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Diabetic Neuropathy

What Is Diabetic Neuropathy?

Diabetic neuropathy is a medical condition that harms your nervous system. The condition develops gradually due to a common complication of type-1 and type-2 diabetes which can injure nerves throughout the body (most commonly legs and feet). Almost 50% of people with diabetes are affected with diabetic neuropathy symptoms which can get worse if left untreated. 


What are the Different Types of Diabetic Neuropathy?

Doctors categorize different types of diabetic neuropathy depending on which part of the body it affects. Based on that, there are four main types - peripheral, autonomic, proximal, and focal neuropathy. 

  • Peripheral Neuropathy - Peripheral neuropathy commonly affects feet and legs. However, in rare cases, it can also affect the arms, abdomen, and back. Peripheral neuropathy symptoms include -
    • Tingling Sensation
    • Numbness which can become permanent with time
    • Feeling of burning
    • Severe pain in the lower body

Symptoms of a similar type of diabetic neuropathy can usually be managed by keeping your blood sugar levels under control and checking your feet and legs daily. Apply lotion on the feet and avoid wearing shoes that can cause discomfort. 

  • Autonomic Neuropathy - This type of diabetic neuropathy affects the digestive system, particularly the stomach. It can also affect blood vessels, urinary symptoms, and sex organs. Patients with autonomic neuropathy symptoms often experience vomiting, nausea, heartburn, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, etc. 

If the condition affects blood vessels, patients may experience a fast heartbeat, dizziness, low blood pressure, etc. Symptoms may also vary in men and women. Men may experience difficulty keeping an erection or have reduced ejaculations. Women may experience less vaginal lubrication and fewer orgasms. 

  • Proximal Neuropathy - Proximal neuropathy causes pain in the thighs, and hips, and can even lead to weakness in the legs. The doctor may recommend physical therapy and prescribe medications for weakness and pain.
  • Focal Neuropathy - This type of diabetic neuropathy affects certain nerves, most often in the head torso, or legs. The symptoms are sudden and can cause muscle weakness and pain. Patients with focal neuropathy can experience.
  • Eye pain
  • Double vision
  • Paralysis on one side of the face
    • Severe pain in the lower back or legs
    • Chest or belly pain

What are the Symptoms of Diabetic Neuropathy? 

Diabetic neuropathy symptoms vary from one patient to another depending upon the type and severity of nerve damage. Certain types of diabetic neuropathy target specific areas of the body which can affect men and women differently. However, common diabetic neuropathy symptoms include - 

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhoea or constipation
  • Increases sensitivity to touch
  • Loss of sense of touch
  • Pain or Numbness around hands or feet
  • Burning sensation in feet
  • Muscle weakness
  • Bloating or fullness even after small meals
  • Bladder problems
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Double vision

When to see a Doctor for Diabetic Neuropathy Treatment?

Diabetes is a critical condition that causes long-term health disorders. Therefore, early diagnosis can help choose the most effective option for diabetic neuropathy treatment. Consult a doctor for a comprehensive diagnosis in case you are experiencing the following - 

  • Infection in the feet due to cut or sore which won't heal
  • Burning or tingling sensation in hands or feet which affects sleep and daily activities
  • Prolonged indigestion, urination, or sexual function
  • Vision disorders
  • Dizziness and fainting

What Causes Diabetic Neuropathy? 

Diabetic neuropathy is caused due to nerve damage that develops gradually due to long-term high blood sugar levels. The condition interferes with the ability of nerves to send signals. High blood sugar levels also weaken the walls of small blood vessels which supply oxygen and nutrients to the nerves. 

Apart from that, several risk factors can increase the risk of complications and are more likely to damage the nerves. These risk factors include - 

  • Poor Blood Sugar Control 
  • History of Diabetes
  • Kidney Diseases
  • Obesity
  • Smoking or consuming tobacco products

How Is Diabetic Neuropathy Diagnosed? 

Since the condition develops gradually, the patient may be unaware of the symptoms which can lead to diabetic neuropathy. However, regular health check-ups and early diagnosis can help in effective treatment. The doctor will analyze your medical history report and carefully examine your symptoms. The doctor may perform a physical examination and if required, may recommend diagnostic tests. Diabetic Neuropathy tests include the following - 

  • Filament testing - This test is done to check your sensitivity to touch.
  • Electromyography - This test is recommended to measure electrical discharges produced in the muscles.
  • Nerve conduction testing - The test measures how quickly the nerves in your arms and legs conduct electrical signals.
  • Sensory testing - This test helps the doctor determine the response of your nerves to vibration and changes in temperature.
  • Autonomic testing - This may be recommended to determine blood pressure changes and if the sweating is within the standard range or not.

What are Treatment Methods for Diabetic Neuropathy?

Diabetic neuropathy treatment aims at slowing the progression and keeping the blood sugar levels under control. Doctors recommend the best way to do it is by lifestyle modifications and dietary restrictions. Since pain is a major symptom, the doctor may recommend certain medications to relieve pain and manage blood sugar levels. Blood sugar levels for most individuals must be targetted between 80 and 130 mg/dL before the meal and less than 180 mg/dL two to three hours after the meal. 

However, the effectiveness of diabetic neuropathy treatments can vary from one patient to another depending on their medical health and the severity of the condition. Get in touch with your doctor in case you are experiencing early symptoms of diabetic neuropathy. Pain-relieving prescription medications may include:

  • Anti-seizure drugs - These diabetic neuropathy medications are prescribed for the treatment of seizure-like disorders like epilepsy but can also be used to ease nerve pain. However, certain side effects include drowsiness, dizziness, and swelling in hands and feet.
  • Antidepressants - Antidepressants ease nerve pain and help with mild to moderate nerve pain. The doctor may recommend amitriptyline, nortriptyline, and desipramine for patients diagnosed with diabetic neuropathy. However, side effects include dry mouth, constipation, drowsiness, and difficulty concentrating.

Why Choose CMRI for Diabetic Neuropathy Treatment in Kolkata?

The Calcutta Medical Research Institute (CMRI) is one of the largest multispecialty hospitals in Kolkata. Our hospital is equipped with state-of-the-art technology which has revolutionized the healthcare industry for the best surgical outcomes. 

In addition, our hospital has several eminent physicians, surgeons, and healthcare providers of national and international repute for comprehensive and personalized treatment. CMRI provides patient-centric care and empathy from internationally trained nurses to ensure holistic care for patients seeking diabetic neuropathy treatment in Kolkata. Here are a few advantages of choosing CMRI for your diabetic neuropathy treatment - 

  • Highly qualified and experienced surgeons
  • 440-bed capacity along with cutting-edge technology and the latest medical equipment
  • Hygienic and patient-friendly infrastructure
  • Screening and diagnosis
  • Transparent Pricing Structure for cost-effective treatment
  • Patient-centric high-quality care for a high success rate
  • Pain management and palliative care
  • Complete and coordinated care for patients with all types of cancers.

Get in touch with our leading specialists at CMRI, Kolkata for complete diabetic neuropathy treatment.

How To Prevent Diabetic Neuropathy?

Diabetic neuropathy cannot be prevented but its effects can be minimized. Here are some factors which can minimize the effects of the condition and reduce the overall risk of complications - 

  • Keeping the blood sugar level under control
  • Eating healthy food
  • Staying active
  • Avoiding injury or accident, especially around legs and feet
  • Moisturing feet every day
  • Avoid wearing shoes with a tight fit
  • Stop smoking and consuming alcohol
  • Getting regular health checkups


What are the possible complications of Diabetic Neuropathy?

While there are several options for diabetic neuropathy treatment, there is a possibility of complications which include - 

  • Hypoglycemia unawareness 
  • Amputation of a toe, foot or leg
  • Urinary tract infections and urinary incontinence
  • Sharp drops in blood pressure
  • Digestive problems
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Increased or decreased sweating

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