Diabetic neuropathy is a type of nerve damage that occurs on diabetic people. High blood sugar can harm nerve fibers throughout the body, but diabetic neuropathy causes damage on the nerve found in the legs and feet.
Depending on the affected nerves, the symptoms can range from pain and numbness in the extremities, problems with the urinary tract, digestive system, heart and the blood vessels. The condition can be mild, but for some people with diabetic neuropathy their symptoms can be painful, disabling and can be fatal. Diabetic neuropathy can be prevented or its progress can be slowed down by controlling the blood sugar level and a healthy lifestyle.
Symptoms of diabetic neuropathy
There are four types of diabetic neuropathy and their symptoms.
Peripheral neuropathy which affects the feet and legs, then followed by the hand and arms and their symptoms are severe at night which includes the following.
- Numbness and reduced ability to feel pain or changes in temperature
- Sharp pain and cramping along with sensitivity to touch
- Weakness of the muscle, loss of balance, reflexes and coordination
Autonomic neuropathy which affects nerves of the heart, bladder, stomach, lungs, sex organs and the eyes causes the following symptoms.
- Hypoglycemia unawareness
- Bladder problems such as urinary tract infections, urinary retention or incontinence
- Erectile dysfunction in men and vaginal dryness in women
- There is an increase or decrease in sweating
Radiculoplexus neuropathy affects the nerves in the thighs, hips, legs or buttocks which can also be called diabetic amyotrophic, femoral or proximal neuropathy. This type is common in type 2 diabetes and older people and causes the following symptoms.
- A sudden and severe pain in the hips, thigh and the buttocks
- There is difficulty rising from a seated position
- Loss of weight
Mononeuropathy affects the nerves on the face, torso or leg and called focal neuropathy and causes the following symptoms.
- Pain in the shin or foot, lower back or pelvis, front of the thigh and in the chest or abdomen
- There is difficulty on focusing the eyes or double vision
Treatment and home remedies of diabetic neuropathy
- Maintain and control the normal level of blood sugar in order to delay or prevent the start of diabetic neuropathy.
- Eat a balance diet which contains all the necessary vitamins. Eat whole grains such as whole wheat, brown rice, sprouts, buttermilk and cottage cheese. The diet should be low in sugar.
- Exercise regularly in order to improve circulation of blood such as walking at least 30-45 minutes a day
- Drink soybean milk
- Barley brew is also helpful in improving nerve pain, thus should be consumed on a daily basis.
- Create a juice made out of carrots and spinach since it helps with nerve issues.
- Avoid drinking alcohol since it can worsen the symptoms.