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Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetic neuropathy is a common complication of diabetes and can affect many aspects of life and severely limit patients’ daily functions. Diabetic neuropathy is defined as “the presence of symptoms and/or signs of peripheral nerve dysfunction in people with diabetes after the exclusion of other causes.” Those being is mainly Diabetic vasculopathy or peripheral vascular disease (PAD).

At CACVI, we have over 30 years of experience performing more than 15,000 successful vascular and cardiac procedures. We are also committed to providing compassionate and personal care. 

Types of Diabetic Neuropathy

Types of Diabetic Neuropathy

Some types of diabetic neuropathy are:

1. Peripheral Neuropathy: It is the most common form of diabetic neuropathy. For this, your feet and legs are often affected first, followed by your hands and arms. Symptoms may include numbness or reduced ability to feel pain or temperature changes, a tingling or burning sensation, sharp pains or cramps, muscle weakness, loss of reflexes, loss of balance and coordination, and serious foot problems.

2. Autonomic Neuropathy: This type of diabetic neuropathy affects the nerves that control your heart, regulate blood pressure, and control blood glucose levels. It also affects other internal organs, causing problems with digestion, respiratory function, urination, sexual response, and vision.

3. Proximal neuropathy (Diabetic Polyradiculopathy): Here, the nerves in the thighs, hips, buttocks, or legs are affected. It can cause severe pain in any of the aforementioned areas and lead to weakness in the legs.

What Are The Symptoms Of Diabetic Neuropathy?

What Are The Symptoms Of Diabetic Neuropathy?

Neuropathic pain is often described as a burning sensation and affected areas are often sensitive to the touch. Symptoms of neuropathic pain include excruciating pain, pins and needles, lack of coordination and falling, muscle weakness, and numbness. Often times diabetic vasculopathy symptoms overlap the neuropathy symptoms.

More than 50% of people with type-1 diabetes mellitus will experience nerve damage (neuropathy). Diabetes neuropathy may lead to impotency and foot ulcers, which the latter will further lead to infections and amputation. The direct effect of long-term hyperglycemia which is seen in Type I diabetes or common poor sugar control in Type-II diabetes causing decreased blood flow will damage nerves.

Complications of Diabetic Neuropathy

Complications of Diabetic Neuropathy

The damage caused by this diabetic neuropathy can result in both acute and long-term complications. Some of these complications can significantly impact quality of life and increase the risk of further health issues. They include: 

  1. Foot Complications: Due to numbness in the feet, cuts and blisters can go unnoticed and become infected or develop into diabetic foot ulcers. Severe cases may lead to necrosis (tissue death) or gangrene, potentially requiring foot or leg amputation. Diabetic neuropathy also contributes to changes in the shape of the feet and toes.
  1. Infections: The nerve damage can lead to a decreased sensation, making it harder to notice injuries or infections. Minor cuts and injuries can quickly become serious infections without prompt treatment.
  1. Charcot Joint (Neuropathic Arthropathy): This condition can occur when a joint deteriorates because of nerve damage. Charcot joint primarily affects the feet and can cause deformities and lead to disability.
  1. Urinary Tract Problems: Neuropathy can affect the bladder. This leads to incomplete bladder emptying, urinary tract infections, and urinary incontinence.
  1. Digestive Issues: Gastroparesis is a condition where the stomach empties too slowly, which can cause nausea, vomiting, bloating, and loss of appetite. Diabetic neuropathy can also lead to constipation, diarrhea, and incontinence.
  1. Sexual Dysfunction: Men may experience erectile dysfunction due to damaged nerves and blood vessels, while women may experience vaginal dryness and difficulties with arousal and orgasm.
  1. Hypoglycemia Unawareness: Damage to the nerves that manage blood glucose levels can mask the warning signs of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), making it a dangerous complication.
  1. Cardiovascular Problems: Autonomic neuropathy can affect the nerves that control the heart and blood vessels. Thus, leading to changes in blood pressure and heart rate, and an increased risk of heart disease, and stroke.
  1. Sweating and Skin Problems: Nerve damage can affect sweat glands, leading to abnormal sweating, dry skin, and foot problems.
  2. Mood and Quality of Life: Chronic pain, mobility issues, and other complications associated with diabetic neuropathy can affect mental health. This leads to depression and anxiety.

How to manage Diabetic neuropathy?

  • Get early screening of Diabetic Vasculopathy and Neuropathy at CACVI.
  • Foot care, including daily checks, cleaning, moisturizing, trimming toenails, wearing clean and dry socks and cushioned, well-fitting shoes.
  • Many diabetic neuropathy patients actually have diabetic vasculopathy with severe venous insufficiency and peripheral arterial disease.

 

 

Schedule a personalized assessment and find out your treatment options.

Dr. Moinakhtar Lala and Dr. Mehran J. Khorsandi of CACVI

Dr. M Lala, Dr. Mehran J. Khorsandi and Dr. V Lala

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The Center for Advanced Cardiac and Vascular Interventions (CACVI) is led by Dr. M Lala, Dr. Khorsandi and Dr. V Lala, who have over thirty years of practice with over 15,000 successful vascular and cardiac procedures performed. Our physicians are determined to provide each patient with unparalleled expertise and compassionate care as they work diligently to improve your health.

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