What is diabetic neuropathy?
Diabetic neuropathy is a syndrome in which the sensory nerves of a person with diabetes mellitus are damaged. Any nerve can be affected but commonly the nerves of the feet and lower legs are involved. Hands and fingers are also affected but not to the degree of the lower extremities.
Over time, because of high blood glucose concentrations, nerves are damaged because they have been deprived of glucose. The glucose has been circulating in the blood stream but it has not correctly entered cellular structures where it is needed.
People with diabetic neuropathies complain of pain and discomfort or numbness and tingling to the feet or legs. Typically, this pain is described as a stabbing or burning pain. A "pins and needles" sensation is also common.
Diabetic neuropathy is damage caused to the nerves due to elevated blood sugar levels in people who have diabetes. Though it is possible for people with diabetes to keep their blood sugar levels under control with the use of synthetic insulin, there are aways periods after the consumption of food when the blood sugar levels rise above normal. This, over an extended period of time causes nerve damage. The onset of neuropathy is further hastened by obesity and high blood pressure.
In diabetic neuropathy all the nerves of the body are damaged. These include nerves in the peripheral organs like the hands and feet and the internal organs like heart, lungs and digestive tract. The nerve damage in a majority of cases is accompanied by a reduced or total loss of feeling, pain, tingling and an inability to control organs.
Diabetic neuropathy represents the damage of the nerves. Diabetic neuropathy occurs oftenly in patients with diabetes. Over time, Hyperglycemia may affect the nerves in the body. There are several types of diabetic neuropathy.
Peripheral neuropathy occurs when the peripheral nervous system is damaged. The pain sensitivity, also tactile and thermal sensitivity are decreased. Peripheral neuropathy can sometimes affect the ability of the movement and the strength of the muscles. Peripheral neuropathy affects the feet (foot and legs) and may contribute to the emergence of serious problems such as ulcers, infections or deformities of bones and joints. Peripheral neuropathy is the most common form of diabetic neuropathy.
Autonomic neuropathy occurs when the autonomic nervous system is damaged. These nerves are involved in the control of involuntary functions of human body, such as heartbeat, blood pressure, perspiration, digestion, kidney function and some aspects of sexual function. Autonomic neuropathy is a common form of diabetic neuropathy.
Focal neuropathy affects a single nerve, most commonly the nerve located in the wrist, thigh or leg. Also, it may affect nerves of the chest and the nerves that control the eye muscles. Focal neuropathy usually appears suddenly and it is the rarest form of diabetic neuropathy.