Diabetic Neuropathy

Can diabetic neuropathy be prevented?

The best way to prevent neuropathy is to keep your blood glucose levels as close to the normal range as possible. Regular physical activity also keeps the blood flowing to your extremities and keeps tissue oxygenated.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms depend on the type of neuropathy and which nerves are affected. Symptoms are often minor at first, and because most nerve damage occurs over several years, mild cases may go unnoticed for a long time. However, in some people the onset of pain may be sudden and severe.

Symptoms can involve the sensory, motor, and autonomic nervous systems and may include:

  • numbness, tingling, or pain in the toes, feet, legs, hands, arms, and fingers
  • wasting of the muscles of the feet or hands
  • indigestion, nausea, or vomiting
  • diarrhea or constipation
  • dizziness or faintness due to a drop in blood pressure after standing or sitting up
  • problems with urination
  • erectile dysfunction in men or vaginal dryness in women
  • general physical weakness

Symptoms that often accompany neuropathy include weight loss and depression.

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.

Each form of neuropathy also comes with its own unique complications which can be life threatening.

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