Signs of Diabetic Neuropathy - Type 2 Diabetes
Neuropathy is a fancy term for nerve damage or nerve disease.
causes damage to nerve endings throughout the body
and symptoms include numbness, pain and digestion problems. Nerve damage may
start before or after being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes
and, without proper blood sugar level control, can lead to physical discomfort,
outright pain, or in severe cases, death. Learning to recognize the
signs of diabetic
will help to treat it early and prevent escalation.
The nervous system is a complex collection of special cells that
transmit temperature and pain signals from the body to the brain.
They give us the sense of touch, allow us to control our muscles and
even perform autonomous tasks like digestion, blood flow and breathing.
Doctors have not conclusively determined what causes these critical
cells to be damaged but speculate the following factors:
- Long-term high blood sugar levels.
- Interaction of glucose with certain proteins in the cells.
- Autoimmune system response & history of the disease in the family.
- Smoking & alcohol abuse.
There are four types of diabetic neuropathy. Diabetics may experience symptoms of
more than one type. The symptoms are gradual, can vary between people and may even
occur before diabetes is
suspected or diagnosed.
This is the most common form of nerve damage for diabetics. Symptoms include:
- Numbness or tingling in the feet,
legs, hands and arms.
- Loss of pain and temperature sensing.
- Skin sensitive to touch or sharp, piercing pain, especially at night.
- Loss of balance & coordination, weakness in the muscles.
- Incurable foot infections, ulcers and joint pain.
Long-term type 2 diabetics with poorly-controlled blood sugar levels may suffer from the following:
- Weak bladder control with frequent urinary tract infections.
- Digestive problems, abdominal pains, diarrhea or constipation.
- Nausea, vomiting or slow stomach emptying.
- Erectile dysfunction,
vaginal dryness or other discomforts with the sex organs.
- Changes in sweating patterns.
- Sharp drop in blood pressure after sitting or standing which may lead to dizziness & weakness.
- Trouble regulating body temperature.
- Light sensitivity in the eyes when going from light to dark.
This complication mainly inflicts people with type 2 diabetes and is characterized by:
- Pain in the hip, thigh and buttocks making sitting, standing and walking difficult.
- Muscle atrophy may occur as these muscles become weaker.
- Pain may start on one side of the body and may spread into the abdominal area.
- Weight loss may occur.
Often found in older adults, focal neuropathy comes on suddenly, is usually focused on
a single area and may last for only a short duration. Symptoms include:
- Eye troubles (eye aches, double vision, focusing trouble).
- Paralysis on one side of the face.
- Pain in the foot or lower leg.
- Pain in the wrist, similar to carpal tunnel syndrome.
There is no known cure for diabetic neuropathy and the most effective treatment is
to slow the progression of the symptoms and
relieve the pain
Regimented control of blood sugar levels is the key while some medication and
exercise may restore functions. To help slow nerve damage:
Even though there is no known medical or alternative treatment for
diabetic neuropathy, there are things you can do to slow its progress.
A lifestyle change must incorporate regular exercise and a healthy food
plan to maintain proper weight, blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
If you are showing signs of diabetic neuropathy but have not been diagnosed
as diabetic, consult with your healthcare provider who will discuss
personal history, risk factors,
and any signs
of diabetes you may be experiencing. Should a
diagnosis of type 2
diabetes be confirmed, a diabetes
treatment plan can then be prepared to suit your individual needs.
The information on this website is based on our own research and personal experience,
and is not a substitute for medical advice. Questions about your health and individual
situation should be directed to your doctor.