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Can Diabetes Cause Weakness In Legs?

What Is Peripheral Neuropathy?

What Is Peripheral Neuropathy?

Peripheral neuropathy refers to a problem with the peripheral nerves. These nerves send messages from the central nervous system, the brain and the spinal cord to the rest of the body. The peripheral nerves tell the body when, for example, the hands are cold. It can lead to tingling, prickling, numbness, and muscle weakness in various parts of the body. Peripheral neuropathy can affect a range of different nerves, so it can impact a variety of locations in different ways. It can affect a single nerve, or several nerves at the same time. It is also associated with a number of different underlying medical conditions. Sometimes there is no identifiable cause. It affects some 20 million people in the United States (U.S.). Here are some key points about peripheral neuropathy. More detail is in the main article. Neuropathy is a common complication of a number of different medical conditions. It can involve the autonomic nerves, the motor nerves, and the sensory nerves. Sometimes it affects a single nerve or nerve set, for example, in Bell's Palsy, which affects a facial nerve. Physical trauma, repetitive injury, infection, metabolic problems, and exposure to toxins and some drugs are all possible causes. Treatment Treatment either targets the underlying cause, or it aims to provide symptomatic pain relief and prevent further damage. In the case of diabetic neuropathy, addressing high blood sugars can prevent further nerve damage. For toxic causes, removing the exposure to a suspected toxin, or stopping a drug, can halt further nerve damage. Medications can relieve pain and reduce burning, numbness, and tingling. Drug treatment for neuropathic pain Medications that may help include: Opioid painkillers come with warnings about safety risks. Doctors can also prescribe skin patch Continue reading >>

What Causes Diabetes Fatigue?

What Causes Diabetes Fatigue?

Fatigue is one of the most common disabling diabetes symptoms. Diabetes fatigue can disrupt and interfere with all aspects of daily living. What causes diabetes fatigue, and why is it so common? We’ve written about fatigue before and received tons of great comments on those posts. But this time let’s go deeper and find the whole range of causes and solutions, even if it takes a few weeks. Hopefully, everyone will find something that might help them, because this is a serious problem. For example, Melanie wrote, “[Fatigue] really takes a toll on my family and things we can do. I just want to have the energy to play with my son and to do things around the house or with friends…I can’t drive more than 30 minutes because my husband is afraid I will fall asleep…and wreck [the car]. (I have dozed while driving before.)” Maria commented, “Fatigue is a constant and I have had to learn to do only what I can. I don’t push myself anymore as I pay for it dearly. I get tired of explaining why I don’t feel good, don’t want to do anything. Some understand and some don’t.” And Jan wrote, “I sleep from midnight to noon each day. Then I get depressed because I wasted half a day.” Because of my multiple sclerosis (MS), I live with fatigue sometimes, and I know how limiting it is. I know how difficult it can be to manage. There are more than 15 known causes for fatigue. It helps to figure out what is causing yours, so you can address it. Here are some possibilities. First, diabetes can directly cause fatigue with high or low blood sugar levels. • High blood glucose makes your blood “sludgy,” slowing circulation so cells can’t get the oxygen and nutrients they need. Margaret commented, “I can tell if my sugars are high in the morning, because ‘grogg Continue reading >>

Neuropathy

Neuropathy

What is neuropathy? Neuropathy – also called peripheral neuropathy – refers to any condition that affects the normal activity of the nerves of the peripheral nervous system. The peripheral nervous system is the network of nerves that connects the central nervous system – the brain and spinal cord – to the rest of the body. The peripheral nervous system is made up of 3 types of nerves, each with an important role to play in keeping your body healthy and functioning properly. Sensory nerves carry messages from your senses through your spinal cord to your brain. For example, they tell your brain you are touching something hot. Motor nerves travel in the opposite direction. They carry messages from the brain to your muscles. They tell your muscles to move you away from the hot surface. Autonomic nerves are responsible for controlling body functions that occur outside our control, such as breathing, digestion, heart rate, and blood pressure. Neuropathy results when nerve cells, or neurons, are damaged or destroyed. This distorts the way the neurons communicate with each other and with the brain. Neuropathy can affect 1 nerve or nerve type, or a combination of nerves. How common is neuropathy? Neuropathy is very common. It is estimated that about 25% to 30% of Americans will be affected by neuropathy. Neuropathy occurs in 60% to 70% of people with diabetes. Who gets neuropathy? Neuropathy affects people of all ages; however, older people are at increased risk. It is more common in men and in Caucasians. People in certain professions, such as those that require repetitive motions, have a greater chance of developing compression-related neuropathy. What causes neuropathy? There are many causes of neuropathy. The cause can be hereditary (runs in families) or acquired (de Continue reading >>

Diabetic Leg Pain And Peripheral Arterial Disease

Diabetic Leg Pain And Peripheral Arterial Disease

Cramping, pain, or tiredness in the legs when walking or climbing stairs — these may not sound like symptoms of a serious condition. In fact, many people believe that they are normal signs of aging. But they can be signs of peripheral arterial disease, a severe condition that can lead to gangrene and amputation if left untreated. So if you have these symptoms, be sure to tell your doctor. Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a condition in which arteries leading to the legs and feet (or in some cases the arms) become clogged with fatty deposits called plaque, resulting in reduced or blocked blood flow to these areas. It affects between 8 million and 12 million Americans, and people with diabetes are more likely to develop PAD than the general population. PAD is also known as peripheral vascular disease (PVD), leg atherosclerosis, or simply poor circulation. PAD and diabetes Anyone can develop PAD, but people with diabetes, especially those with Type 2 diabetes, have a higher risk of developing it because of a series of bodily changes associated with diabetes, including insulin resistance, a higher level of blood fats, and an increase in blood pressure. All of these contribute to arteries becoming clogged with fatty deposits, leading to the hardening and narrowing of these blood vessels. Having diabetes also increases the risk of developing neuropathy, or nerve damage, as a result of high blood glucose. Neuropathy can cause decreased sensation in the feet and legs, which can cause a person not to notice small injuries to the foot, such as blisters or cuts. If a person continues to walk on an injury, it is likely to enlarge and get infected. The combination of PAD and neuropathy is particularly dangerous because when blood flow to the feet is reduced, the body has a har Continue reading >>

Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetic Neuropathy

What is Diabetic Neuropathy Diabetic neuropathy is a type of nerve damage that happens in people who have diabetes mellitus. It affects mainly the peripheral nerves. There are three types of peripheral nerve affected: motor, sensory, and autonomic. Motor nerve fibres carry signals to muscles to allow motions like walking and fine finger movements. Sensory nerves take messages in the opposite direction. They carry information to the brain about shape, movement, texture, warmth, coolness, or pain from special sensors in the skin and from deep in the body. Autonomic nerves are nerves that are not consciously controlled. These nerves have functions such as controlling the heart rate, maintaining blood pressure, and controlling sweating. Damage to these nerves makes it hard for the nerves to carry messages to the brain and other parts of the body. This can result in numbness (loss of feeling) or painful tingling in parts of the body. Diabetic neuropathy can also affect the following: Strength and feeling in different body parts. Ability of the heart to keep up with the body’s needs. Ability of the intestines to digest food. Ability to achieve an erection (in men). Statistics on Diabetic Neuropathy Diabetes mellitus is a common medical condition in the Australian community. It is estimated that approximately one in four Australians over the age of 25 years has diabetes or its precursor, impaired glucose metabolism (also associated with increased risk of heart disease). People with diabetes can develop nerve problems at any time, but the longer a person has diabetes, the greater the risk. Patients with type 2 diabetes are at greater risk particularly if they have poor control of their blood sugars. The highest rates of neuropathy are among people who have had the disease for Continue reading >>

Muscle Weakness

Muscle Weakness

A Progressive Late Complication in Diabetic Distal Symmetric Polyneuropathy Abstract The aim of the study was to determine the progression of muscle weakness in long-term diabetes and its relation to the neuropathic condition. Thirty patients were recruited from a cohort of 92 diabetic patients who participated in a study on muscular function 6–8 years earlier. Nine subjects were nonneuropathic, 9 had asymptomatic neuropathy, and 12 had symptomatic neuropathy. Thirty matched control subjects who participated in the initial studies were also included. At follow-up, isokinetic dynamometry at the ankle, electrophysiological studies, vibratory perception thresholds, and clinical examination (neuropathy symptom score and neurological disability score [NDS]) were repeated. The annual decline of strength at the ankle was 0.7 ± 1.7% in control subjects, 0.9 ± 1.9% in nonneuropathic patients, 0.7 ± 3.1% in asymptomatic neuropathic patients, and 3.2 ± 2.3% in symptomatic neuropathic patients. In the symptomatic patients, the decline of muscle strength at the ankle was significant when compared with matched control subjects (P = 0.002) and with the other diabetic groups (P = 0.023). Also, the annual decline of muscle strength at the ankle was related to the combined score of all measures of neuropathy (r = −0.42, P = 0.03) and to the NDS (r = −0.52, P = 0.01). In patients with symptomatic diabetic neuropathy, weakness of ankle plantar and dorsal flexors is progressive and related to the severity of neuropathy. Diabetic polyneuropathy presents with sensory disturbances. Later on, motor disturbances can occur in more severe conditions, leading to distal weakness and atrophy of the muscles of the lower leg and foot. Accordingly, inability to walk on heels is used to identif Continue reading >>

Symptoms Of Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

Symptoms Of Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is a condition caused by long-term high blood sugar levels, which causes nerve damage. Some people will not have any symptoms. But for others symptoms may be debilitating. Between 60 and 70 percent of people with diabetes have some form of neuropathy, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Peripheral neuropathy, the most common form of diabetic neuropathy, affects the legs, feet, toes, hands, and arms. Many people do not know that they have diabetes. People unaware of their diabetes may not know what’s causing some of the unusual sensations they’re experiencing. Nerve damage is the result of high levels of blood glucose over long periods of time. It isn’t entirely clear why high glucose levels damage nerves. A number of factors may play a role in nerve fiber damage. One possible component is the intricate interplay between the blood vessels and nerves, according to the Mayo Clinic. Other factors include high blood pressure and cholesterol levels and nerve inflammation. Diabetic peripheral neuropathy usually first appears in the feet and legs, and may occur in the hands and arms later. A common symptom of diabetic peripheral neuropathy is numbness. Sometimes you may be unable to feel your feet while walking. Other times, your hands or feet will tingle or burn. Or it may feel like you’re wearing a sock or glove when you’re not. Sometimes you may experience sudden, sharp pains that feel like an electrical current. Other times, you may feel cramping, like when you’re grasping something like a piece of silverware. You also may sometimes unintentionally drop items you’re holding as a result of diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Walking with a wobbly motion or even losing your balance can res Continue reading >>

When Diabetes Leads To Nerve Damage

When Diabetes Leads To Nerve Damage

Tingling, numbness, pain in the arms, legs, hands, or feet — these are all common signs of diabetic neuropathy, or nerve damage. Up to 70 percent of people with diabetes will develop some type of neuropathy, making it one of the most common side effects of this disease. Diabetes: Understanding Neuropathy Although tingling, numbness, or pain in the extremities are common signs of neuropathy, others may experience no symptoms at all. Nerve damage can also occur in internal organs, such as the heart or digestive tract. Diabetes-related neuropathy can affect muscle strength, sensation in various parts of the body, and even sexual function. People who develop diabetic neuropathy are typically those who have trouble controlling their blood glucose levels, blood pressure, cholesterol, and body weight. Although researchers haven't quite figured out exactly why this happens, they know that neuropathy can occur due to: Alcohol use and smoking Genetic predisposition Injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome Nerves that become inflamed related to autoimmune conditions Neurovascular issues that damage the blood vessels responsible for bringing nutrients and oxygen to your nerves Your risk also increases the older you get and the longer you have diabetes, with the highest rates of neuropathy occuring in people who have had diabetes for at least 25 years. Diabetes: Where Neuropathy May Strike Here are some of the specific types of neuropathy that occur in people with diabetes: Autonomic neuropathy impairs the functioning of the digestive system, resulting in diarrhea or constipation as well as impaired bladder function. This type of neuropathy also affects how you perspire and even your sexual response — men may have trouble getting an erection and women may experience vaginal dryne Continue reading >>

Diabetic Amyotrophy

Diabetic Amyotrophy

Diabetic amyotrophy is a nerve disorder complication of diabetes mellitus. It affects the thighs, hips, buttocks and legs, causing pain and muscle wasting. What is diabetic amyotrophy? Diabetic amyotrophy is a nerve disorder which is a complication of diabetes mellitus. It affects the thighs, hips, buttocks and legs, causing pain and muscle wasting. It is also called by several other names, including proximal diabetic neuropathy, lumbosacral radiculoplexus neurophagy and femoral neurophagy. What is diabetic amyotrophy like? The main features of diabetic amyotrophy are: Weakness of the lower legs, buttocks or hip. Muscle wasting, usually in the front of the thigh, which follows within weeks. Pain, sometimes severe, usually in the front of the thigh but sometimes in the hip, buttock or back. Other features which occur in some (but not all) patients are: Altered sensation and tingling in the thigh, hip or buttock, which tends to be mild in comparison to the pain and weakness. About half of patients also have distal neuropathy, meaning that sensation in the nerves of the lower legs and feet may be separately affected by this condition (which is the most common form of diabetic neuropathy). Learn more about diabetic neuropathy. About half of people affected lose weight. Symptoms generally begin on one side and then spread to the other in a stepwise progression. The condition may come on quickly or more slowly and usually remains asymmetrical (ie the two sides of the body are unequally affected) throughout its course. About half of patients also have distal symmetrical polyneuropathy, which means the sensation in their feet and toes on both sides is also affected. The condition tends to go on for several months but can last up to three years. By the end of this time it usuall Continue reading >>

Nerve Damage (diabetic Neuropathies)

Nerve Damage (diabetic Neuropathies)

What are diabetic neuropathies? Diabetic neuropathies are a family of nerve disorders caused by diabetes. People with diabetes can, over time, develop nerve damage throughout the body. Some people with nerve damage have no symptoms. Others may have symptoms such as pain, tingling, or numbness—loss of feeling—in the hands, arms, feet, and legs. Nerve problems can occur in every organ system, including the digestive tract, heart, and sex organs. About 60 to 70 percent of people with diabetes have some form of neuropathy. People with diabetes can develop nerve problems at any time, but risk rises with age and longer duration of diabetes. The highest rates of neuropathy are among people who have had diabetes for at least 25 years. Diabetic neuropathies also appear to be more common in people who have problems controlling their blood glucose, also called blood sugar, as well as those with high levels of blood fat and blood pressure and those who are overweight. What causes diabetic neuropathies? The causes are probably different for different types of diabetic neuropathy. Researchers are studying how prolonged exposure to high blood glucose causes nerve damage. Nerve damage is likely due to a combination of factors: metabolic factors, such as high blood glucose, long duration of diabetes, abnormal blood fat levels, and possibly low levels of insulin neurovascular factors, leading to damage to the blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients to nerves autoimmune factors that cause inflammation in nerves mechanical injury to nerves, such as carpal tunnel syndrome inherited traits that increase susceptibility to nerve disease lifestyle factors, such as smoking or alcohol use What are the symptoms of diabetic neuropathies? Symptoms depend on the type of neuropathy and which Continue reading >>

Diabetes Leg Pain And Cramps: Treatment Tips

Diabetes Leg Pain And Cramps: Treatment Tips

Diabetes can lead to a variety of complications. Leg pain and cramps often occur as a result of nerve damage called diabetic neuropathy. If diabetes damages nerves in your arms or legs, it’s called diabetic peripheral neuropathy. This condition can be a direct result of long-term high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia) in those who have diabetes. Pain, burning, tingling, and numbness are common symptoms. Peripheral neuropathy can also result in serious foot and leg conditions. Catching nerve damage early is important in preventing symptoms. This can help prevent lower leg amputations. You have options for alleviating leg pain and cramps due to diabetic neuropathy. Managing leg pain and cramps may also help prevent the condition from progressing and improve your quality of life. Diabetic neuropathy is most common in the legs and feet. Without treatment and management, it can become debilitating. The most important thing you can do to lower your risk of all complications, including diabetic neuropathy, is to keep your blood sugar level within the target range. If you have neuropathy, controlling blood sugar is still very important. But there are some other steps you can take to help control this condition. One of the first courses of action is pain management through medication. Over-the-counter medications, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen, may help alleviate mild to moderate pain. Two medications are currently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating diabetic peripheral neuropathy: Other medications and treatment options include the use of opioid medications, such as tramadol and tapentadol, and topical remedies and sprays. Certain dietary supplements may also help ease pain, including leg discomfort associated with diabetes. Some nutrie Continue reading >>

Diabetic Neuropathy Symptoms

Diabetic Neuropathy Symptoms

The symptoms of diabetic neuropathy depend on what type of neuropathy you have. Symptoms are dependent on which nerves have been damaged. In general, diabetic neuropathy symptoms develop gradually; they may seem like minor and infrequent pains or problems at first, but as the nerves become more damaged, symptoms may grow. Don’t overlook mild symptoms. They can indicate the beginning of neuropathy. Talk to your doctor about anything you notice—such as any pain, numbness, weakness, or tingling—even if it seems insignificant. Your pain may mean the control of your diabetes could be improved, which will can help slow down the progression of your neuropathy. Pain and numbness are also important warning signs to take very good care of your feet, so you can avoid wounds and infections that can be difficult to heal and even raise risk for amputation. 1 Peripheral Neuropathy Symptoms Peripheral neuropathy affects nerves leading to your extremities—the feet, legs, hands, and arms. The nerves leading to your feet are the longest in your body, so they are the most often affected nerves (simply because there’s more of them to be damaged). Peripheral neuropathy is the most common form of diabetic neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy symptoms include: Pain Burning, stabbing or electric-shock sensations Numbness (loss of feeling) Tingling Muscle weakness Poor coordination Muscle cramping and/or twitching Insensitivity to pain and/or temperature Extreme sensitivity to even the lightest touch Symptoms get worse at night. 2, 3 Autonomic Neuropathy Symptoms The autonomic nervous system is in charge of the "involuntary" functions of your body. It keeps your heart pumping and makes sure you digest your food right—without you needing to think about it. Autonomic neuropathy symptoms i Continue reading >>

Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetic Neuropathy

Print Overview Diabetic neuropathy is a type of nerve damage that can occur if you have diabetes. High blood sugar (glucose) can injure nerve fibers throughout your body, but diabetic neuropathy most often damages nerves in your legs and feet. Depending on the affected nerves, symptoms of diabetic neuropathy can range from pain and numbness in your extremities to problems with your digestive system, urinary tract, blood vessels and heart. For some people, these symptoms are mild; for others, diabetic neuropathy can be painful, disabling and even fatal. Diabetic neuropathy is a common serious complication of diabetes. Yet you can often prevent diabetic neuropathy or slow its progress with tight blood sugar control and a healthy lifestyle. Symptoms There are four main types of diabetic neuropathy. You may have just one type or symptoms of several types. Most develop gradually, and you may not notice problems until considerable damage has occurred. The signs and symptoms of diabetic neuropathy vary, depending on the type of neuropathy and which nerves are affected. Peripheral neuropathy Peripheral neuropathy is the most common form of diabetic neuropathy. Your feet and legs are often affected first, followed by your hands and arms. Signs and symptoms of peripheral neuropathy are often worse at night, and may include: Numbness or reduced ability to feel pain or temperature changes A tingling or burning sensation Sharp pains or cramps Increased sensitivity to touch — for some people, even the weight of a bed sheet can be agonizing Muscle weakness Loss of reflexes, especially in the ankle Loss of balance and coordination Serious foot problems, such as ulcers, infections, deformities, and bone and joint pain Autonomic neuropathy The autonomic nervous system controls your hea Continue reading >>

Weak Legs | Diabetic Connect

Weak Legs | Diabetic Connect

I am a type II since 1989. I have been "in control" from the beginning; but it didn't seem to stop the neuropathy from progressing to the point that I use a cane most of the time. I am retired; but work a little part time at our local school as a custodian and at work, where I always have an "aid" in my hands (broom, mop, floor scrubber etc) I don't have much of a problem; but unaided i couldn't walk to the end of my street. I also ride a motorcycle; but that may stop soon as I do not feel I can hold it up at stops or back it in and out of my garage. Not at all satisfied with any of these problems or the suggestions I have heard to help relieve it. Hey Randy, My legs are not the best in the world. Would not win any contest of any sort. But they are mine. My legs I have notice that from the mid calf down, they are slightly discollored. They are darker then the rest of my leg. I dont think I have that good of circulation going on there. My calfs themselves are well deleloped. I do get tingling in my feet from time to time and muscle spams in my feet. hope its not connected. Good luck with your legs. i have poly neuropathy i have all the problems you described and more. it is all over my body now and there is never any relief. have you had a test to see if you have nerve damage? you would have to see a neurologist for this test. This last winter I was having a hard time sleeping at night with my legs twitching and tingling, my feet were cold all the time and could not hardly get them warm even with the inserts. I would get these sharp pains like someone was sticking a needle through me at different times, made me jump. The funny thing is that once I started taking metamucil it stopped, I was taking liquid tylenol as it seemed to help and have not had a dose since then. Th Continue reading >>

What Is Diabetic Neuropathy?

What Is Diabetic Neuropathy?

Diabetes can harm your nerves. That damage, called neuropathy, may be painful. It can happen in several ways, and they all seem to be related to blood sugar levels being too high for too long. To prevent it, work with your doctor to manage your blood sugar. You may hear your doctor mention the four types of diabetes-related neuropathy: peripheral, autonomic, proximal, and focal. Peripheral Neuropathy This type usually affects the feet and legs. Rare cases affect the arms, abdomen, and back. Symptoms include: Tingling Numbness (which may become permanent) Burning (especially in the evening) Pain Early symptoms usually get better when your blood sugar is under control. There are medications to help manage the discomfort. What you should do: Check your feet and legs daily. Use lotion on your feet if they're dry. Take care of your toenails. Ask your doctor if you should go to a podiatrist. Wear shoes that fit well. Wear them all the time, so your feet don't get injured. Autonomic Neuropathy This type usually affects the digestive system, especially the stomach. It can also affect the blood vessels, urinary system, and sex organs. In your digestive system: Symptoms include: Bloating Diarrhea Constipation Heartburn Nausea Vomiting Feeling full after small meals What you should do: You may need to eat smaller meals and take medication to treat it. In blood vessels: Symptoms include: Blacking out when you stand up quickly Faster heartbeat Dizziness Low blood pressure Nausea Vomiting Feeling full sooner than normal If you have it: Avoid standing up too quickly. You may also need to wear special stockings (ask your doctor about them) and take medicine. In Men: Symptoms include: He may not be able to have or keep an erection, or he may have “dry” or reduced ejaculations. What Continue reading >>

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