People suffering from diabetes may at some point in time develop peripheral neuropathies. These neuropathies are nerve disorders caused by diabetes. You can develop nerve damage throughout your body without any signs of symptoms. Other people suffer classic peripheral neuropathy symptoms that include tingling and numbness in their feet and legs and sometimes in their hands and arms as well.
Consult a Neurologist
If you are a diabetic patient and you are beginning to develop some, or all, of those symptoms, consult a neurologist, like Hamza; Mohsen MD, who will evaluate your condition and make decisions about tests that should be conducted to determine the degree of damage you've sustained. The neurologist will use results of those tests to arrive at a treatment plan for you.
What Creates Diabetic Neuropathy?
Scientists are conducting research work to determine how sustained high blood glucose measurements might influence your development of peripheral nerve damage. However, you can develop this condition due to other metabolic factors. The researchers emphasize that the length of time you have suffered from diabetes, as well as abnormal blood fat levels and low levels of insulin in your body, could be advancing your nerve condition.
Blood Vessel Damage
Damage to the blood vessels that normally transport oxygen and nutrients to your nerves can also cause diabetic neuropathy. Ongoing lifestyle habits such as smoking and alcohol consumption leaves you at risk for suffering diabetic nerve injury. There are as many types of diabetic neuropathy categories as there are contributing factors to the condition. Your neurologist will conduct testing to determine which category of neuropathy is affecting your body.
Categories Of Diabetic Nerve Condition
Peripheral neuropathy causes you to have pain and numbness in your limbs. Autonomic nerve neuropathy attacks your digestive functioning and interferes with your bowel and bladder roles. Autonomic nerve dysfunction also affects your lungs and promotes low blood glucose readings. There is proximal neuropathy that causes pain in your hips, thighs or buttocks and even results in leg weakness at times. Focal neuropathy may emerge as weakness in a group of nerves.
Tests That May be Conducted
Your neurologist could administer electromyography (EMG) as one of the testing procedures. A needle electrode is inserted into your muscle, which will record electrical activity. You could also undergo a nerve conduction study to determine how electrical signals travel through your nerves. Magnetic resonance imaging is an option as well. That test uses radio and magnets to identify damaged nerves in your body.
You will receive treatment from your neurologist or neurosurgeon. An orthopedic surgeon may be recommended to handle your care. Pain medication or corticosteroid injections may be prescribed for you. You have the option of being referred to a registered physical therapist. Physical therapists work to heal stiffness, restore function and to maintain your body's range of motion. They also cure painful muscle cramps related to peripheral neuropathy.