Diabetics’ numbers continue to rise every year. Recent statistics show that 11% of the total US population has diabetes. This means that every 17 seconds, an American is diagnosed with diabetes.
Diabetes is considered the fastest-growing chronic disease. It is estimated that by 2045 700 million adults will have diabetes globally. These figures contain those also undiagnosed.
Diabetes has its complications, and one of them is diabetic neuropathy. This is a disorder of the nerves as a result of having diabetes. The longer you have had diabetes, the more prone you are to developing this diabetes mellitus complication.
How Is Diabetic Neuropathy Diagnosed
The patient has a better chance of receiving adequate treatment when diagnosed early. To properly diagnose the condition, a doctor will look at a combination of medical history, clinical examination, and lab tests to support the diagnosis. A comprehensive evaluation is necessary since not all foot and limb pain means diabetic neuropathy.
Types and Signs of Diabetic Neuropathy
The signs of diabetic neuropathy depend on the type.
- Peripheral Neuropathy – affects the body’s extremities, i.e., hands, arms, feet, and legs.
- Autonomic Neuropathy – affects the autonomic nervous system responsible for the normal functioning of the heart, urinary tract, and other body functions.
- Proximal neuropathy – affects hips, thighs, and buttocks.
- Focal neuropathy affects specific nerves and can occur in any body part.
Each type of neuropathy portrays different signs. However, the common signs of diabetic neuropathy are insensitivity or numbness to foot pain. There are a few diabetics who don’t display any neuropathic symptoms, but for others, it becomes apparent through numbness and pain.
Other symptoms that are also common include urinary issues, sexual issues, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and indigestion. Please note that this symptom can initially seem trivial and go unnoticed, damaging the nerves for a longer period.
Causes of Diabetic Neuropathy
The exact cause of diabetic neuropathy is unclear, but several risk factors make you prone to it. They include:
- Poor control of your blood sugar
- A history of diabetes
- Kidney issues
How to Treat Diabetic Neuropathy
There is no proven cure for this condition. The available treatments only aid in;
- Deceleration of the disease’s progression
- Pain relief
- Controlling the complications to restore normal functioning
Keeping your sugar levels regular will help prevent nerve damage. Your doctor will work with you to ensure you find the best range that will work for your body. They will also prescribe the proper medications specifically manufactured for diabetes-related nerve issues.
It would be best if you talked with your doctor about the benefits and side effects of the drugs on you. This will act as a guide in ensuring that you settle for the most effective option. Depending on the complications that have arisen, you might require the services of different specialists to restore the various functions.
It might take time, but you will get there with consistency and the right attitude.
We Can Help
As there are no good treatment options, patients must adhere to the available relief medications prescribed. A good diet and exercise with drugs to control blood sugar levels will go a long way in ensuring relief.
Bear in mind that stable control of blood sugar is of paramount importance for prevention. For professional help and assistance, please fill out this form to book an appointment, and the Center for Pain Management team will be in touch.