Upon being diagnosed with a chronic condition one of the first concerns a patient has is how this newly diagnosed condition will affect one’s personal life. There is reason to worry about life and the affect that a chronic condition such as neuropathy can have, because neuropathy is a limiting condition. Neuropathy is a complex condition that can have an effect on the body’s nervous system. Neuropathy can be considered a collection of disorders that develop when damaged to the peripheral nervous system occurs. The peripheral nervous system refers to the part of the nervous system outside of the brain and spinal cord; when damage occurs to the nerve cells or nerve axons, it is called peripheral neuropathy. Neuropathy is a painful condition that can have an effect on an individual’s life and their ability to maintain a normal active life.
Neuropathy, simply said, is when there is a communication breakdown between the brain and spinal cord. When there is a breakdown in communication, it is if static is being heard and the nerve endings are getting mixed messages as to what they should or should not be sensing. The brain is what communicates to the sensory nerves that the burner they are about to touch is hot and the sensory nerves communicates back to the brain that they could sense through touch that the burner is too hot. When this line of communication is not working correctly, an individual has a hard time computing when something is hot or cold, terrain changes and if injury has occurred. The symptoms of neuropathy are what create limitations to productivity and normal functionality. It is the manifestation of the neuropathy symptoms that causes severe pains to be felt in areas of the body such as the hands and feet.
Neuropathy symptoms make everyday tasks like walking and washing dishes difficult if not impossible to do due to the pain that the neuropathic experiences. Neuropathy symptoms may be felt differently from patient to patient and the reason being is that each neuropathy patient differs somewhat in their diagnoses, where nerve damage has occurred, what is causing their neuropathy and what type of neuropathy they have. The most common neuropathy symptoms complained about would include the following lists:
- Needle-like pinching
- Muscle weakness
- Loss of coordination
- Sensitivity to touch
- Dull ache
- Involuntary muscle spasms
What causes these painful sensations to take place and control a person’s life? This question’s plagues many minds as the study of neuropathy continues to expand. Though medical professionals do not have all the answers they do have several thoughts and opinions on the matter and studies have shown that diabetes plays a large role in the onset of neuropathy and creates neuropathy in feet.
Diabetic Neuropathy And The Complications It Can Bring
Diabetic neuropathy is possibly one of the most familiar types of neuropathy and is a common complication of diabetes. Diabetic patients have to be cautious of the affect that their uncontrolled blood sugar levels could have on the development of neuropathy. If glucose levels stay sporadic and imbalanced for a long period, the diabetic could be facing severe consequences and an added lifelong struggle.
Neuropathy in diabetic’s takes years to develop some diabetics does not begin to show signs of neuropathy till ten or twenty years after begin diagnosed with diabetes, and even then diabetic neuropathy symptoms develop over time. High levels of blood sugar can cause damage to the nerve cells especially in the foot area as a result of the blood sugar levels restricting proper blood flow. Diabetics are constantly reminded to take proper care of their feet in order to prevent neuropathy in feet. Neuropathy in feet can be hazardous and if not treated could lead to amputation.
When neuropathy begins to form in the foot area the neuropathic patient must seek out a treatment that will help prevent further nerve cell damage and a loss of mobility. Treatment options often include physical therapy to prevent limbs from stiffening as well as occupational therapy to help teach neuropathy in feet patients how to cope with his or her condition safely.
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