What Actually is Diabetic Neuropathy All About?
Diabetic neuropathy is one of the very serious complications of diabetes and it cannot be reversed. Thousands of diabetes patients who neglected their condition due to being unaware or just plain negligence have ended up with this severe problem.
When the blood sugar levels in your body are too high, the body sends out signals. If these signals are routinely neglected and no attempt is made at getting the diabetes in check, in a matter of time, the body is going to start losing sensation in different parts of the body.
This is a result of damaged blood vessels, cells and nerves. The damaged nerves are referred to as diabetic neuropathy.
When the nerves are damaged, the signals sent by the different parts of the body do not reach the brain. This frequently happens with the extremities such as the hands and feet. In some cases, numbness or a painful tingling feeling may be present. All these are symptoms of diabetic neuropathy.
Research has shown that men are more prone to diabetic neuropathy.
Besides loss of sensation, diabetic neuropathy has several other unpleasant symptoms such as:
- Nausea, bloating, diarrhea, constipation and vomiting
- Erectile dysfunction
- Low blood pressure, dizziness and a tendency to feel faint
- Bladder problems
- Foot ulcers
People who have diabetic neuropathy can alleviate the problem by being very strict with their food and making sure that their blood sugar levels are extremely stable.
They should make regular appointments with the doctor and have tests conducted to see how fast their nerves respond to external stimuli.
Another important habit they should inculcate will be to examine their feet often. Those with diabetic neuropathy are more susceptible to getting foot problems which result in amputations. The lack of sensation in the feet will mean that the sufferer is unaware of any problems with the feet.
If left untreated, the problem will worsen till it becomes too late to do anything but amputate the limb. The color, temperature and sensitivity of the feet will be good indicators of the health of your nerves.
Type 2 diabetes is not a death sentence and in reality, it can be prevented and controlled. Diabetic neuropathy occurs because the diabetes was left uncontrolled for too long. Once you’ve been diagnosed with it, the best that can be done is to manage it. There is no treatment for the condition.
All is not lost yet. With good control, the problem can be slowed down or stopped, depending on the individual. You doctor will be the best person to advise you on this matter and there is oral medication to help with diabetic neuropathy.
You can also do your part by not smoking and avoiding alcohol completely. You’ll need to change your diet and eat clean. Lots of fruit and vegetables high in fiber will help. Get your daily macro and micro nutrients. You may wish to look into the paleo or Mediterranean diets which are excellent eating plans suitable for diabetes patients.
At the end of the day, the extent to which diabetes can control your life will depend solely on you. If you are vigilant and determined to keep it at arm’s length, you will do what it takes to stay healthy and diabetes will not cause you problems. Even if problems do crop up, you will be prepared and be able to nip them in the bud.