Health knowledge made personal
Join this community!
› Share page:
Search posts:

Diabetic Neuropathy

Posted Dec 28 2009 10:38pm

Over 21 million Americans have diabetes and about 30% of diabetics over the age of 40 years have diabetic peripheral neuropathy (CDC 2005). Neuropathy is a nervous system abnormality. Peripheral refers to the nerves outside the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). Peripheral neuropathy generally refers to sensory abnormalities in the feet, legs, hands and arms. Diabetes is the most common causes of peripheral neuropathy. Although the exact cause of diabetic neuropathy is not clearly understood, abnormal blood sugar metabolism, poor blood supply to the nerves, increased free radicals and nerve compression are all potential causes of neuropathy in diabetics. The result is impaired nerve function which can cause some or all of the following sensations:  burning, tingling, numbness, hot and cold sensations, sharp electrical pains and leg discomfort. Generally, numbness starts in the toes, equally on both feet and most commonly at the tip of the great toe. The numbness progresses on the bottom of the foot and common complaints include the feeling of walking on a bunched up sock or a lump in the shoe. Tingling, burning and pins and needles sensations may accompany the numbness. Gradually over time, the sensation may travel beyond the ankle and up the leg. This is why it is referred to as a stocking glove neuropathy, the disease progresses as if one is pulling on stockings. Only 5% of diabetics will develop painful diabetic neuropathy. The pain occurs with the numbness and is generally in the form of electrical type pain, shooting pain in the toes and intense burning, experienced at rest or at night before sleep. As the neuropathy progresses, muscle weakness can occur and this most commonly affects the small muscles in the feet, resulting in problems with balance and stability. The nerves also affect other body functions, such as sweating which is why many diabetics with neuropathy develop severely dry skin and cracked heels.

More diagnosis and treatment information on diabetic neuropathy, painful diabetic neuropathy, and diabetic foot care.

Post a comment
Write a comment:

Related Searches