DIABETES AND NUMB FEET

Diabetes can lead to complications such as numb feet. Individual diagnosed with diabetes can have disorder which damages their nerves resulting in numbness or tingling in feet and hands and slowly affects all the organs of the body. This disorder is known as diabetic neuropathy. Almost 75% diabetics who have increased weight hypertension and high cholesterol are more prone to develop diabetic neuropathy.

CAUSES

The numb feet due to this type of neuropathy can be caused by number of factors such as long history of diabetes with less secretion of insulin and increased blood sugar and fat level. Disorders affecting blood vessels capacity of providing oxygen and essential nutrients to nerves can also cause complication of numb feet associated with diabetes. Certain inherited factors and autoimmune disease also account for this. Alcohol abuse and excessive smoking can also cause nerve damage.

SYMPTOMS OF DIABETIC NEUROPATHY

It sometimes results in no symptoms. But some individuals can have numb feet and tingling feet with pain in peripheral neuropathy which affects the nerves of the limbs. This numbness and tingling can be present in arms and fingers after some time as the nerve damage occurs slowly. Certain abdominal symptoms such as indigestion, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation may be present with dizziness and low blood pressure. Sexual problems like erectile dysfunction and dry vagina may accompany with weakness and weight loss.

TYPES

Neuropathy caused by diabetes can affect any body part apart from numb feet and is classified into different types depending upon the organ involved. Peripheral neuropathy causing numb and tingling feet affects feet, legs hands, arms and toes. Autonomic neuropathy affects the nerves supplying to urinary organs, digestive systems, eyes, heart and lungs. Proximal neuropathy alters the nerves of thighs, legs and hips causing weakness in legs. Focal neuropathy can affect any organ by causing sudden and severe weakness in the nerves supplying them.

PREVENTION

The complication of diabetes and the associated neuropathy can be prevented. It requires regular monitoring of blood glucose level and insulin. In addition to this bringing changes in life style can also prevent this condition. The risk factors for developing diabetes should be kept in check like obesity, cigarette smoking, excessive alcohol intake and high blood pressure should be maintained.

TREATMENT

This neuropathy treatment includes bringing down the blood glucose level and symptomatic treatment depending upon the nerves involved. As it causes severe pain, pain relief is the first priority. For this certain medicines such as imipramine, opiod, capsaicin containing medicines are given. In addition to this various neuropathy creams are prescribed to apply to the feet.

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