What is Diabetic Neuropathy?
Diabetic neuropathy is a type of nerve damage that takes place because of higher than normal sugar levels in your blood. While diabetic neuropathy can present itself anywhere in your body, it is most readily seen in your legs and in your feet. The nerve damage leads to pain, numbness, and weakness in the foot.
What causes Diabetic Neuropathy?
It has been hypothesized that uncontrolled high blood sugar left unchecked over a period time, causes damage to nerves and interferes with their ability to send signals, leading to diabetic neuropathy. Also, high blood sugar can weaken small blood vessel walls, preventing the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the nerves, which are crucial for their proper functionality.
What are the symptoms of Diabetic Neuropathy?
The Four Types of Diabetic Neuropathy
Diabetic neuropathy can be divided into four categories. Each form of diabetic neuropathy will affect a different part of your body and leave you with different symptoms.
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
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
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
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
Treating and Diagnosing Diabetic Neuropathy
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 one of our clinic locations, 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.