The Nerve Damage of Diabetes
Related nerve illnesses caused by diabetes are called diabetic neuropathies. A long period of suffering from diabetes can cause nerve damage all over the body. While some people having nerve damage show no symptoms, there are some experience symptoms like pain, a feeling of numbness, numbness in the arms, hands, legs and feet. These nerve problems can happen in all organ systems such as the sex organs, heart and digestive tract.
Approximately 60 – 70 percent of diabetics suffer some kind of neuropathy. Diabetics can get nerve damage at any time but the risk increases with age and a longer period of diabetes. Most neuropathy cases are found among those who have suffered from diabetes for more than 25 years. It is also commonly found in diabetics who cannot manage their blood sugar well, have raised levels of blood pressure and blood fat as well as those whose body mass index (BMI) is above the normal level and are too fat.
Risk factors for diabetic neuropathies
Different kinds of diabetic neuropathy can have different causes. Studies are still being conducted to know more about prolonged suffering from high blood sugar leading to nerve damage. Nueropathy is possibly caused by a few combined factors:
- Lifestyle factors, like smoking or drinking alcohol beverages.
- Inherited traits which raises the risk to nerve disease.
- Mechanical harm to nerves; for instance, carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Autoimmune factors which lead to inflammation in nerves.
- Neurovascular factors, resulting in damage to blood vessels that take oxygen as well as nutrients to the nerves
- Metabolic factors, like high blood sugar, years of diabetes, high levels of blood fat, and probably low insulin levels.
Diabetes: Nerve damage (Neuropathy) – Video Guide
Symptoms of diabetic neuropathies
The possible symptoms experienced are dependent upon the type of neuropathy and the affected nerve. There are diabetics with neuropathy who experience no symptoms whatsoever while there are some who initially have their feet feel numb, have light pricking points in the skin or pain. As symptoms are initially mild, most nerve damage are not noticed for a long time. These symptoms do affect the physical senses, motor senses as well as independent or reflexive systems. In certain people with focal neuropathy, pain can appear suddenly and sharp.
Nerve damage symptoms may be:
- Urination problems.
- Diarrhea or constipation.
- Indigestion, vomiting, or nausea.
- Numbness, tingling, or painful in the legs, feet, toes, arms, hands and fingers.
- Loss of muscles in the extremities of the limbs.
- Unsteadiness after standing or sitting up as a result of a sudden fall in blood pressure.
- Men’s erectile dysfunction or Women’s vaginal dryness.
Problems of depression and weight lossoften come with neuropathy although they are not symptoms.
Types of diabetic neuropathy
Diabetic neuropathy may be typed as autonomic, peripheral, focal, or peripheral. Each affects a certain part of the body in many different ways.
- Autonomic neuropathy leads to changes in the process of digestion, bowel as well as bladder function, perspiration, and sexual response. Nerves at the heart as well as nerves having control over blood pressure, including nerves at the lings and eyes are also affected. It can result in hypoglycemia unawareness, a problem of people not being able to get the warning symptoms of low levels of blood sugar.
- Peripheral neuropathy which brings pain or numbness in the toes, feet, legs, hands, and arms, is known as the most common nerve damage problem among diabetics.
- Focal neuropathy causes the unexpected weakness of a nerve, which can be any nerve, or a number of nerves, resulting weakness of the muscles or pain.
- Proximal neuropathy results in the thighs, hips or buttocks experiencing pain, culminating in the legs becoming weak.