DIABETES : ARE YOU AWARE?

Hi All,

If you are having Diabetes, there are certain things you need to be aware of. Most important among the complications of Diabetes mellitus is peripheral neuropathy. At the end of this article, most of you will be in a position to relate your symptoms with diabetic neuropathy which you have been ignoring since long but suffering from.

Diabetic neuropathy is the most common complication of diabetes mellitus (DM), affecting as many as 50% of patients with type 1 and type 2 DM. Overtime, the high blood sugar levels associated with diabetes can damage the nerves. So we suggest you to look at the list below which gives you an idea about the symptoms and signs with which it presents, which need to be noted and shared with your doctor during your next visit.

Tingling: My feet tingle. I feel “pins and needles” in my feet.

Pain:

  • I have burning, stabbing or shooting pains in my feet.
  • My feet are very sensitive to touch. For example, sometimes it hurts to have the bed sheets touch my feet.
  • Sometimes I feel like I have socks or gloves on when I don’t.
  • My feet hurt at night.
  • My feet and hands get very cold or very hot.

Numbness or Weakness:

  • My feet are numb and feel dead.
  • I don’t feel pain in my feet, even when I have injuries or ulcers.
  • I can’t feel my feet when I’m walking.
  • The muscles in my feet and legs are weak.
  • I’m losing balance when I stand or walk.
  • I have trouble feeling heat or cold in my feet or hands

Others:

  • It seems like the muscles and bones in my feet have changed shape.
  • I have ulcers on my feet and legs. These ulcers heal very slowly.
  • indigestion, nausea, or vomiting
  • Constipation
  • dizziness or faintness after standing or sitting up
  • problems with urination
  • erectile dysfunction in men or vaginal dryness in women
  • Weakness

Symptoms that are not due to nephropathy, but often accompany it, include weight loss and depression.

People who are at risk among those suffering from Diabetes mellitus are:

  • People with diabetes can develop nerve problems at any time, but risk rises with age and longer duration of diabetes.
  • The highest rates of neuropathy are among people who have had diabetes for at least 25 years.
  • Diabetic neuropathies also appear to be more common in people who have problems controlling their blood sugar, as well as those with high levels of blood pressure and those who are overweight.

Why do I need to be aware of the symptoms? Can diabetic neuropathies be prevented?

Yes. The best way to prevent neuropathy is to keep blood sugar levels as close to the normal range as possible. Maintaining safe blood sugar levels protects nerves throughout the body. Blood sugars monitoring, meal planning, physical activity, and diabetes medicines or insulin will help control blood glucose levels.

Diagnosis:

  • Foot Examination
  • Nerve Conduction Studies and Electromyography (EMG)

Treatment: To treat nerve damage, you will need to keep your blood sugar levels in your target range, stopping smoking and cut down on alcohol, manage your pain and protect your feet. Many people get depressed when they have nerve damage and may need medication for depression as well as counselling. Medications to relieve pain and reduce burning, numbness and tingling are available.

Have a healthy life.

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