Published on December 9th, 2012 | by AJ0
Find Out Everything You Need To Know About Diabetic Neuropathy
Diabetic neuropathy is a condition that damages different nerve cells in the body. This occurs when there is too much glucose in blood. Diabetics are normally at risk of developing this disorder if they fail to monitor and manage their blood glucose levels. There are many other problems that can also arise from the high glucose concentration in blood.
Apart from high sugar levels in blood, decreased circulation can also cause damage to nerve cells. When the insulin produced by the pancreas is not sufficient, or the body’s sensitivity to insulin is too low, body cells will not be able to absorb and use glucose. As a result, some major arteries will start to harden. This will reduce their capacity to carry blood. Stokes and heart attacks can occur as a result.
Homeostasis is the process by which the body tries to achieve a healthy state by maintaining the right pH, sugar, salt and ion concentration in the body. When sugar levels increase, the body eliminates the excess sugar through the kidneys as urine. This is the reason why diabetics often have glucose in their urine.
Around 50 percent of all diabetics experience nerve damage at one point of their lives. This normally occurs ten or twenty years after the metabolic disorder has been diagnosed. Nerve injuries may occur in the cranial nerves, nerve cells around the spinal cord and its branches, and nerves that coordinate the functions of the bladder, heart, intestines and stomach.
Other problems that may occur due to damage of nerve cells include diabetic foot ulcers, bladder and kidney infections. Neuropathy can also mask the symptoms of other potentially fatal illnesses. For instance, a person may not experience chest pains associated with a heart attack or heart disease. Nerve cells are responsible for transmitting signals like pain. When they are damaged, the brain may not be aware of a heart attack or any other problem that may occur around the affected areas.
Many types of medications for treating diabetic neuropathy exist. These drugs are used to alleviate the symptoms like nausea, depression, pain and seizures among others. The best way to prevent or reduce the severity of this disorder is to keep blood sugar levels low at all times. There are many ways of doing this. For instance, exercising on a regular basis might increase the sensitivity of body cells to insulin. This will lower blood sugar levels because more glucose will be absorbed and burned inside the body cells to produce energy.
There are many signs and symptoms that may indicate nerve damage. For instance, swallowing problems, nausea, feeling full after eating a small food portion, bloating and heartburn, diarrhea, constipation, tingling and burning sensation in the legs and arms, pain in the legs or feet, fast heart rate, too much sweating, problems controlling your bladder and sexual problems among others. Lack of reflexes in the joints like the ankles may also occur. Skin changes, loss of sensitivity in the feet and drop in blood pressure when standing up after sitting for some time are also signs of nerve damage.
The best way to prevent or counter diabetic neuropathy is to manage diabetes. Diabetics should monitor their blood sugar levels on a regular basis. Insulin shots should also be introduced into the treatment plan to ensure that there is enough insulin in the body.