Diabetic neuropathy is a condition in diabetes that damages the nerves. High blood sugar levels can cause severe damage to your body, especially your legs and feet. It is a common phenomenon amongst people who have had diabetes for a long time. Moreover, it is of 4 types: Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy, Diabetic Autonomic Neuropathy, Diabetic Focal Neuropathy, and Diabetic Proximal Neuropathy.
Diabetic neuropathy can be really painful and disabling. However, it is possible to prevent or at least slow down the progress through consistent blood sugar management and a healthy lifestyle.
This article will talk about diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Now, you must be wondering what peripheral neuropathy is? Peripheral neuropathy is a condition when there is nerve damage to the feet and legs and, in some cases, the hand. It is most prevalent in people who find it challenging to manage their blood sugar levels.
Peripheral neuropathy treatment is important as nerve damage can cause problems with balance and coordination, which can even lead to falls and fractures.
Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy: Causes
Two of the most significant factors responsible for diabetic peripheral neuropathy are high blood sugar levels and high amounts of fat (triglycerides). They can damage the nerves as well as the small blood vessels that nourish the nerves.
Some other causes-
- Alcohol Addiction: Poor dietary choices of people with alcoholism can lead to vitamin deficiency.
- Medications: Certain heavy-dose medicines like those for cancer treatment can be a cause.
- Infections: Certain viral infections, bacterial infections, or hepatitis can, in some cases, lead to becoming a cause as well.
- Other diseases: Kidney disease, liver disease, or underactive thyroid has in cases been identified as a cause for peripheral neuropathy.
Treatment of peripheral neuropathy hence becomes extremely important.
Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy: Symptoms & Risks
The earliest sign of diabetic neuropathy usually includes numbness and pain in the feet or hands. Over a period of time, peripheral neuropathy symptoms may worsen, leading to muscle weakness and loss of reflexes primarily around the ankle.
The loss of sensation in the feet can cause a reduction in the ability to detect wounds or pain. Since there is a loss in sensation, therefore, diabetic foot care becomes even more essential as chances of foot problems and infection increase.
Diabetic neuropathy treatment is ideal for reducing discomfort and reducing further tissue damage.
- Manage blood sugar levels by managing what you eat and making sure you portion your consumptions.
- Regular exercise is equally important, as a sedentary lifestyle is the primary cause of diabetes in the majority of people.
- Diabetic socks help protect the feet from ulcers, wounds, or cuts leading to further infections and complications.
- Foot care in diabetes is essential. Make sure you look out for orthopedic footwear.
Diabetic neuropathy treatment can get tricky at times and demands regular sugar monitoring. Keeping a glucometer with you can be helpful for monitoring and managing sugar levels on the go. Foot care in diabetes is also highly recommended; therefore, invest in diabetic socks and neuropathy-friendly footwear.