Diabetic neuropathy is referred to the nerve damage that occurs in a person due to diabetes. It is one of the most serious complications that can result from diabetes. This article will help you identify the warning signs of the same so that you can control its consequences.
Diabetic neuropathy, as the name suggests, is the condition wherein the nerves (neuropathy) in various parts of the body tend to get damaged due to uncontrolled sugar levels, or in other words, diabetes. When a person suffers from diabetes, the glucose or sugar levels in the blood can cause pain in the nerves, the pain can be mild to severe in nature. This happens in case of uncontrolled diabetes, wherein the body tends to get exposed to high levels of blood sugar for a prolonged period of time. In case of type 1 diabetes, this condition usually develops after 10 years of the onset, while in case of type 2 diabetes, one may already experience the symptoms even before the diabetes is diagnosed.
Warning Signs and Symptoms of Diabetic Neuropathy
There are mainly 4 types of diabetic neuropathy that can affect a person. These are peripheral neuropathy, autonomic neuropathy, femoral neuropathy and mononeuropathy. Statistics reveal that almost 60 to 70 percent of people suffering from diabetes tend to suffer from some or the other form of neuropathy. However, the point to be noted is that not all people suffer from any signs and symptoms to be able to identify that they are suffering from diabetic neuropathy.
Warning Signs of Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy
This is by far the most common kind of diabetic neuropathy that most of the diabetics suffer from. It usually affects the nerves of your legs and feet followed by your arms and hands. The peripheral neuropathy would have the following signs and symptoms.
- Tingling sensation
- Pain in the end of the nerves
- Burning sensation
- Inability to feel pain or change in the temperature around
- Pain in the arms, feet, hands or legs during movements
- Weakness and difficulty while movements
- Problems in the legs and foot like infections, pain in the joints, ulcers and other deformities
Warning Signs of Diabetic Autonomic Neuropathy
Autonomic neuropathy affects organs like the heart, urinary system, blood vessels, eyes, sex organs, lungs and organs in the digestive system like stomach and intestines. The warning signs for the same include the following.
- Unawareness of having hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels)
- Urinary tract infection
- Urinary incontinence
- Men are likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction
- Sexual problems in women
- Feeling full without eating too much
- Too much of sweating
- Heart palpitations at rest
- Loss of appetite
- Low blood pressure
- Going blank or blacking out while standing up all of a sudden
Warning Signs of Diabetic Femoral Neuropathy
Diabetic femoral neuropathy is also known as diabetic amyotrophy, radiculoplexus neuropathy and proximal neuropathy. People with type 2 diabetes are more likely to suffer from this condition as it affects mostly adults. This condition usually affects one side instead of both. So one is likely to have problems in one of the hips, thighs or buttocks. The legs are also likely to get affected. The symptoms of this condition includes,
- Pain in the hips, thighs or buttocks, whatever is affected
- Weakness in the muscles of the affected area
- Weight loss can also be observed
Warning Signs of Diabetic Mononeuropathy
Also known as focal neurotherapy, this condition affects only one nerve which may be in the face, legs or the arms. Like femoral neuropathy, even this condition affects older people as compared to people suffering from type 1 diabetes. This type of neuropathy is usually very painful, however it is unlikely to cause long term problems. The signs and symptoms include.
- Blurred vision or double vision
- Pain in the eyes, in fact you are more likely to experience pain behind your eyes
- Paralysis may occur in one side of the face. This condition is also known as Bell’s palsy
- Pain in the chest, abdomen, lower back or lower legs
Although these symptoms do not indicate that your nerves have been damaged completely, it does give you an indication that you should work hard for keeping your blood sugar under control. Get in touch with your healthcare specialist for further guidance for controlling your diabetes and proper treatment for diabetic neuropathy. The key is to maintain a healthy lifestyle that involves healthy diet and exercising. Constant monitoring of blood sugar is also highly recommended in this case.