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Diabetic Nerve Damage-Four Areas That Will Impact Your Life

Diabetic Nerve Damage-Four Areas That Will Impact Your Life

Learning about Diabetic Nerve Damage-4 Areas That Will Impact Your Life, may just save it…

This Nerve Damage, also called Diabetic Neuropathy, is a common complication of diabetes. It is damage to the very nerves that allow you to feel sensations such as pain.

There are a number of ways diabetes damages the nerves, but they’re all related to your blood glucose (sugar) being too high for a long period of time.

Diabetic nerve damage can be painful, but the pain is not severe in most cases. There are, however, cases that go undetected for a long time… mainly because we tend to ignore what feels like “little aches and pains” while we live our busy lives.

However, the damage continues to build, and this is where exercise enters the picture.

No topic is more important when learning about Diabetic Nerve Damage-Four Areas That Will Impact Your Life than exercise. It could save your life.

Exercise is one of the major keys to preventing or managing diabetic nerve damage.

Exercise provides huge benefits for diabetics.

  • It helps lower blood sugar levels
  • It helps the body use insulin.

This means that people with Type 1 Diabetes who exercise regularly may need less insulin. And people with Type 2 Diabetes who exercise may be able to control their diabetes without medication.

In addition to the above, exercise lowers your risk of heart disease and stroke and helps reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol and raise “good” HDL cholesterol.

There are four types of diabetic nerve damage-four areas that will impact your life in particular: 

Diabetic Nerve Damage-Four Areas That Will Impact Your Life-feet1. Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

The feet and legs are the areas most commonly affected by Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy,

Diabetic nerve damage in the feet can result in a loss of foot sensation, increasing your risk of foot problems.
  • Injuries and sores on the feet may go unrecognized due to lack of sensation. It is extremely important for diabetics to practice good foot care.

Rarely, other areas of the body such as the arms, abdomen, and back may be affected, but it does happen.

Learn About Diabetic Foot Care-4 Reasons Why And Fourteen Ways To Do It

Symptoms of diabetic nerve damage-four areas that will impact your life may include:

  • Tingling
  • Numbness (severe or long-term numbness can become permanent)
  • Burning (especially in the evening)  
In most cases, early symptoms of diabetic nerve damage will lessen when blood sugar is under control. Medications are available for control of discomfort if needed.

To prevent peripheral neuropathy:

  • Work with your doctor to keep your blood sugar under tight control

Diabetic Nerve Damage-Four Areas That Will Impact Your Life-diabetic footTo help prevent the complications of diabetic nerve damage:

  • Examine your feet and legs daily.
  • Apply lotion if your feet are dry.
  • Care for your nails regularly (Go to a podiatrist, if necessary. I can’t stress this enough.)

Ignoring these symptoms in your feet can lead to amputation later on.

  • Wear properly fitting footwear and wear them all the time to prevent foot injury.

2. Diabetic Autonomic Neuropathy

Diabetic autonomic (which means “involuntary”) neuropathy most often affects the digestive system, especially the stomach, blood vessels, urinary system, and sex organs.

To prevent autonomic neuropathy, continuously keep your blood sugar levels well controlled.

Diabetic Nerve Damage-Four Areas That Will Impact Your Life-gastricSymptoms of diabetic autonomic neuropathy of the digestive system may include:

  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Heartburn
    Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Feeling full after small meals

Treatments for autonomic neuropathy of the digestive system may include:

  • Eating smaller meals
  • Medication

Diabetic Nerve Damage-Four Areas That Will Impact Your Life-blood vesselsIf the blood vessels are involved (diabetic autonomic neuropathy of the blood vessels) symptoms may include:

  • Blacking out when you stand up quickly
  • Increased heart rate
  • Dizziness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Feeling full very early on during meals

Treatments for autonomic neuropathy of the blood vessels may include:

  • Avoiding standing up too quickly
  • Medications
  • Wearing special support stockings

Symptoms of autonomic neuropathy of the male sex organs may include:

  • Inability to have or maintain an erection (erectile dysfunction)
  • “Dry” or reduced ejaculations

Note: Impotence needs to be evaluated by your doctor. It may be caused by your medicines or factors other than diabetes.

Treatments for autonomic neuropathy of the male sex organs include:

  • Counseling
  • Penile implant
  • Vacuum erection device
  • Penile Injections
  • Medication

Symptoms of autonomic neuropathy of the female sex organs may include:

  • Decrease in vaginal lubrication
  • Decrease in number of orgasms or lack of orgasm

Treatments for autonomic neuropathy of the female sex organs include:

  • Counseling
  • Vaginal estrogen creams, suppositories, and rings
  • Lubricants

Learn About The Challenges Of Sexual Dysfunction (for men AND women) with Diabetes

Diabetic Nerve Damage-Four Areas That Will Impact Your Life-urinarySymptoms of autonomic neuropathy of the urinary system may include:

  • Unable to completely empty bladder
  • Bloating
  • Incontinence (leaking urine)
  • Increased urination at night

Treatments for neuropathy of the urinary system include:

  • Medication
  • Self-catheterization (inserting a catheter into the bladder to release urine)
  • Surgery

3. Diabetic Proximal Neuropathy

Diabetic proximal neuropathy causes pain (usually on one side) in the thighs, hips, or buttocks.  It can also lead to weakness in the legs.

Treatment is usually needed and may include medication and physical therapy. The recovery varies, depending on the type of nerve damage.

Prevention consists of keeping blood sugar under tight control.

4. Diabetic Focal Neuropathy

Diabetic focal neuropathy can also appear suddenly and affect specific nerves, most often in the head, torso, or leg, causing muscle weakness or pain.

Symptoms of Diabetic Focal Neuropathy may include:

  • Double vision
  • Eye pain
  • Paralysis on one side of the face (Bell’s palsy)
  • Severe pain in a certain area, such as the lower back or leg(s)
  • Chest or abdominal pain (sometimes mistaken for another condition such as heart attack or appendicitis)

Diabetic Focal Neuropathy is painful and unpredictable, however, it tends to improve by itself over weeks or months and does not tend to cause long-term damage.

Other types of diabetic nerve damage-four areas that will impact your life-are seen:

People with diabetes can also develop other nerve-related conditions, such as nerve compressions (“entrapment syndromes”).

Diabetic Nerve Damage-Four Areas That Will Impact Your Life-peripheralCarpal Tunnel Syndrome is a very common type of entrapment syndrome and causes numbness and tingling of the hand and sometimes muscle weakness or pain.

Prevention of Diabetic Nerve Damage:

For many diabetics, keeping tight control of your blood sugar levels will help prevent many of these diabetes-related conditions.

 

IMPORTANT SIGNHave a serious conversation with your doctor about how to modify your individual diabetes treatment plan in order to prevent complications from diabetic nerve damage.

 

Recommended Reading:

7 Good Habits To Give Up For Type 2 Diabetics

9 Complications Of Type 2 Diabetes That May Catch You Off-Guard 

Diabetes And Exercise-Mayo Clinic

 

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