Diabetic Neuropathy is a condition which causes nerve damage to different areas of the body. It is the most common complication arising from Diabetes and affects half of all people with Type 1 and Type II. It tends to increase in frequency with age and appears more often in individuals who have had the disease for several years. Diabetic Neuropathy does not have a known cause but is linked to the presence of high blood sugar levels over an extended period. The existence of risk factors such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, smoking, alcohol use, and genetics may contribute to the development of the ailment.
People who suffer from diabetic neuropathy can experience a variety of different symptoms including:
A physician can detect the presence of diabetic neuropathy by reviewing medical history, performing a physical assessment and evaluating current symptoms. Blood tests and procedures such an EMG, MRI, CT scan, Doppler, and nuclear imaging studies can aid in diagnosing the disease.
The main goal of successfully treating diabetic neuropathy is to keep blood sugar levels at or near the normal range as often as possible. Nutritional assessment and guidance can help individuals to stay on target. Diligence with foot care is a priority, particularly trimming nails regularly, checking and maintaining skin condition, and ensuring proper fit of shoes. The physician should be contacted at once when any skin breakdown occurs. Sustaining a regular exercise program will help with blood sugar and risk factor control. Medication can be provided for pain control and digestive issues. Implanted spinal stimulators are also now being used experimentally to offer pain relief.
If you have diabetic neuropathy and would like to discuss the treatment options we provide, please call us at either our New Braunfels or Seguin offices.