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Learning About Diabetic Neuropathy

Most adults with diabetes mellititus, or as most people just say, diabetes, often suffer from diabetic neuropathy seven to even twenty years after diagnosis, especially if the person leads an unhealthy lifestyle or the longer they leave their diabetes uncontrolled or untreated.

The symptoms of diabetic neuropathy include but are not limited to:

-muscle weakness of the extremities -cramps -spasms -loss of balance and coordination -tingling of the legs, hands, and/or arms -numbness of the legs, hands, and/or arms

What Diabetic Neuropathy Feels Like

Pain is one of the most complained about symptoms of diabetic neuropathy. The pain of the tingling can feel like pins and needles in the extremities as well as the feeling of wearing too tight of gloves or leggings. Others with diabetic neuropathy have reported burning, freezing, and electric like shocks when the parts of their body with neuropathy (nerve damage) are touched. Even the weight of a bed linen sheet can feel like a slab of concrete laying on the person's legs and feet.

Can Diabetic Neuropathy or Peripheral Neuropathy Be Prevented

Some can prevent diabetic neuropathy from occurring, but not all are so lucky. Early detection of diabetes and caring for the ailment properly will go a long way in preventing the severity of diabetic neuropathy if the neuropathy is going to occur regardless.

Common Causes of Diabetic Neuropathy or Peripheral Neuropathy

Some causes of severe neuropathy include untreated diabetes or having diabetes that is unable to control easily. Having high blood sugars for extended periods of time cause damage to the nerves and lead to peripheral diabetes.

Is Diabetic Neuropathy Always Permanent Damage

Those who develop diabetic neuropathy can have either temporary or permanent nerve damage. The nerve damage is caused when blood sugars are allowed to reach high levels and blood flow is cut off to the extremities. Those with diabetes often have medical histories that show circulation issues. Poor circulation can lead to damage to the nerves and thus neuropathy.

Are All Diabetics Prone to Diabetic Neuropathy

Many studies of those with diabetes have shown that at least 50% of those with it have developed peripheral neuropathy. To attempt to prevent to be on the losing end of the 50% you can implement some precautions in your daily life as soon as you are diagnosed with diabetes. This is not a "for sure" prevention because sometimes, no matter what you do, you will have neuropathy due to diabetes.

Keep blood sugars in a safe reading. Do this by checking your blood sugar frequently and eating the proper diet for diabetics.

Steer clear of sugary foods which can cause high blood sugars. Remember, having high blood sugar readings for extended periods of time puts you at a higher risk of nerve damage occurring.

Speak with your doctor, nutritionist, or diabetic specialist to learn what foods are appropriate for those with diabetes and attempt to follow the guidelines for Diabetic Diets as closely as possible.

Exercise as much as you can, this will keep your heart rate going and your circulation better. Remember do only what you can and never in excess. Choose a healthy active lifestyle.

Avoid alcohol if you are diabetic. If you choose to drink at a social event, most diabetic specialists would warn only two drinks for men and one for women.

The Importance of Monitoring Your Extremities When You Have Diabetes

Keep a close eye on your hands, arms, legs and feet. Be sure that they are the proper color. If you notice any color changes or if you feel like your extremities are more starting to show signs of neuropathy, report to your doctor immediately so that treatment can begin. The sooner you treat your neuropathy, just as with diabetes, the sooner treatment begins the sooner the process of healing can begin. Not all neuropathy is permanent so if you can treat and cure the nerve damage you should do so at any cost.

As mentioned earlier, it is said that at least 50% of all those with diabetes will experience neuropathy of some form; either permanent or temporary. Whether you are part of that 50% that doesn't get neuropathy or not; the fact is, you should do all that you can to be on the side that doesn't experience neuropathy. Neuropathy is painful and to many it is severely painful and can be debilitating. Doing what you can to prevent it as much as possible is the smartest choice you can make.

Sources:

www.webmd.com www.medicinenet.com www.mayoclinic.com/health/diabetic-neuropathy

By LDP - Freelance writing  





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