- Diabetic neuropathy is nerve damage that happens because of diabetes. You develop diabetic neuropathy because excessive amounts of sugar in your blood damage nerve fibers. Diabetic neuropathy can affect any part of your body, but it is most often seen in the legs and feet.
If you are dealing with diabetic neuropathy, it is likely that you have endured numbness and pain in your extremities. You know firsthand how diabetic neuropathy can cause pain and discomfort in your urinary tract, digestive system, and in worst case scenario affect your heart. Diabetic neuropathy is excruciating.
The Four Types of Diabetic Neuropathy
Diabetic neuropathy can be divided into four categories. They are:
- Peripheral Neuropathy
- Autonomic Neuropathy
- Radiculoplexus Neuropathy
- Mono Neuropathy
Each form of diabetic neuropathy will affect a different part of your body and leave you with different symptoms.
Peripheral Neuropathy. This is the most commonly developed form of neuropathy. If you are dealing with this, it’s likely that you felt pain and discomfort first in your legs and your feet. Depending on how far the condition has progressed, it is likely you feel symptoms in your hands and legs. Other conditions that indicate that you are dealing with peripheral neuropathy include:
- Numbness, or a decreased sensitivity to pain or temperatures
- A tingling, pins and needles sensation
- Extreme cramping accompanied by sharp pains
- Extreme sensitivity to touch. It can get to the point where even wearing clothing is agonizing
- Loss of strength
- Diminished reflexes
- Diminished balance/coordination
- Ulcers, infections, and foot deformities
Autonomic Neuropathy. When this happens, you’re going to see that the nerves that control your body’s functions do not work properly, leading to discomfort, physical pain, and emotional trauma. This form of diabetic neuropathy stops your ability to live a normal life. Some symptoms of autonomic neuropathy include:
- Erectile Dysfunction
- Difficulty Swallowing
- Increased Sweating
- Painful Constipation/Diarrhea
- Bloating, Vomiting, Nausea
- Vaginal Dryness
Radiculoplexus Neuropathy. If you have type II diabetes, it’s more likely that you’re dealing with this type of neuropathy. It affects your buttocks, hips, and legs. It usually affects one side of your body, but you may also be experiencing it on both sides of your body. Some of the painful symptoms you may be dealing with include:
- A sharp pain in your hip, thighs, and buttocks
- A weakening and atrophying of thigh muscles
- A hard time standing up from a sitting position
- Unexplained loss of weight
- Abdominal swelling
Mono Neuropathy. As the name implies, it describes damage to specific nerves. The nerve can be in your face, your legs, or another part of your body. Mono neuropathy creates sudden, unexpected pain symptoms that include:
- Double Vision
- Shin/Foot Pain
- Lower Back/Pelvis Pain
- Chest/Abdominal Pain
- Bell’s Palsy
How Diabetic Neuropathy Affects Your Life
How has your life changed since you have been dealing with diabetic neuropathy? No doubt, many of the changes you’ve faced have been major. Depending on how far the pain has progressed, it may impede your ability around as freely as you did before.
Likely, though, it is the minor every day pain related challenges that has changed the way you live. Something simple, like going to a friend’s house to have a cup of coffee, is not the same anymore. Instead of sitting down comfortably and enjoying a chat with your friends, you may find yourself standing up for half of the visit or rocking around to manage the pain.
Sleep has gone from being enjoyable and longed for to being something that you dread. A lot of diabetic neuropathy sufferers say that if during the day they have six hours of severe pain, four of those hours are when they try to sleep. On rare occasions when they have a good night’s sleep, they stay in bed until noon because they do not know when the next painless night will be.
Diabetic neuropathy leaves your body feeling tight and uncomfortable. It makes it difficult for you to focus on your daily activities because you’re constantly thinking about the pain. You are thankful for the great days, and you summon the courage to deal with those that are almost unbearable.
What We Do
On your own, managing diabetic neuropathy can be a long, painful, challenging process. Just when you think you have got the pain management down, something changes, and you need to create a completely new pain management strategy. It is a trial and error process that can leave you mentally and emotionally drained.
During our years working with neuropathy patients, we have seen techniques that work, and we have seen what techniques do not work. We have also learned that while the symptoms our diabetic neuropathy clients feel may be similar, the pain that each one of them experiences is unique.
For this reason, we are committed to creating an individually based, uniquely designed pain management system for each patient. The treatment that you receive is tailor-made for you and what you are experiencing.
To accomplish this goal, the first thing that we do is sit down and listen. We need you to tell us what you’re feeling, we need you to share your experience with us, and that way we will be able to create a treatment that is uniquely your own.
Our treatment plan has two goals. One is to provide you with short-term and immediate pain relief. Then, we want to work with you to provide long-term pain relief. When you walk out of our clinic, you have a clear idea of what to expect from the treatment process. We don’t leave you up in the air.
We understand how debilitating, emotionally draining, and life altering pain associated with diabetic neuropathy can be. Our goal is to help you restore your quality of life and get you back to living a life you enjoy once again.