Diabetes has been the cause of many diseases in the body. One of these diseases is known as Diabetic neuropathy. It is essentially nerve damage due to diabetes which is rather painful. For people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, it has proven to be a common and severe complication. It has been this way for as many as 50% of patients with diabetes.
The primary cause for Diabetic neuropathy is when high levels of sugar or fats in the blood damage the nerves in the body. When it affects the nerves, it also hinders some of the body’s necessary functions. The nerves are the bunches of tissues carrying signals from your brain to the other parts of your body. They are crucial to the ways our body works, such as:
- Sending messages to move, feel things,
- Control bodily functions, such as thinking, digestion,
- Control automatic and voluntary functions, such as breathing.
Diabetic neuropathy can affect practically any nerve in the body, with a wide range of symptoms that only deteriorate over time. In several cases, patients are symptomatic before they have had any clinical examination, revealing every abnormality.
What are the symptoms of Diabetic Neuropathy?
The symptoms, as previously mentioned, are progressive and appear after some time; however, several people might not notice these symptoms of mild nerve damage for a period. You can feel them starting from your feet when you get the ‘pins and needles’ sensation or even burning or shooting pain in their lower legs. Nevertheless, numerous other signs and symptoms depend on which type of neuropathy you are suffering from and what nerves it affects. Some of the general symptoms include:
- Loss of sense of touch or increased sensitivity to touch
- Numbness and aching in your hands, legs, or feet, especially at night
- Nausea, indigestion, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation
- Erectile dysfunction
- Increased heart rate
- Incapable of sensing low blood glucose levels in the blood
What are the different types of Diabetic Neuropathy?
You must know what is happening to you when you are suffering from Diabetic neuropathy. There are at least four branches of this disease which are as follows:
The autonomic nervous system runs other systems in your body over which you have no conscious control. It controls your eyes, heart, stomach, bladder, intestines, and sex organs. You may feel; nausea, diarrhea, bloating, and constipation, changes in the way your eyes adjust from light to dark and lowered sexual responses when you suffer from this type.
Peripheral Symmetric Neuropathy:
This type of Diabetic neuropathy has been one of the most common to affect people. It usually first affects the feet and legs and, in rare cases, the arms, abdomen, and back. If you have this type of neuropathy, you may not feel any soreness on your foot. People with diabetes often have poor blood circulation, making it more difficult for wounds to heal. You may feel numbness, tingling, muscle contractions, and weakness.
It occurs when there is damage to a specific nerve or group of nerves. All of this leads to extreme weakness and aching in the affected area. The pain appears suddenly and seldomly in the head, leg, or torso. You may feel aching behind the eyes, double vision, and paralysis on one side of the face.
This type of neuropathy is the rarest. It often impacts the nerves in the thighs, hips, buttocks, legs, abdominal, and chest areas. This disease is predominant in the ages of over 50 years old with well-controlled type 2 diabetes. You may feel severe aches in the stomach, hip and thigh.
What can you do to treat Diabetic Neuropathy?
Although this illness does not have a concrete solution, the best diabetic neuropathy treatment is to monitor your blood sugar levels. This way, it will slow its progression and stop it from getting worse. Except for keeping your blood glucose levels in a healthy range, these are the steps you need to take to get on the recovery road for diabetic neuropathy.
- You should prevent smoking and reduce the amount of alcohol you consume.
- Taking regular care of your feet and skin is essential if you are particularly suffering from peripheral neuropathy.
- You may take medication such as anti-seizure drugs and antidepressants to alleviate pain caused by diabetic neuropathy.
Now to move onto the most significant part of your treatment, you need to focus on having a properly balanced diet. You must work closely with your doctor to get both of them. They may suggest changes to gently bring your blood sugar and fat levels down into the healthy zone by advising you to eat a diet high in fruits, low-fat dairy, vegetables, and whole grains.
In addition to these, your diet also needs to contain an adequate amount of poultry, nuts, fish, and beans with a reduced amount of red meat. On the flip side, if you face difficulties with digestion due to your neuropathy, your doctor may suggest you eat smaller meals frequently and limit the amount of fat and fiber in your diet. You need to follow through with these tips while maintaining a healthy body weight.
Undoubtedly, a balanced diet is not only what you require during your road to recovery. You also need to maintain an appropriate exercise regime. Exercising for even at least 30 minutes, five days a week would be more than enough, depending on what sort of neuropathy you have. These exercises may include aerobic activities, such as running or swimming, strength training exercises, and functional training.
They relieve the pain of neuropathic symptoms or by enhancing nerve conduction and function of body parts. If you are not into aggressive activity, you can lean towards regular exercises, such as walking at least three to four times a week. It can reduce aches because of neuropathy; improve muscle strength while reducing numbness, and help control blood sugar levels.
To sum it up, you can treat diabetic neuropathy by solely taking care of yourself the right way. Even though it seems challenging now but once you get the hang of it, you can stay on the road to recovery and be better in no time.