What is Diabetic Neuropathy?

Diabetic neuropathy is a common complication of diabetes.  More specifically it is the damage to the nerves that allow a person to feel sensations such as pain. In diabetics the nerve damage seems to be caused from glucose (blood sugar) levels being too high for an extended period of time.  There are four types of diabetic neuropathy – peripheral, autonomic, proximal, and focal.

Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

This is the most common type of neuropathy in diabetic patients and the areas of the body most affected are the peripheral extremities such as the arms, hands, and more commonly feet and legs. The symptoms of peripheral neuropathy include numbness, tingling, burning, and pain. In the majority of cases, diabetic neuropathy treatment can be obtained if the symptoms are caught early, when blood sugar levels are kept under control, and when certain preventative measures are taken.

Diabetic Autonomic Neuropathy

This type of neuropathy most commonly affects the digestive system, stomach, blood vessels, urinary system, and sexual organs. As is the most common with diabetic neuropathy treatment, keeping the glucose levels under control will greatly reduce these problems. Each instance of autonomic neuropathy is different and each will require a different diabetic neuropathy treatment.  For example if the symptoms affect the digestive system treatments may include eating smaller meals and/or medication. When the symptoms are in regards to the blood vessels the patient should try and avoid standing up to quickly, and also wear special stockings to aid in circulation.  

Diabetic Proximal Neuropathy

Diabetic proximal neuropathy most often causes pain on one side either in the thighs, hips, or buttocks. It can also lead to weakness in the legs.  Management for the pain and weakness is usually a necessary diabetic neuropathy treatment and can include both medication and physical therapy. Depending on the amount of nerve damage that previously taken place prevention of proximal neuropathy again consists of keeping blood sugar levels under tight control.

Diabetic Focal Neuropathy

This type of neuropathy can attack very suddenly and most affect affects the nerves located in the head, torso, or leg causing muscle weakness and pain. The good news when seeking diabetic neuropathy treatment in regards to focal neuropathy is that while painful and unpredictable, this type is more likely to improve itself over weeks or months and doesn’t usually cause long-term damage.


Diabetic Neuropathy Treatment

Diabetic neuropathy treatment is obtainable. Depending on the type of diabetic neuropathy an individual suffers from treatment options range from medications, therapies, and supplements. Once a proper diagnosis is given, prevention is practiced, and diabetic neuropathy treatment obtained patients should begin to notice relief, or possible nonexistence, of their painful symptoms quite quickly.



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