What Is Diabetic Neuropathy Exactly?

Diabetic Neuropathy is a common complication of Diabetes Mellitus. It usually includes micro vascular injury to the small blood vessels leading to your nerves. Other side effects of Diabetic Neuropathy are not as uncommon.

One of the greatest complications of diabetic neuropathy concerns morbidity and mortality in the diabetic. This neuropathy has a rate of 20% in traumatic and 50-75% non-traumatic amputations. The greatest risk for diabetes mellitus patients is glycemic control. In most patients who controlled their glycogen levels, the risk of diabetes neuropathy was smaller. Those who did not control their insulin levels were at a higher risk. Other risk factors include: smoking, high blood pressure, age, and obesity.

Micro vascular disease is the term used to explain the constriction of blood vessels from diabetes mellitus. This causes the blood vessels to slow down the amount of blood passing through the veins. Basically, less blood flows to the nerves which cause problems with circulation leading to amputation of a limb.

Keeping glucose in its metabolized state is what helps keep diabetes neuropathy from occurring. When glucose levels are too high it will cause a chemical reaction in the body that uses up compounds that may be needed to inhibit diabetes neuropathy. Medications are available which may help this.

There are several reasons the eyes, kidneys, and nerves are damaged by diabetes neuropathy. When blood does not process glucose properly, it may turn into a form of glucose that is unusable to these organs. It actually stresses the organs and does not allow the energy producing glucose to pass the cell wall barrier. This is what causes nerve, eye or kidney damage among diabetics.

Some of the effects of diabetic neuropathy are: a loss of feeling in a part of the body, numbness or tingling, bowel upset, impotence, loss of bladder control, drooping facial parts, dizziness, vision changes, speech impairment, even trouble swallowing and or muscle contraction. These difficulties are all related to the nerve damage done by diabetes neuropathy.

The reasons for these afflictions in the diabetic neuropathy patient are poorly understood at this time. Treatment may be available for some of the associated difficulties of diabetes neuropathy but for the most part there is no cure and the disease is progressive. Often amputation of limbs or soft tissue that has received a loss of blood supply and can no longer heal or fight infection is necessary. Diabetes neuropathy is being studied on a continual basis so hope for relief is available.