As if living with diabetes wasn’t difficult enough, many sufferers also have a variety of other health problems resulting from their diabetes. Even with the best healthcare and healthy practices, problems like nerve damage can result from a long-term battle with diabetes. While it may not seem to appear right away after the diabetes diagnosis, it is a real problem affecting many people throughout the world and it is not only painful but damaging to their bodies.
In order to cope with neuropathy, medications have been developed to ease the pain and attempt to mitigate the nerves being destroyed completely. About half of the people diagnosed with diabetes have some form of neuropathy, the nerve damage caused by this disease. It can range from serious and debilitating pain to just intermittent pain throughout the day.
Causes of Neuropathy
The human body is full of blood vessels and the tiny ones can be damaged by excess blood glucose building up and causing injury to the walls of the vessels. This usually happens in the legs as there are many vessels in this area of the body. From the large ones carrying blood to your feet, to the smaller ones that are sensitive to the changes caused by changes in temperature and touch, the neuropathy caused by diabetes can be very painful.
Only nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord are affected by neuropathy, so no damage is found in the central nervous system. There are a variety of causes for neuropathy, but the most common are:
Symptoms of Neuropathy
Those with diabetes can not only suffer from the hassles of daily insulin checks and injections but also the pain caused by neuropathy. Neuropathy is a condition that exudes painful days and nights for the person suffering from it. It generally includes:
- Numbness and tingling – A gradual numbness and tingling in the hands and feet can also spread to the legs and arms. The pain can range from a tingling to a sharp sensation or jabbing sharpness. It can take your breath away, or it can leave you unable to walk or move for hours at a time.
- Changes in the skin, hair, and nails
- Coordination difficulties – You may experience a lack of coordination or muscle weakness and in the more severe cases, paralysis is a possibility.
- Heat intolerance
- Digestive problems
- Changes in blood pressure.
Treatment Options for Neuropathy
With neuropathy, there is always an option for a decrease in the overall pain a patient is experiencing. The actual ability to cure the neuropathy will depend on how severe it has become. If left untreated, neuropathy can be difficult to reverse, and the symptoms can be treated but not cured. If caught and treated early, the prognosis is much more positive.
When the cause is unregulated blood sugars, simply fixing that imbalance can ease the pain of diabetic neuropathy. In other situations where the pain is caused by a harmful toxin, by removing that toxin from the patient and avoiding it, the pain can be eradicated. As with any health problem, prevention is the best medicine.
Proper diabetic nutrition is crucial to decreasing the pain from this nerve damage and to also take excellent care of your extremities. Also, neuropathy usually starts in the fingers or toes so a diabetic patient should frequently check circulation to ensure this isn’t happening to them without their knowledge.
Some Practical Tips when Dealing with Nerve Pain
Proper nutrition and a healthy lifestyle go a long way to prevent long term damage caused by any number of health problems. From maintaining a healthy weight to the cessation of smoking, every positive step you make towards health will bring about benefits for the rest of your life. Be sure to get regular doctor check-ups and always consult with a doctor if you are having any unusual symptoms, as they could be a sign of something more serious.
The top neuropathy specialist in the Southwest is Scottsdale Neuropathy Institute with Dr. Richard Jacoby. With over 20 years of top neuropathy treatments that are comprehensive including both medical and surgical, amazing success rates are seen. Patients are seen from all over the Southwest.
Call (480) 994-5977 for more information and scheduling today!