Diabetic neuropathy is one of diabetes’ most serious complications. Also referred to as nerve damage, diabetic neuropathy can affect a single nerve or an entire nerve network. It can occur anywhere in the body. It may lead to loss of feeling in a foot or even create trouble with a person’s digestive process. About 60% of diabetics develop diabetic neuropathy at some point. It is more likely for a person to develop such if he or she has had diabetes longer.
Controlling blood sugar is the key to preventing nerve damage. You can protect yourself better if you control your blood sugar levels and live a healthy life. Spine Center of Texas believes that you stand a better chancing of fighting diabetic neuropathy if you are more aware of their symptoms. Here are the different types of neuropathy and how they occur:
- Peripheral Neuropathy – This is the is the most common type of diabetic neuropathy. It affects our outer body parts, including the feet, legs, hands, and arms. You may feel numbness, pain, or tingling in your extremities. You will also feel less coordinated, find it hard to balance, and even find it hard to walk, since your legs and feet are also affected. This can eventually lead to more injuries in your feet and ankles. This type of neuropathy is more dangerous if there is no visible blister or injury, but your foot has lost its feeling. If you’ve been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy, make sure to always check your feet for any cuts or sores. Having nerve damage can significantly slow down healing and lead to infection or amputation if left untreated.
- Autonomic Neuropathy – This type of neuropathy affects your body’s organs, including your heart, blood vessels, digestive system, urinary tract, sexual organs, sweat gland, and eyes. If your cardiovascular system is affected, you will feel dizzy, lightheaded, or faint whenever you stand up or sit down. Damage in your digestive system can lead to difficulty swallowing, nausea, vomiting, bloating, constipation, and severe diarrhea. You will also have a hard time noticing warning signs of low blood sugar or hypoglycemia. If you have autonomic neuropathy, it is vital for you to rest regularly in order to make sure your blood sugar levels are okay.
- Proximal Neuropathy – This type of diabetic neuropathy is similar to peripheral neuropathy, but you will also feel pain in your thigh, hips, and butt. Because of this, you will find you’re losing strength in your legs. This makes it harder for you to get up without support. Medications are usually prescribed to help you manage proximal neuropathy.
- Focal Neuropathy – Focal neuropathy focuses on one area. It could be pain on the stomach, eyes, facial muscles, ears, pelvis and lower back, chest, thighs, legs, or feet. Focal neuropathy usually happens suddenly and may go away on its own without causing adverse effects.