Diabetic Neuropathy: Cause, Symptoms, Prevention

A diabetic patient can have Diabetic Neuropathy which is a kind of nerve damage throughout body. It damages nerves in feet and legs.

Causes of Diabetic Neuropathy

The causes of Diabetic Neuropathy are unknown and according to American Diabetic Association high blood sugar is not only the cause of it. New research reveals that there are other factors like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity and smoking.

In 2015, at Toronto University, when 467 people of the age group of 45 to 64 were studied, then it was found that about half of those with newly-diagnosed type 2 diabetes or prediabetes had early signs of peripheral neuropathy. Besides, the individuals with higher blood sugar levels were more likely to have nerve damage. People with type 1 diabetes, whose high blood sugar problems are generally diagnosed very early, about 20%, have peripheral neuropathy after 20 years. Diabetes risk may also rise with age, but even children and young adults with type 1 and type 2 diabetes have signs of peripheral neuropathy.

Diabetic neuropathy is a serious complication of diabetes. But it can be prevented with tight blood sugar control and a healthy lifestyle.

Diabetes Neuropathy Symptoms

Diabetic Neuropathy Symptoms develop gradually. Initially they may look like minor and infrequent pains but as the nerves gets more damaged symptoms may grow. The need is to consult a physician for advice.

The symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy are:

  • Pain
  • Numbness (loss of feeling)
  • Muscle weakness
  • Poor coordination
  • Muscle cramping
  • Insensitivity to pain and/or temperature
  • Extremely sensitive to even the lightest touch
  • Symptoms get worse at night. 
  • Tingling

Steps to Prevent Diabetes Neuropathy in Early Stages

Diabetic Neuropathy is a complication of diabetes. The need is to be aware of the symptoms so that treatment and foot care can be started as soon as possible. The American Diabetes Association recommends that a detailed foot examination. Checking for sores, blisters, and circulation in your feet is must.

Stay Active:

The American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association recommends around 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day at least 5 times a week. Staying active heart in shape and prevents arteries from hardening. This helps in the circulation to the nerves in your hands and feet.

Keep Feet Clean and Dry:

Cut your toenails with caution. Take care of the way to cut your nails. They should always be cut in a straight line Make sure you always cut in a straight line to keep your nails from growing into your skin and causing infection.

Wear Good Shoes:

It is important to wear shoes which protect feet.

Cope up with Neuropathy Diabetes

  • Following suggestions can help you to manage neuropathy diabetes.
  • Take good care of feet especially for diabetic patients – Check your feet daily to see if there are any signs of blister or cuts.
  • Say no to smoking.
  • Eat healthy meals that should include fruits and vegetables, dairy products and whole grains.
  • Massage your hands and feet to improve circulation, stimulates nerves and may even give temporarily relieve from pain.
  • Avoid keeping your knees crossed or leaning on your elbows for a long period. It may cause new nerve damage.
  • Set up priorities for the day but don’t over exert
  • Accept the negative aspects of the illness and move forward to become more positive to find out what works best.
  • In case of severe pain, don’t sit lonely , rather visit a friend, take a walk or so.
    Go for some regular exercises. It serves not only for physical fitness but also benefits emotional well-being.
  • In case of weakness, seek a support from your family, friends, or doctor.
  • Take a good sleep which is very essential part of living.  Sleep helps to avoid major health problems. But unfortunately, insomnia is an often a side effect of neuropathy pain.
  • Talk with your doctor for medications to get rid of sleep disturbance.
  • Besides medication there are certain other ways to improve your sleep like reducing caffeine intake, quit smoking, Omit alcohol consumption, Avoid staying in bed for long, turning  off TV and Computer as  many people use the television to fall asleep at the end of the day, maintain a regular exercise system before bedtime, don’t watch your clock, listen soft music before sleep.

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