How to Control Diabetic Neuropathy
If you have type 1 diabetes, you have probably heard about diabetic neuropathy, a frequent complication of the disease. More than half of all diabetics have some form of neuropathy, or nerve damage.
It is not entirely clear what leads to diabetic neuropathy, but research suggests that high levels of blood glucose damage your nerves over time. This type of nerve damage can affect various parts of the body, including the extremities, digestive system, heart muscle, and sex organs.
Usually, it takes at least 10 years after diabetes is diagnosed for symptoms of neuropathy to occur. And that’s time during which you can work to prevent it.
Diabetic Neuropathy: Types
There are four significant types of diabetic neuropathy, and symptoms vary, depending on which nerves are involved:
- Peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy is the most common type. It results in numbness or pain in the feet, legs, hands, and arms. Peripheral neuropathy can be particularly problematic, since it leads to diminished sensation in the feet. Without normal sensation, minor foot injuries may go unnoticed until they become severe. If uncontrolled infection spreads to the bone, toes or the entire foot may eventually need to be amputated.