Diabetic neuropathy is a very serious health condition which occurs as a complication of type 1 and type 2diabetes. The disease develops over a period of time slowly.
What is Diabetic neuropathy?
Diabetic neuropathy is the nerve damage which can occur as a complication of diabetes. Due to uncontrolled sugar, the nerves in the body gets injured throughout the body. Most often the nerves that get affected are legs and feet. There are different types of diabetic neuropathy which affect different parts of your body, causing varied symptoms. The blood sugar level should be monitored and prevented before it ends to a complication.
Diabetes with neuropathy is a very dangerous health situation. Diabetes patients should always watch the various sensations in the body like numbness, tingling pain or weakness in the hands or feet. These symptoms may predict your chance of getting affected with peripheral neuropathy. The danger is when the patient is unable to sense the pain and an ulcer develop over the foot. In severe cases, poor wound healing or infected cases may lead to amputation of that part.
The different kinds of diabetic neuropathy symptoms and types are as follows –
- Peripheral neuropathy
Peripheral neuropathy effects the feet and legs first followed by arms and hands. The condition is also known as distal symmetric peripheral neuropathy. The symptoms are observed to be worse during night. They include –
Numbness in the limbs
Temperature changes in the limbs
Reduced ability to feel pain
Tingling or burning sensation
Cramps or weakness in limbs
Increased sensitivity to touch
Wound, ulcers, infections, and bone and joint pain
- Autonomic neuropathy
In the body, the autonomic nervous system controls many activities. This includes functions of heart, bladder, stomach, intestines, sex organs and eyes. When diabetes affects the nerves in any of these areas the possible symptoms are –
Unable to identify the low sugar levels in the blood i.e. hypoglycemia unawareness.
Bladder or bowel incontinence
Loss of appetite
Nausea or vomiting
Decreased sexual drive
- Proximal neuropathy (diabetic polyradiculopathy)
Proximal neuropathy is also called as diabetic amyotrophy. In this condition, the nerves of the thighs, hips, buttocks or legs get affected. It often affects the abdominal and chest area. The symptoms are generally seen in one side of the body. Common symptoms include –
Severe pain in a hip and thigh or buttock
Weakness in the thigh muscles
Difficulty to rise after sitting for a long time
Severe stomach cramps
- Mononeuropathy (focal neuropathy)
Two types of mononeuropathy exists i.e. cranial and peripheral. Mononeuropathy is a condition which refers to damage of a specific nerve. Other signs and symptoms include –
Double vision syndrome
Aching behind one eye
Paralysis on one side of your face i.e. Bell’s palsy
Numbness or tingling sensation in your hand or fingers, except the little finger
Weakness in your hand that may cause difficulty in holding things or easily dropping things
According to Ayurvedic literature, the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy like paranesthesia, pain and tingling sensation indicates the involvement of Vata dosha, whereas the burning sensation happens because of the vitiation of Pitta dosha. Hence drugs which pacifies Vata and Pitta are to be adopted for diabetic neuropathy treatment. Along with this the regular medicines with treats the blood sugar levels should be taken promptly.
• Vegetables: bitter gourd, green leafy vegetables, aloe, broccoli, carrots, Ladies finger, Brinjal, tomatoes, onion, spinach, potatoes, corn, and green peas
• Fruits: Guava, oranges, melon, berries, apples, bananas, grapes, Indian gooseberry, Black berries (Jamun)
• Grains: Include whole grains in the diet, old harvested cereals, barley, jowar, whole wheat atta, brown rice, oats, cornmeal, and quinoa
• Spices: Garlic, turmeric, Asafoetida, Ginger
• Meat: lean meat, chicken without the skin, fish, eggs
• Nuts: nuts and peanuts, dried beans and certain peas, such as chickpeas and split peas
• Dairy—non-fat or low fat, milk or lactose-free milk if you have lactose intolerance, yogurt and cheese in less quantity