Diabetic neuropathy is a form of nerve injury that can emerge as a result of diabetes. High blood sugar (glucose) levels can harm nerves all over your body but mostly affect the nerves in the legs and feet.
Diabetic neuropathy symptoms can range from discomfort and numbness in your legs and feet to complications with your digestive system, urinary tract, blood vessels, and heart, depending on which nerves are impacted. Some people only experience minor signs and symptoms; while for others, it can be quite stressful.
Diabetic neuropathy is a severe diabetes syndrome that affects up to 50% of people with the disease. However, proper blood sugar management and a healthy lifestyle can typically avoid or slow the progression of diabetic neuropathy.
There are four main types of diabetic neuropathy. You can have one or several types of neuropathy.
Your symptoms will be determined by the type of nerve damage you have and which nerves are affected. Usually, symptoms develop gradually. It’s possible that you won’t notice a thing until significant nerve damage has happened.
The autonomic nerve system regulates your heart, bladder, stomach, intestines, sex organs, and eyes. Diabetic nerve injury can occur in any of these regions, resulting in the following symptoms:
This type of neuropathy, also known as diabetic amyotrophy or diabetic polyradiculopathy, frequently affects the nerves in the thighs, hips, buttocks, or legs. However, it might impact the chest and abdomen as well. The symptoms normally appear on one side of the body, although they can move to the other.
You may have:
Mononeuropathy is classified as either cranial or peripheral. Damage to a specific nerve is referred to as mononeuropathy. Mononeuropathy may also lead to:
Seek an appointment with specialists at Painmd, if you have:
The American Diabetes Association suggests that diabetic neuropathy screening begins shortly after a person is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and five years after a person is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. After that, screening is recommended annually.
Neuropathy’s exact cause is unknown. Researchers believe that untreated high blood sugar destroys nerves and interferes with their ability to send signals over time, resulting in diabetic neuropathy. Likewise, blood sugar also weakens the walls of capillaries, which deliver oxygen and nutrients to the nerves.
Anyone who has diabetes can develop neuropathy. However, the following risk factors make nerve injury more likely:
Uncontrolled blood sugar increases the chance of every diabetic complication, including nerve damage.
The longer you have diabetes the risk of diabetic neuropathy rises, especially if your blood sugar isn’t well maintained.
When the kidneys fail, toxins enter the blood and cause nerve damage.
A BMI of 25 or higher increases your risk of acquiring diabetic neuropathy.
Smoking causes your arteries to narrow and harden, limiting blood flow to your legs and feet. This makes the healing process more difficult and harms peripheral nerves.
Diabetic neuropathy is usually diagnosed by performing a physical exam, and carefully reviewing medical history and symptoms.
Your doctor will check your:
The specialists at Painmd, may perform or order specific tests to help diagnose diabetic neuropathy along with the physical exam, such as:
Brushing a soft nylon fiber (monofilament) on your skin to test your sensitivity to touch.
Non-invasive test to check how your nerves respond to vibration and changes in temperature.
This test is often performed to diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome. It tests the electrical conductivity of the nerves in your arms and legs.
Electromyography is often done with nerve conduction studies. This procedure measures the electrical discharge produced by muscles.
Depending on your position and whether you sweat normally, special tests may be performed to measure your blood pressure.
It is possible to prevent further nerve damage by controlling your blood sugar. Unfortunately, it won’t reverse the damage or relieve the pain caused by diabetic nerve damage. It may be necessary to receive a specific diabetic nerve pain treatment.
Oral drugs, which just mask the symptoms, are the most commonly used strategy.
Although a variety of pharmacological medications are available to treat the pain associated with diabetic neuropathy. The US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) has only approved duloxetine and pregabalin for the treatment of diabetic neuropathic pain.
Pregabalin (Lyrica, Pfizer), the “gold standard” in treating peripheral neuropathy, helps 39 percent of patients attain a 50 percent reduction in their discomfort and pain, but it also causes problems in at least 38 percent of patients. These drugs have significant downsides and side effects. The FDA has not approved over-the-counter pain relievers to treat this type of discomfort.
Specialists at Padda Institute use combined therapy to successfully treat diabetic neuropathy. The therapy combines two well-known techniques into a program. It is showing significant promise as a treatment for diabetic and idiopathic neuropathies. Combination therapy consists of two procedures, a local anesthetic Ankle Block and Electronic Signal Therapy (EST), which utilizes a highly sophisticated electro anesthetic wave generator.
Five nerves important for sensory supply distal to the ankle are targeted by the ankle block. Four branches of the sciatic nerve (superficial peroneal, deep peroneal, sural, and posterior tibial nerve) and a cutaneous branch of the femoral nerve (the saphenous nerve) comprise the nerves. The common peroneal and tibial nerves are two terminal branches of the sciatic nerve.
EST uses electrical signals to regenerate nerves and increase blood flow by stimulating nerve function in the damaged areas. Electronic signal treatment relies on both varied amplitude (AM) and frequency (FM) of electronic signals using computer-controlled, exogenously delivered specific parameters of cell signals.
When applied to the human body, this digitally created electronic sinusoidal alternating current with associated harmonics creates scientifically documented and/or theorized physiological consequences. The electronic signal treatment medical device employs sophisticated communications technology to generate and transfer higher frequency signal energy via customized electrodes in a constantly altering sequential and random manner. This switching between sequential and random electronic signal supply removes neuron accommodation.
With the use of 0.25 percent Marcaine, a local anesthetic, and a vasodilator (opens blood vessels for a short time to enhance blood flow). When your nerves are stimulated, they receive more blood flow, which results in faster regeneration.
Combined therapy is believed to:
With a successful and acceptable pain management treatment plan, the patient will be able to regain more mobility.
Padda Institute has one of the most experienced diabetic neuropathy specialists in St. Louis & Bridgeton area. We work together as a team to ensure the patient’s quality care and successful recovery.
The key to preventing diabetic neuropathy is maintaining stable blood sugar levels.Studies have actually shown that maintaining normal blood sugar levels can help diabetics lower the chance of developing nerve damage.
A diabetic may not feel an injury to their feet if they have numbness and hurt them. In such cases, a serious infection can lead to amputation of the respective foot.
Although there is no cure for diabetic neuropathy; some medications such as duloxetine, capsaicin can be helpful in relieving pain and managing symptoms.
Diabetes can harm the blood arteries that supply the nerves and the coverings of the nerves with oxygen. Damaged nerves are far less capable of transmitting signals to the brain and other parts of the body. Nerves can malfunction, transmitting messages at the incorrect times, too slowly, or not at all.
Diabetes poses particular challenges to the feet due to the risk of nerve damage, sores, ulcers and circulation issues.Circulatory issues can deprive feet of nutrients that promote healing in addition to delayed wound care.
Diabetes patients must always choose a healthy lifestyle. Wearing comfortable footwear, regularly inspecting foot injuries, keeping blood sugar within optimum levels and routine medical checkups can be done to keep feet healthy.
Autonomic neuropathy affects the nerves of the internal organs like bladder muscles and can lead to their malfunctioning such as erectile dysfunction, diarrhea, dizziness and constipation.