Home Disorders Diabetic Neuropathy Explained

Diabetic Neuropathy Explained

Being diabetic can also put you at risk to nerve pain and injury. Diabetes mellitus does not only affect the body's systemic function. It can also be harmful to the nerves, causing many diabetic patients to suffer from peripheral neuropathy or diabetic pain. The condition is manageable and highly preventable. Control of the blood sugar level can help you prevent the occurrence of diabetic neuropathy and its complications.

How does diabetic neuropathy occur

The damage to the nerve in diabetes is caused by the toxic effect of the blood sugar level in the body. The poor circulation in the body caused by diabetes also contributes to the nerve damage. As a result, the nerve loses its ability to function efficiently, causing it to fail in transmitting sensation in the body. This is the reason why diabetic pain and neuropathy usually manifest as a numbing sensation in the feet and legs, accompanied by pain which is caused by the misfires on the nerve signals of the affected nerve. When the nerve is injured or damaged, the most classic sensation that will be felt are electric shock-like sensation, tingling, or pin and needles type of pain, which are the typical nerve pain symptoms.

Diabetic neuropathy is considered as a complication of diabetes because of the failure to control the blood sugar level in the body. The exact mechanism by which a high blood sugar level can cause damage to the nerve remains unclear, but studies are focused on how the blood sugar level can interfere with the ability of the nerves to send signals to the body. Blood sugar in high quantities can also weaken the walls of capillaries that help supply nutrients and oxygen through the blood to the nerves. Genetic factors are also considered risk factors for diabetic neuropathy, while the destructive effects of smoking and alcohol to the nerves are also possible causes. Being overweight and the presence of a kidney disease is also other known risk factors for developing diabetic neuropathy.

Treatment options

Treatment is usually directed at controlling and managing the symptoms. There is no known cure for diabetic neuropathy. The main objective in diabetic pain treatment is to relieve the pain, prevent the progression of the disease, preventing complications and restoring function. Diabetic neuropathy can be debilitating if not managed properly. It can interfere significantly with one's ability to carry out their daily functions and activities.

  • Slowing down the disease progression

The best measure against progression of the disease is to control the blood sugar level in diabetes. Ideally, talking to your doctor in order to determine the ideal blood sugar range for your condition is better. Observing proper foot care can also help prevent progressive nerve pain experienced at  the foot. Maintaining a healthy weight can also help control the blood sugar level activities in the body. Making lifestyle changes, such as quit smoking and avoid drinking alcoholic drinks will also reduce your risk of getting the disorder. Keeping yourself physically feet will also bring a healthy bodily condition that will help you avoid developing possible nerve damage.

  • Relieve painful symptoms

Pain is a classic symptom in diabetic pain and neuropathy. Pain is highly manageable with pain medications. Anti-seizure medications are effective in managing nerve pain, while antidepressants can also provide pain relief. You will need a prescription medicine for these medications and your doctor can provide you the ideal dose to take under your circumstances.

  • Improve nerve damage recovery

In order to aid the healing process of an injured nerve, increasing your physical activity will help improve the blood circulation in the body that can help enhance the regeneration of the injured nerve. Exercise is the best form of intervention to assist nerve damage recovery and it is effective in taming the blood sugar level.

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References:

  1. Diabetic Pain Solution
  2. Mayo Clinic
  3. Web MD