Diabetic neuropathy is a form of nerve damage caused by diabetes. High blood sugar associated with diabetes can lead to nerve fibers being damaged throughout the body with the legs and feet being the most commonly affected. There are a variety of symptoms associated with diabetic neuropathy due to the different types of nerves that are damaged. Symptoms range from pain and numbness to digestive problems. If left untreated, diabetic neuropathy can be fatal.
There are four common types of diabetic neuropathy. Individuals can suffer from one or multiple forms in combination with one another.
Peripheral neuropathy is the most common form that affects the legs, feet, hands and arms. The symptoms associated with peripheral neuropathy include:
- Numbness and lack of sensation in legs, feet, hands and arms
- Sharp pain in the extremities that may intensify at night
- Pain felt when walking
- Extreme sensitivity when touched
- Foot problems including infections and joint/bone pain
This form of Neuropathy affects the bladder, lungs, heart and the sexual organs. The symptoms of autonomic neuropathy include:
- Unable to detect blood sugar is low
- Frequent urinary tract infections
- Inability to have a bowel movement or uncontrollable diarrhea
- Sexual dysfunction
- Inability for eyes to adjust from dark to light
- Difficulty regulating body temperature.
Radiculoplexus neuropathy affects the nerves in the thighs, hips and buttocks. This form of neuropathy is much more common in people suffering from type 2 diabetes. Symptoms include:
- Sudden and intense pain in hips, thighs or buttocks
- Weak thigh muscles
- Swelling in the abdominal area
- Rapid weight loss
Mononeuropathy occurs when there is nerve to one specific nerve. It typically occurs very sudden and is common in older individuals. The symptoms depend of which nerve is affected. Mononeuropathy does not typically have any lasting side effects as it comes and goes very quickly over the course of a few weeks. Symptoms include:
- Double vision or a headache right behind the eye
- Bell’s palsy (paralysis of one side of the face)
- Pain isolated to the foot or lower leg
- Pain in the front portion of the upper leg
- Chest pain
If you believe you are suffering from any form of neuropathy it is critical to see your doctor right away before symptoms worsen or cause serious health problems. Early treatment can prevent symptoms. Since there is no cure for neuropathy, prevention is critical to living a quality life. Scottsdale Neuropathy Institute can help you with a prevention and/or treatment plan. The Scottsdale and Phoenix podiatrists at the practice have decades of successful treatment for those with peripheral and diabetic neuropathy in preventing amputations and getting pain under control.
The practice offers both conservative and operative foot treatments for neuropathy. Call (480) 994-5977 to see how the Scottsdale Neuropathy Institute can help you today!