diabetestalk.net

Can You Stop Diabetic Neuropathy?

Peripheral Neuropathy And Diabetes

Peripheral Neuropathy And Diabetes

Pain. Tingling. Numbness. If you have a type of nerve damage from diabetes called diabetic peripheral neuropathy, chances are you've experienced these symptoms, especially in your hands and feet. The discomfort can affect your mood, sleep, and overall quality of life. Prescription medications can help. But research shows that they only ease the pain by about 30% to 50%. How can you bridge the gap? Learn how you can get relief now -- and prevent the condition from getting worse down the road. If don't manage your diabetes, your blood glucose levels get too high. Over time, excess blood sugar can damage your peripheral nerves. These connect your brain and spinal cord to the rest of your body. That could set the stage for diabetic neuropathy. If you bring your blood sugar into the healthy range (a hemoglobin A1C reading of 7% or lower), you'll reduce your risk of nerve damage by 60%, according to research from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. "Healthy blood sugar levels can slow the process and ease the pain of diabetic neuropathy," says Aaron I. Vinik, MD, PhD, the director of the research and neuroendocrine unit at Eastern Virginia Medical School. How can you keep your blood sugar in check? First, talk to your doctor. "A rapid drop can actually make the pain worse," Vinik says. Your doctor can suggest changes to gently bring your levels down into the healthy zone, like: Eat a diet high that's in fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, and whole grains; contains a moderate amount of fish, poultry, nuts, and beans; and has a very low amount of red meat. Manage your stress levels. Exercise for at least 30 minutes, 5 days a week. If your doctor prescribes medication for your blood sugar, take it as recommended. Acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofe Continue reading >>

Peripheral Neuropathy Nutrition

Peripheral Neuropathy Nutrition

Good nutrition is often the first line of defense to avoid many diseases, including peripheral neuropathy. The best way to prevent peripheral neuropathy is to carefully manage any medical condition that puts you at risk. That means controlling your blood sugar level if you have diabetes or talking to your doctor about safe and effective treatments if you think you may have a problem with alcohol. Whether or not you have a medical condition, eat a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein. Keep a food diary so you are aware of what you’re eating and to make sure you get all the nutrients you need each day to stay as healthy as possible. Disclaimer: Please check with your doctor before beginning any supplement regimens. Continue reading >>

Diabetic Neuropathy Overview

Diabetic Neuropathy Overview

Diabetic neuropathy, which you may hear called diabetic nerve pain, is diabetes-related nerve damage. It develops over time; the longer you have diabetes, the more at risk you are for diabetic neuropathy. In fact, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases reports that 60% to 70% of people with either type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes will develop a type of diabetic nerve pain.1 There are 4 types of diabetic neuropathy: diabetic peripheral neuropathy (the most common type), proximal neuropathy, autonomic neuropathy, and focal neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy is the most likely to cause pain, but proximal neuropathy can also cause pain. Diabetic Neuropathy Causes Even though the exact cause of diabetic neuropathies isn't fully understood, researchers in the medical community do know that poor blood glucose control (blood sugar) is related to the development of nerve damage. What they don't understand is how long-term exposure to high blood glucose levels leads to nerve damage. There is an idea that elevated blood glucose levels damage the blood vessels over time. Damaged blood vessels can't bring oxygen and nutrients to the nerves as well as they should be able to, eventually leading to nerve damage. Most likely, diabetic neuropathy develops because of a mix of factors: • Lifestyle: Smoking and excessive alcohol use can contribute to diabetic neuropathy. • Age: The longer you have diabetes, the more likely it is that you will develop diabetic neuropathy. • Nerve Injury: Your nerves can be injured because of other conditions, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, or they may be injured because of inflammation. Injured nerves may be more likely to develop diabetic neuropathy. • Autoimmune Factors: In autoimmune diseases, and type 1 diabetes is Continue reading >>

Tips For Treating Diabetic Nerve Pain

Tips For Treating Diabetic Nerve Pain

Diabetes can cause long-term problems throughout your body, especially if you don’t control your blood sugar effectively, and sugar levels remain high for many years. High blood sugar can cause diabetic neuropathy, which damages the nerves that send signals from your hands and feet. Diabetic neuropathy can cause numbness or tingling in your fingers, toes, hands, and feet. Another symptom is a burning, sharp, or aching pain (diabetic nerve pain). The pain may be mild at first, but it can get worse over time and spread up your legs or arms. Walking can be painful, and even the softest touch can feel unbearable. Up to 50 percent of people with diabetes may experience nerve pain. Nerve damage can affect your ability to sleep, decrease your quality of life, and can also cause depression. Damaged nerves can’t be replaced. However, there are ways that you can prevent further damage and relieve your pain. First, control your blood sugar so the damage doesn’t progress. Talk to your doctor about setting your blood sugar goal, and learn to monitor it. You may be asked to lower your blood sugar before meals to 70 to 130 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) and your blood sugar after meals to less than 180 mg/dL. Use diets, exercise, and medications to decrease your blood sugar to a healthier range. Monitor other health risks that can worsen your diabetes, such as your weight and smoking. Ask your doctor about effective ways to lose weight or quit smoking, if necessary. Your doctor might suggest trying an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), aspirin (Bufferin), or ibuprofen (Motrin IB, Advil), which are available without a prescription but can cause side effects. Use a low dose for a short time to control your symptoms. Other options exist for stronger Continue reading >>

Diabetic Neuropathy: Preventing And Reversing The Damage

Diabetic Neuropathy: Preventing And Reversing The Damage

Imagine living with the haunting possibility that one day, you may lose all feeling in your feet and that this lost sensation could ultimately lead to ulceration, infection, and even amputation of your unsalvageable limbs. This grim but very real condition is called diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN), and according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease 60-70 percent of diabetics suffer some kind of nerve damage. That means as the number of type 2 diabetics continues to spiral out of control, we are facing a growing population suffering from pedal disasters like these. What’s tragic is that with all we now know about diabetes, many of these conditions are preventable and largely reversible when they do occur. To help you prevent DPN or reverse the damage if you are already suffering, in today’s blog I will review some of the issues that lead to the onset of the condition and outline some simple dietary measures and supplements you can take to properly support your feet and reverse the damage. Sadly, these conditions typically begin with one major medical assumption: Diabetes can be controlled by medicine alone. Controlling Diabetes with Medication: Can it Be Done? In my opinion, one of the biggest misconceptions in modern medicine is the assumption that diabetes can be controlled by medication alone. The truth is that it simply can’t be. Somehow our culture has developed this fantasy that people can eat anything they want, do no exercise, and any health complications will be resolved with a few pills or injections. Nothing could be further from the truth. On the surface it may appear that diabetes can be successfully treated with pharmaceuticals. Fasting blood sugar and hemoglobin A1C levels both seem to improve. And while these a Continue reading >>

How To Avoid Nerve Damage And Infection When You Have Type 2 Diabetes

How To Avoid Nerve Damage And Infection When You Have Type 2 Diabetes

How to Avoid Nerve Damage and Infection When You Have Type 2 Diabetes About half of all people with diabetes have some form of nerve damage, or diabetic neuropathy, which can lead to serious problems over time. Sign Up for Our Everyday Health: Diabetes Step-by-Step Newsletter Thanks for signing up! You might also like these other newsletters: Sign up for more FREE Everyday Health newsletters . Over time, the presence of too much glucose in your cells can injure the walls of the tiny blood vessels called capillaries that deliver blood to your nerves, especially in the legs. This can cause tingling, numbness, burning, or pain. Poorly controlled blood glucose can even cause you to lose all sense of feeling in the affected limbs and a loss of feeling in your feet makes you more vulnerable to injury and infection. Lets say you get a blister or small cut on your foot that you dont feel: Because you dont know its there, you may miss the symptoms of an infection in the wound. Its imperative for you to check your feet regularly to avoid this and be meticulous in your foot care, because untreated infections can result in gangrene (the death of tissue) and may lead to the amputation of the affected limb or toes. Diabetes can also make it more difficult for your body to fight infections in general. Various skin conditions are linked to diabetes, and even the most minor cuts or sores can turn serious fast. Any bumps, cuts, or scrapes should be cleaned and treated with an antibiotic cream and monitored carefully. If you notice any of these symptoms associated with nerve damage or infection, see your doctor: Inflammation and tenderness anywhere on your body Red, itchy rash surrounded by small blisters or scales Cuts, sores, or blisters on your feet that are slow to heal and are not a Continue reading >>

7 Natural Diabetic Neuropathy Treatments That Work

7 Natural Diabetic Neuropathy Treatments That Work

Diabetes itself is extremely common, affecting about one in every three adults in the U.S., and diabetic neuropathy is one of the most likely complications to develop as a side effect because high blood sugar levels affect nerve fibers throughout the body. Neuropathy is a pathological condition that encompasses more than 100 different forms and manifestations of nerve damage, both in people with diabetes and those without. (1) Diabetic neuropathy (also sometimes called peripheral neuropathy) is the term for nerve damage caused by diabetes, a chronic condition that occurs when the body doesn’t use the hormone insulin properly. Neuropathy can form anywhere but is most likely to affect nerves running through the limbs, hands and feet. Not every person with diabetes symptoms develops complications such as neuropathy, but many do. In fact, up to 60 percent to 70 percent of all diabetics experience some form of neuropathy. For some people, only mild symptoms develop from nerve damage, such as tingling or numbness in the limbs. But for others, neuropathy causes a good amount of pain, digestive issues, problems with the heart and blood vessels, the inability to go about life normally, and even death if major organs are affected badly enough. Diabetic neuropathy can trigger a cascade of events that lead to even more serious complications. Just like with diabetes itself, there is no known “cure” for peripheral neuropathy, only ways to manage it and stop progression, similarly to the natural treatments for diabetes. It’s a dangerous problem to have, but fortunately most people are able to keep it under control by regulating their blood sugar levels, changing their diets and adopting healthier lifestyles overall, all of which help control their diabetes. 7 Natural Remedies Continue reading >>

Patient Education: Diabetic Neuropathy (beyond The Basics)

Patient Education: Diabetic Neuropathy (beyond The Basics)

DIABETIC NEUROPATHY OVERVIEW Neuropathy is the medical term for nerve damage. Neuropathy is a common complication of type 1 and type 2 diabetes; up to 26 percent of people with type 2 diabetes have evidence of nerve damage at the time that diabetes is diagnosed [1]. A generalized type of neuropathy, known as polyneuropathy, is the most common type of diabetic neuropathy. Other types of neuropathy can also affect people with diabetes, but will not be discussed here. Signs and symptoms of diabetic neuropathy include loss of sensation and/or burning pain in the feet. Early detection of diabetes and tight control of blood sugar levels may reduce the risk of developing diabetic neuropathy. Treatments for diabetic neuropathy are available, and include several elements: control of blood glucose levels, prevention of injury, and control of painful symptoms. DIABETIC NEUROPATHY RISK FACTORS In people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, the biggest risk factor for developing diabetic neuropathy is having high blood sugar levels over time. Other factors can further increase the risk of developing diabetic neuropathy, including: Coronary artery disease Increased triglyceride levels Smoking High blood pressure DIABETIC NEUROPATHY SYMPTOMS The most common symptoms of diabetic neuropathy include pain, burning, tingling, or numbness in the toes or feet, and extreme sensitivity to light touch. The pain may be worst at rest and improve with activity, such as walking. Some people initially have intensely painful feet while others have few or no symptoms. Diabetic neuropathy usually affects both sides of the body. Symptoms are usually noticed first in the toes. If the disease progresses, symptoms may gradually move up the legs; if the mid-calves are affected, symptoms may develop in the hands. 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 >>

Diabetic Neuropathy - What You Need To Know | Joslin Diabetes Center

Diabetic Neuropathy - What You Need To Know | Joslin Diabetes Center

Diabetic Neuropathy: What You Need to Know Diabetic neuropathy is a complication of diabetes and usually occurs in association with chronically elevated blood glucose levels. Elevated glucose levels may damage the nerves--usually in the feet and legs--and this can result in pain, discomfort, and/or numbness. If numbness occurs, it can be very difficult for someone to detect if he/she has a wound on one or both feet, so the symptom of numbness can be particularly dangerous. If someone is not able to feel a puncture of the skin that causes a wound--or the pain that followsa cut or scratch may be overlooked and eventually become infected. The symptoms of pain and discomfort can be debilitating for many people but fortunately there are medications that can be taken to help alleviate these symptoms. Diabetic neuropathy can also cause problems in other parts of your body. Gastroparesis is a condition that arises from damaged nerves in the digestive system, and can cause abdominal discomfort, nausea, vomiting, bloating, particularly after meals. Other gastrointestinal symptoms can include constipation or diarrhea. Nerve damage in other areas of the body can result in incomplete emptying of the bladder, incontinence, or sexual dysfunction. Damage to nerves that regulate blood flow and blood pressure can result in significant blood pressure drops when sitting or standing, causing a person to feel light-headed or even faint, particularly when standing from a sitting or lying position. If you already have nerve damage, there are things that can be done to slow the rate of progression or treat the symptoms. Maintaining good glucose control, as well as healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels, has been shown to prevent the progression of neuropathy. If you have numbness, you n Continue reading >>

Diagnosis

Diagnosis

Print Diabetic neuropathy is usually diagnosed based on your symptoms, your medical history and a physical exam. During the exam, your doctor is likely to check your muscle strength and tone, tendon reflexes, and sensitivity to touch, temperature and vibration. Your doctor may also conduct tests that include: Filament test. Sensitivity to touch may be tested using a soft nylon fiber called a monofilament. Nerve conduction studies. This test measures how quickly the nerves in your arms and legs conduct electrical signals. It's often used to diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome. Electromyography (EMG). Often performed along with nerve conduction studies, electromyography measures the electrical discharges produced in your muscles. Quantitative sensory testing. This noninvasive test is used to assess how your nerves respond to vibration and changes in temperature. Autonomic testing. If you have symptoms of autonomic neuropathy, your doctor may request special tests to look at your blood pressure in different positions and assess your ability to sweat. The American Diabetes Association recommends that all people with diabetes have a comprehensive foot exam — either by a doctor or by a foot specialist (podiatrist) — at least once a year. In addition, your feet should be checked for sores, cracked skin, calluses, blisters, and bone and joint abnormalities at every office visit. Treatment Diabetic neuropathy has no known cure. Treatment for diabetic neuropathy focuses on: Slowing progression of the disease Relieving pain Managing complications and restoring function Slowing progression of the disease Consistently keeping blood sugar within a target range can help prevent or delay the progression of diabetic neuropathy and may even improve some of the symptoms you already have. 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 >>

Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy is a type of damage to the nervous system. Specifically, it occurs when there is a problem with your peripheral nervous system, the network of nerves that transmits information from your central nervous system (your brain and spinal cord) to the rest of your body. Peripheral Neuropathy: What You Need to Know There are more than 100 types of peripheral neuropathy, each with its own set of symptoms and prognosis. Peripheral neuropathy has many different causes. One of the most common causes of peripheral neuropathy in the U.S. is diabetes. The most common type of peripheral neuropathy is diabetic neuropathy, caused by a high sugar level and resulting in nerve fiber damage in your legs and feet. Symptoms can range from tingling or numbness in a certain body part to more serious effects, such as burning pain or paralysis. Peripheral Neuropathy Causes Peripheral neuropathy has many different causes. The most common causes are metabolic conditions, such as diabetes, and chronic kidney insufficiency or toxicity from alcohol or medications, such as chemotherapy drugs. Some peripheral neuropathy cases are caused by inflammation in nerves, and others are inherited. Diabetes accounts for about half of all causes of peripheral neuropathy cases in the U.S. About 60 to 70 percent of Americans with diabetes have some form of nerve damage. Could Preservatives Prevent Disabling Chemotherapy Side Effect? Johns Hopkins researchers find that common preservative may thwart pain and damage of peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral Neuropathy Types There are more than 100 types of peripheral neuropathy, each with its own set of symptoms and prognosis. To help doctors classify them, they are often broken down into the following categories: Motor neuropathy. This is damage to t Continue reading >>

Can Diabetic Neuropathy Be Reversed?

Can Diabetic Neuropathy Be Reversed?

Diabetic neuropathy refers to nerve damage caused by diabetes. Neuropathy is a common condition impacting 60 to 70 percent of adults with diabetes. However, it mainly concerns those with uncontrolled blood sugar levels or those who have had diabetes for more than 25 years. The nerve damage caused by diabetic neuropathy is irreversible but there are ways to lessen symptoms and prevent further harm. Contents of this article: What is diabetic neuropathy? Diabetic neuropathy is a family of progressive nerve disorders related to type 1 and 2 diabetes. Although research is still taking place on this type of nerve damage, doctors think that blood sugars may damage nerve cells by impairing nerve fibers and reducing or confusing signaling. However, nerve damage is likely to be caused by a combination of factors, such as how the immune system functions, genetics, smoking, or alcohol use. Neuropathy can cause a range of symptoms, including pain, loss of sensation, numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness. Although neuropathy can occur wherever there are nerves, it tends to affect the legs and feet. Those with diabetic neuropathy tend to: have poor blood sugar control be over the age of 40 be overweight or obese have had diabetes for at least 10 to 25 years, depending on the severity Types Diabetic neuropathy is typically divided into four categories depending on which nerves are affected. Peripheral neuropathy Nerve damage that impacts the ability of the peripheral nerves to sense things, such as temperature and touch. Peripheral neuropathy most commonly affects the arms, hands, legs, feet, and toes, often causing pain or loss of feeling. It is the most common form of diabetic neuropathy. Proximal neuropathy Nerve damage resulting in pain in the hips, thighs, pelvis, and buttocks. Continue reading >>

Diabetic Neuropathy: Can It Be Reversed?

Diabetic Neuropathy: Can It Be Reversed?

Neuropathy refers to any condition that damages nerve cells. These cells play a critical role in touch, sensation, and movement. Diabetic neuropathy refers to damage of nerves that’s caused by diabetes. Scientists believe that the high content of blood sugar in the blood of a person with diabetes damages nerves over time. There are several different types of neuropathies. They include: Peripheral: Pain and numbness in the extremities including arms, feet, legs, hands, and toes Proximal: Pain and numbness in the upper legs, specifically the buttocks, thighs, and hips Autonomic: Damage to nerves of the autonomic nervous system which control sexual response, sweating, urinary and digestive function Focal: Sudden loss of function in nerves causing pain and weakness of the muscles Neuropathy is one of the common effects of diabetes. It’s estimated that 60-70 percent of people with diabetes will develop some sort of neuropathy throughout their lives. By 2050, it’s estimated that over 48 million people in the United States will be diagnosed with diabetes. That means in the future, anywhere from 28-33 million Americans could be affected by diabetic neuropathy. Nerve damage from diabetes cannot be reversed. This is because the body can’t naturally repair nerve tissues that have been damaged. However, researchers are investigating methods to treat nerve damage caused by diabetes. While you cannot reverse the damage from neuropathy, there are ways to help manage the condition, including: lowering your blood sugar treating nerve pain regularly checking your feet to make sure they are free of injury, wounds, or infection Controlling your blood glucose is important because it can help prevent additional damage to your nerves. You can better control your blood glucose through Continue reading >>

More in diabetes