decide to check your;
- Tendon reflexes
- Overall strength and tone of your muscles
- Sensitivity to vibration and touch
When you come to Epic Healthcare & Physical Medicine, your Medicare and alternative solution experts will give you an exam. Consequently, this includes checking your feet for sores, blisters, cracked skin, joint, and bone problems. A medical recommendation from the American Diabetes Association urges everyone to undergo a comprehensive foot exam at least once a year.
Additionally, apart from the physical exam, your doctor might carry out some specific tests to diagnose your diabetic neuropathy. Such test may include;
- Nerve conduction studies
- Filament testing
- Autonomous testing
- Electromyography—EMG, and finally,
- Quantitative sensory testing
Treatment for Diabetic Neuropathy
Unfortunately, diabetic neuropathy does not have a definite cure. However, the various goals of the treatment carried out by specialist aim toward:
- Slowing the progress of the disease
- Relieving and minimizing pain
- Restoring functions and managing complications
At Epic Healthcare & Physical Medicine, we have the best equipment. Also, we have dedicated specialists who help to manage your condition.
We are highly experienced and known as the best in the area of endocrinology. Additionally, we treat all forms of metabolic disorders, including diabetes. Our neurologists, aided with state-of-the-art technology, specialize in treating every form of nervous system problem.