How Is Neuropathy Related to Diabetes?

Diabetes can affect the nerves. The American Diabetes Association knows how difficult it is for many patients to regulate their blood sugar levels. But keeping your blood glucose levels in check can prevent nerve damage or neuropathy. Understanding the relationship between neuropathy and diabetes is essential. It can help motivate you to live a healthier life. Here are the details.


The Definition

Neuropathy is a complication of having high levels of sugar in your blood for a long time. High blood sugar levels can damage the nerves. These nerves may stop delivering messages to the brain and the different parts of the body. Nerve damage can result in mild numbness at first. This can worsen pain, which can make daily activities difficult.


Why It Is Painful

Nerve damage disables the proper delivery of messages throughout your entire body. This changes the sensations that you should feel. There may be tingling, shooting pains, discomfort, numbness, and burning. These sensations can worsen at night. Worsening can result from stress or cooler temperatures. Long-term pain can be distressing. It can prevent you from having a good quality of life. If the pain is frequent and you are already struggling, consult your doctor about it.


Types of Neuropathy

There are several types of diabetic neuropathy. Having high levels of sugar in the body can damage the nerves that connect the different parts of your body to your brain. Here are the types of neuropathy that you should be aware of:


  • Diabetic sensory neuropathy is damage to the nerves that affect your senses. It affects the nerves in your extremities, skin, muscles, and bones. This type of nerve damage can decrease the sensation in your feet. This can make you vulnerable to minor injuries that can progress into large ulcers. Taking good care of your feet is necessary.

  • Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is the most common type of nerve damage. It targets the nerves outside the spinal cord and the brain. This condition affects the hands and feet. It may turn into sensory neuropathy, motor neuropathy, or even both. That is why your hands and feet must be part of your yearly diabetes checkup.

  • Motor neuropathy affects the nerves that support your movement. This nerve damage results in muscle atrophy and weakness. Motor neuropathy makes it difficult for a patient to perform even small tasks, such as fastening buttons. Cramping and muscle twitching can also happen.

  • Diabetic autonomic neuropathy damages the nerves that bring information to your glands and organs. This can affect your sexual organs or heartbeat.

  • Focal nerve damage results in double vision, numbness in the fingers or hands, pain behind one eye, and paralysis on one side of the face.

  • Proximal nerve damage affects the legs, hips, thighs, or buttocks. It can also affect the chest and stomach areas. You may experience severe pain in the buttocks, thighs, hips, or stomach. Getting up from a sitting position is a problem as well.

Knowing how your diabetes can result in neuropathy can help you prevent it or seek proper treatment. At Pleasant Life Health Center, we aim to help our patients achieve better health as they go through their chronic diseases. Visit our center in Charleston, South Carolina, for an in-person consultation. You can also reach us at 843-428-7900 to set an appointment or inquire about our neuropathy treatment packages.

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