Diabetic neuropathy symptoms are not as simple as many other illness’s symptoms. For starters, there are four different types of neuropathy that affect diabetics. Each type of neuropathy has its own list of symptoms. Some diabetic patients who have nerve damage do not have any symptoms.
Symptoms Of Diabetic Neuropathies
The first symptom of diabetic neuropathy is typically numbness, tingling or pain in the feet. Symptoms of this condition are typically minor at first. Because of this, mild cases of nerve damage can go unnoticed for a long time. Nerve damage typically occurs over a long period of time, such as several years.
Symptoms of diabetic neuropathies can involve the sensory, motor, and autonomic systems. In the case of focal neuropathy the onset of pain may be sudden and very severe.
Common symptoms of nerve damage include:
- Numbness, tingling or pain in the toes, feet, legs, hands, arms and fingers
- Wasting of the muscles of the feet or hands
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Indigestion, nausea or vomiting
- Problems with urination
- Dizziness or faintness due to a drop in blood pressure after standing or sitting up
Other common symptoms that neuropathy patients suffer from are weight loss and depression. These symptoms are not due to the neuropathy itself, but occur with it.
The first step in treatment of diabetic neuropathy is to bring blood glucose levels within the normal range. This is helpful in preventing further nerve damage. Blood glucose monitoring, meal planning, physical activity and diabetic medications such as insulin can greatly help control blood glucose levels. It is important for patients to remember that when blood glucose levels are brought within the normal levels symptoms may initially become worse. However, over time, maintaining a more normal level of blood glucose can help lessen symptoms. This can also help prevent or delay the onset of further problems.
After controlling the patient’s blood glucose levels the doctor may begin to prescribe other medications such as those that help relieve the pain or gastrointestinal relief. The doctor can then move onto helping the patient learn to better properly care for their condition. This can mean proper foot care and just overall wellness.
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