What is neuropathy caused by diabetes?

Constantly high blood sugar levels can damage nerves in the body, leading to a condition called as diabetic neuropathy. The chances of a diabetic patient developing neuropathy are higher if his/her blood sugar levels are poorly controlled. Usually, diabetic neuropathy sets in after some years of diabetes, but about half the patients are affected. While there are individual differences in the severity of disease, administering diabetic neuropathy treatment on time is a challenge and a respite to every patient from further development of symptoms.

What are the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy?

The symptoms of diabetic neuropathy develop very slowly over a long period of time. The symptoms vary based on the nerve that is damaged. The common symptoms seen in diabetic neuropathy are:

• Feeling full with small meals
• Heartburns and bloating
• Vomiting
• Tingling and burning feeling in arms and feet
• Losing the feeling in extremities (fingers, toes, arms and feet)
• Light-headedness while standing
• Rapid heart rate
• Sexual problems
• Bladder problems
• Missing symptoms of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels)
• Excessive sweating

How is diabetic neuropathy diagnosed?

Diabetic neuropathy is diagnosed by physical examination (which involves checking for reflexes and sensation in the limbs, changes in skin color, change in blood pressure on standing or lying down) and some laboratory tests that include –
• Electromyogram: a test that can record the electrical activity of the muscles
• Nerve conduction velocity tests: which records the speed of signal transmission in the nerves

What are the treatment options for diabetic neuropathy?

The key to treating diabetic neuropathy is to keep blood sugar levels under control. It is important to manage diabetes and stay healthy. This involves diet, exercise and appropriate use of medicines. Checking blood sugar levels at regular intervals can improve management of diabetes.
Certain drugs help in relieving the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy. These include:

• Medicines used as anti depressants
• Anti epileptic drugs for relaxation of nerves and muscles.
• Pain medicines
• Impotence can be treated with drugs.
• Some treatments and practices will help to relieve nausea and vomiting. These include –
Use of medicines that allow quick movement of food in the stomach and intestine and raising the head while sleeping
• Eating smaller meals at frequent intervals

Diarrhea, bladder problems, constipation and other symptoms can be treated as required. Foot care should be an integral part of the treatment protocol for diabetic neuropathy, since there is a high risk of development of sores.

How can I prevent diabetic neuropathy?

Diabetic neuropathy, like diabetes, is a progressive disease. Keeping blood sugars under control is the first step to managing diabetic neuropathy. Checking the feet and hands every day can help in early detection of nerve damage. It is important to meet the doctor for a check-up every 6-12 months. Right kind of footwear can protect the feet from injury.

Author's Bio: 

Through his articles, youngrin wishes to inform and educate the readers about diabetic neuropathy treatment which will benefit those who are looking for useful information, For treatment log on to diabetic neuropathy