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What Causes Leg Pain In Diabetics?

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 >>

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 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 >>

3 Things You Can Do To Reduce Diabetic Leg Pain

3 Things You Can Do To Reduce Diabetic Leg Pain

According to the American Diabetes Association nearly 30 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with diabetes. Diabetes is found in two primary forms, type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder usually diagnosed at a young age. Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition often related to weight and lifestyle. It is more frequently diagnosed in individuals over the age of 45. Diabetes of both types can be treated and managed. Type 1 diabetes patients are reliant on insulin, which they can take as a pill or an injection. Type 2 diabetes patients may need to take medications, but lifestyle changes can also control the symptoms and effects of the disease. For diabetic leg pain, specifically, exercise, diet, and weight management changes can help with one of the major conditions associated with diabetes, diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Diabetic leg pain caused by diabetic neuropathy Diabetic neuropathy is a nerve disorder caused by diabetes. Over time, people with diabetes can develop nerve damage throughout the body. This nerve damage can happen in any part of the body. It is currently estimated that about 60-70% of people with diabetes experience neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy specifically affects the limbs, especially the legs and feet. The condition is most common in individuals who have experienced difficulty controlling their blood sugar levels. While diabetes, especially with uncontrolled blood sugar, is the most common cause of peripheral neuropathy there are other risk factors. These include: Alcoholism Vitamin deficiencies Infections such as Lyme disease or shingles Autoimmune diseases Repetitive motions The condition can affect several nerves in the limbs including sensory nerves, motor nerves, and autonomic nerves. Sensory nerves Continue reading >>

How Do You Know If Your Lower Leg Pain Is Caused By Diabetic Neuropathy?

How Do You Know If Your Lower Leg Pain Is Caused By Diabetic Neuropathy?

How do you know if your lower leg pain is caused by diabetic neuropathy? Diabetic neuropathy is a common complication of diabetes. Nerves can be damaged from high blood sugar levels. It can cause pain in both of your legs along with numbness and less sensation in the lower legs. Talk to your doctor about medications to control the pain and help manage your blood sugar levels. Merck Manuals Online Medical Library: "Lower Leg Injuries." American Academy of Family Physicians: "Leg Problems." NHLBI: "How Is Deep Vein Thrombosis Treated?" Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California: "Leg Pain and Lower Extremity Arterial Disease." American Heart Association: "Symptoms and Diagnosis of PAD." NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases Spine Center: "Lumbar Herniated Disc." National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (NDIC): Diabetic Neuropathies: The Nerve Damage of Diabetes." Reviewed by Tyler Wheeler on October 24, 2017 Merck Manuals Online Medical Library: "Lower Leg Injuries." American Academy of Family Physicians: "Leg Problems." NHLBI: "How Is Deep Vein Thrombosis Treated?" Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California: "Leg Pain and Lower Extremity Arterial Disease." American Heart Association: "Symptoms and Diagnosis of PAD." NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases Spine Center: "Lumbar Herniated Disc." National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (NDIC): Diabetic Neuropathies: The Nerve Damage of Diabetes." Reviewed by Tyler Wheeler on October 24, 2017 What are some possible problems after surgery for bunions? THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied Continue reading >>

Managing Diabetes With Exercise: 6 Tips For Nerve Pain

Managing Diabetes With Exercise: 6 Tips For Nerve Pain

What kind of exercise is safe -- and fun -- if you have nerve damage from diabetes, called diabetic neuropathy? And how can you stay motivated after that first flush of inspiration fades? "It depends on where you're starting," says Dace L. Trence, MD, an endocrinologist and director of the Diabetes Care Center at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. "For the person who has been doing nothing, you would certainly want to start doing something that's comfortable and enjoyable and can be maintained." If you have diabetic nerve pain in your feet, legs, arms, or hands, consider this: research published in The Journal of Diabetes Complications in 2006 showed significant benefits of exercise in controlling peripheral neuropathy. The study showed that for people who took a brisk, one-hour walk on a treadmill four times a week, exercise slowed how quickly their nerve damage worsened. There's no quick fix here, though; the study lasted four years. Let's face it: when it comes to managing a lifelong condition like diabetes, it makes sense to think long-term. It's all about lifestyle changes to protect yourself from diabetic nerve damage. Becoming more active can help you control blood sugar levels, feel good, and lighten the load on painful feet and legs, especially if you're overweight. These tips can help you start and stick with an exercise plan for more than the first few days. 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 >>

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 >>

What Can I Do For Numb, Painful Feet And Legs?

What Can I Do For Numb, Painful Feet And Legs?

My husband was diagnosed with diabetes almost a year ago. At first he was experiencing numbness in his feet. Over the past few months, he began having pain as well, sometimes as far up his leg as his calf. What can we do to help these symptoms? I have read that vitamin E and even flaxseed oil are good for the circulation. Would those be helpful? Continue reading >>

Calf Pain & Diabetes Connection

Calf Pain & Diabetes Connection

In diabetes, calf or leg pain can be due to diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN), to peripheral artery disease (PAD) or to deep vein thrombosis (DVT). All of these conditions can result in pain, cramping, achiness and swelling in the calves and the lower leg, ankle and feet. And all of them can be associated with severe diabetic foot problems including ulcers, infections and weakened bones that can lead to fractures. The pain in the calf can be in the gastrocnemius muscles (often shortened to “the gastrocs”) or to the soleus or plantaris muscles. Diabetes, Oxidative Stress and DPN DPN results from nerve damage, primarily in the feet and legs, but sometimes also in the hands and arms. One of the main causes of DPN, it is believed, is the accumulating toxic effect of high levels of sugar on the nerves and surrounding tissue. The high levels of sugar can be toxic on their own some believe[1], but in addition, high levels of sugar can increase the levels of substances called free radicals. Free radicals are naturally produced in the body as a result of normal reactions. The body also has naturally occurring antioxidants, primarily enzymes such as the selenoproteins (proteins with the trace mineral selenium), sulfur-based proteins such as glutathione, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, beta carotenes and Vitamin E (which humans need to get through the diet) and others. These natural antioxidants can however, be overwhelmed by the high levels of free radical which may be produced by cells bathed in high levels of sugar.[2] This can eventually lead to a condition in the cells called “oxidative stress” and it is this damage—caused by high levels of free radicals which damage the cell’s DNA and the proteins in the cells which can damage nerve cells and result in DPN. Diabetes, Hi Continue reading >>

Diabetic Neuropathydiabetic Neuropathy Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, And Treatment

Diabetic Neuropathydiabetic Neuropathy Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, And Treatment

Diabetic neuropathy definition and facts Diabetes is thought to damage nerves as a result of prolonged elevated levels of blood glucose. Peripheral neuropathy most commonly causes: Autonomic neuropathy causes symptoms related to dysfunction of an organ system, such as: Diagnosis of diabetic neuropathy is usually done by a clinical exam. There is no cure for diabetic neuropathy, but treatments are available to manage the symptoms. Diabetic nerve pain may be controlled by medications such as tricyclic antidepressants, duloxetine (Cymbalta), or certain antiseizure medications. Keeping tight control of blood sugar levels is the best way to prevent diabetic neuropathy and other complications of diabetes. Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy: Improve Diabetes Nerve Pain What are the symptoms and signs of diabetic neuropathy? The symptoms and signs of diabetic neuropathy depend upon the type of neuropathy that is present. Signs and symptoms can also vary in severity among affected people. Signs and symptoms of diabetic peripheral neuropathy include: Numbness or tingling of the feet and lower legs Pain or burning sensations Loss of sensation in the feet or lower legs Sometimes, but less commonly, these symptoms can occur in the hands or arms Signs and symptoms of diabetic proximal neuropathy include: Pain, usually on one side, in the hips, buttocks, or thighs Signs and symptoms of diabetic autonomic neuropathy depend upon the organ system that is involved and can include: Feeling full after eating a small amount Inability to empty the bladder completely Decrease in vaginal lubrication in women Rapid resting heartbeat Signs and symptoms of diabetic focal neuropathy also depend upon the location of the affected nerve. The symptoms can appear suddenly. It usually does not cause a long t 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 >>

Diabetes-related Leg Cramps: How To Prevent And Treat

Diabetes-related Leg Cramps: How To Prevent And Treat

Being suddenly woken up by a painful knot in your calf—or frozen toes—isn't fun. Here's what diabetes has to do with it and what you do to stop the pain. Perhaps you’ve been there—in the middle of a perfectly restful night of sleep you are abruptly woken up by an intense pain from a cramping muscle, typically in your foot or calf. Although the exact cause of muscle cramps is still up for debate, they are frequently linked to poor flexibility and muscle fatigue. A smaller body of research also suggests that diabetes can increase your risk of experiencing leg cramps, potentially due to swings in blood sugar levels, certain medications, and long-term complications such as diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage).1,2 With or without diabetes, these cramps are characterized by the sudden, involuntary, and painful tightening (contraction) of a muscle. They occur most frequently in the evenings in the following muscle groups: Calf muscles (back of the lower leg) Hamstrings (back of the thigh) Quadriceps (front of the thigh) Cramps can also occur in the hands, feet, arms, neck, and abdomen What causes these painful cramps and how can I prevent them? “Although the exact cause of muscle cramps remains unknown, they are not inevitable,” says Amy Hess-Fischl, MS, RD, LDN, BC-ADM, CDE. While cramps may seemingly come on without warning, knowing the factors and situations that can cause muscle cramps can help you understand them, prevent them, and treat them. Here, some reasons for cramps and what you can do to avoid them: Uncontrolled blood sugar levels. Glucose is required for muscles to contract and relax, so if your blood sugar levels are too high or low, it impacts the body’s ability to regulate these activities properly.1 Controlling your blood sugar levels is important Continue reading >>

Can Diabetes Cause Pain In Calf Muscles When Walking?

Can Diabetes Cause Pain In Calf Muscles When Walking?

Those with type 2 diabetes are particularly vulnerable to an arterial condition, though the risk is still increased by type 1 diabetes. This condition is PAD: peripheral artery disease. PAD is when there’s plaque buildup in the arteries leading to the legs. This is the same plaque or “sludge” that builds up in coronary heart disease, causing the so-called blocked coronary arteries. There are two other conditions—related to diabetes—that can cause pain, aching or cramping in the calves—but first here is information on peripheral artery disease, which can get bad enough to cripple a person. Diabetes and PAD Diabetes is not required to develop PAD, but the presence of diabetes (especially type 2) raises the risk. The reason diabetes increases the risk of peripheral artery disease, which causes pain when walking, is because diabetes causes a higher level of blood fats and raises blood pressure. These situations can lead to arterial clogging with fatty deposits. The result is blocked, hardened and narrowed arteries in the legs. It’s easy to see why this would cause calf and leg pain when walking. PAD Causes Pain The pain can occur at rest and be in the feet and toes, not just the calves and upper leg, and will be worse when walking and especially using a staircase. However, PAD pain isn’t always constant. Sometimes it’s intermittent and is called intermittent claudication. The discomfort can be in the form of a cramping type of sensation, or that of heaviness or fatigue. PAD is no picnic. Peripheral artery disease can disable a person and lead to very slow-healing wounds (cuts, scrapes, etc.). The feet may become cold, too. Ironically, PAD in some diabetics may not produce pain, mainly because the patient also has diabetic neuropathy, which reduces sensatio Continue reading >>

Diabetic Nerve Pain

Diabetic Nerve Pain

Tweet Diabetic nerve pain is a syndrome that affects people with diabetes. This type of nerve pain can affect both type 1 and type 2 diabetes sufferers. Nerve pain, also known as neuropathic pain, is a result of one of the complications of diabetes, called peripheral neuropathy, or diabetic neuropathy. Why does diabetic nerve pain occur? Diabetic nerve pain most commonly occurs when a person with diabetes has prolonged spells of high blood sugar levels. It is thought that high blood glucose affects the nerves by damaging the blood vessels which supply them. High blood pressure, in addition to hyperglycemia, also has a detrimental effect on the nerves. Smoking and alcohol are also known to increase the risk of nerve pain occurring. Where does diabetic nerve pain typically occur? Diabetic nerve pain usually occurs in peripheral regions or extremities, such as feet and legs, hands and arms. Neuropathic foot pain is one of a number of conditions affecting the feet which are termed as problems of ‘the diabetic foot’. For this reason, people with diabetes are advised to undergo a foot examination once each year. A foot exam can help in two ways, by helping to diagnose new problems, such as diabetic neuropathy or circulation problems and it can also help to spot further complications of the foot such as wounds, blisters and a joint disorder known as charcot arthropathy or charcot foot. What are the symptoms of diabetic nerve pain? Diabetic nerve pain symptoms can include: Prickling or tingling feelings A burning sensation Sharp, stabbing or shooting pains in the aforementioned areas. These can range from mild to extreme. In serious cases the whole area may become numb. A condition known as dysesthesia can develop, in some people, which affects one’s sense of touch causin Continue reading >>

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