Diabetes is not a disease but a condition. It is important to know that it can lead to a whole lot of serious ailments if not kept in check. So just how serious could these maladies get?
The Avatars of Diabetic Neuropathy
For starters, there are six major manifestations of diabetic neuropathy. And they all are disorders with serious implications.
- You have peripheral neuropathy in which the peripheral nerves get affected, particularly those of the lower legs. This normally depicts itself through numbness or a tingling sensation in the lower legs or the feet. Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy could also include sensation loss in the lower legs or the feet.
- Then you’ve got autonomic neuropathy which affects the nerves controlling vital body functions including heart rate, emptying of bowel and bladder, digestion and blood pressure. You may begin to experience dizziness, nausea, low blood pressure, fainting and even difficulty in swallowing.
- Moving on to femoral neuropathy, this symptom is a dysfunction of the femoral nerve which results in lesser control while you walk. You could also experience groin pain, and hip pain which would make it difficult for you to walk, sit or move around. You may also experience a tingling or numb sensation in the knee, foot and calf.
- If you thought these were really hard to manage, there’s more. The nerves exiting your spine could get compressed or irritated, resulting in neck and back pain.
- What if some joints of your body are unstable or swollen? That’s what happens with the diabetic neuropathy condition called Charcot’s Joint or neurogenic arthropathy. Apart from swelling and instability, the bone in the joint goes through atrophic and hypertrophic manifestations while the joint also experiences hemorrhage and heat.
- Finally there is – foot drop. This causes inability to lift your foot’s front portion. You’ll be dragging your toes as you walk – not a pleasant sight to behold or a great feeling to experience.
Diabetic neuropathy is a condition that could significantly affect your quality of life. You’ve got to keep your blood sugar levels in check since you never know when your diabetes could become more serious and you begin to experience strange sensations and unpleasant feelings.
Treatment for diabetic neuropathy is varied since there are different manifestations of this condition, as mentioned above. But we have only scratched the surface. The six conditions we’ve mentioned only make up an overall view. In fact, there are many more specific symptoms for aspects of these conditions out there and treatment is therefore different and ranges from minor to major.
Generally, treatment for diabetic neuropathy at advanced multi-specialty healthcare centers would involve nerve pain relief medication to reduce nerve damage. These medications would enable the nerves to repair themselves and include tricyclic antidepressants, narcotic pain medication and opioids and similar drugs. Chiropractic treatment can help improve brain-to-body communication and vice versa while also activating the nervous system. Physical therapy may also have to be performed for improving the body’s blood circulation, strengthening the affected muscles of the foot and leg, and restoring sensation.