Many people suffer from Diabetes every day, and that is not just common in adults because children also get diagnosed with diabetes as well. People contracting the disease should know what it is, what its types are and how people should deal with it.
What Is Diabetes?
Diabetes is the condition when blood glucose or blood sugar becomes abnormal. Usually, there is too much sugar (glucose) floating around in your blood. This occurs because either the pancreas can’t produce enough insulin or the cells in your body have become resistant to insulin.
There is a condition known as Diabetic Neuropathy which is also associated with the disease. It is a type of nerve damage which happens to a diabetic person. That is because high blood sugar affects the nerve fibers of the body. There are four types of Diabetic Neuropathy. These are: peripheral neuropathy, proximal neuropathy, autonomic neuropathy and focal neuropathy. The Peripheral Neuropathy is the most common of the four types.
Peripheral neuropathy or peripheral diabetic neuropathy is a condition in which nerves leading to extreme ends are affected i.e. feet, legs, hands and arms. The nerves leading to the feet are very long, in fact the longest ones. They are so long that they are often damaged because there are more of them in quantity and length that are prone to be damaged. Hence foot problems, deformities, infections, amputations and ulcers appear.
What are the symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy?
- tingling or burning sensations
- extreme sensitivity to touch
- insensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
- sharp pain or cramping
- muscle weakness
- loss of balance or coordination
Some people experience symptoms more often at night.
If you have peripheral neuropathy, you may not feel an injury or sore on your foot. People with diabetes often have poor circulation, which makes it more difficult for wounds to heal. This combination increases the risk for infection. In extreme cases, infection can lead to amputation
How can you manage Peripheral Neuropathy?
- Peripheral Neuropathy usually manifest uncomfortable symptoms such as stabbing or burning kind of pain which tingles down your feet. Don’t worry; the pain can be alleviated. Medications can actually reduce these peripheral neuropathy pains.
- Aside from pain medications, you should aim to lower your blood sugar by talking with a doctor about your blood sugar goal. You should also monitor your decided goal closely.
- You can use diets, medications and exercise to have a healthy range of blood sugar level.
- Quitting smoking or losing weight would really help.
- Medications such as anti-depressants, opioid pain meds, and anti-seizure drugs can be used for treatment.
- Therapies, meditations, acupuncture, hypnosis and other supplements can be used as alternative treatments.
- Swimming and other low impact exercises or therapy treatments can help prevent more nerve damage. Conversely, high impact exercise should be fully avoided.
- Pain can be alleviated by eating foods with hot pepper. Capsaicin which comes in the form of creams may also offer temporary relief.
- Make sure that you take care of any cuts, sores or swelling to prevent any infections.
- Wear comfortable shoes for feet and appropriate sleeved shirts for arms and hands to prevent any physical hurting.
- You can cover feet to prevent any injuries.
Note that the American Diabetes Association recommends screening for diabetic neuropathy immediately after someone is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes; while screening for someone with type 1 diabetes be done five years after diagnosis. After that, screening is recommended annually.