diabetic neuropathy

High blood sugar from uncontrolled diabetes damages tissues and organs throughout the body. In diabetic neuropathy, high blood sugar damages the tiny blood vessels that supply nerves all over the body. Up to 70 percent of people with diabetes develop neuropathy. The longer someone has had diabetes, the greater their odds are of developing diabetic neuropathy.

The most common type of diabetic neuropathy, called peripheral neuropathy, affects the legs, feet, arms, and hands. People with peripheral neuropathy often complain of numbness, tingling, or pain in their limbs. The inability to feel pain in the feet increases the likelihood that cuts or sores will go untreated, which can lead to infection. If the infection remains untreated, ultimately tissue will die and the limb may need to be amputated.

Another form of diabetic neuropathy, called autonomic neuropathy, affects nerves of the autonomic nervous system, which control the digestive system, bladder, and sexual organs. Autonomic neuropathy can cause symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, loss of bladder control, and erectile dysfunction. This type of diabetic neuropathy can also affect the nerves that control blood pressure, breathing, and vision.

Focal neuropathy affects nerves in the head and torso. It can lead to vision problems, such as double vision and trouble focusing. Focal neuropathy can also cause pain in the chest, stomach, side, chest, abdomen, front of the thigh, or outside of the shin. Some people develop paralysis on one side of the face, known as Bell?s palsy.

The best way to prevent diabetic neuropathy is with tight blood sugar control. Experts recommend that people with diabetes also have their feet checked regularly for signs of nerve damage. Once diabetic neuropathy is diagnosed, medications such as antidepressants and anticonvulsants can help manage nerve pain.

Gabapentin’s Off-Label Uses Include Pain Relief

Gabapentin was originally approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1993 to be used with other anti-seizure medications to control partial seizures in adults. It is classified as an anticonvulsant drug, although it appears to have analgesic properties as well. Gabapentin originally was sold under the brand name … Read More

Most Common Health Problems in Elderly People

Certain conditions or disorders can develop as we age that impact our quality of life and ability to live independently. Here, we take a look at the most common health problems in elderly people—conditions always worth monitoring. Osteoarthritis: Sometimes called "wear and tear" arthritis, osteoarthritis is characterized by a loss … Read More

Diabetes Symptoms in Women

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more than 13 million women—or roughly 11 percent of all women in the U.S.—suffer from diabetes. What characterizes diabetes symptoms in women? A number of factors can come into play. First, let's answer the question "What is diabetes?" Diabetes is … Read More

Enter Your Login Credentials
This setting should only be used on your home or work computer.