In this condition the high sugar content of blood leads to damage of nerves mostly those found in the hands and legs. However since the condition affects all peripheral nerves, and organs being innervated, it can equally affect organs and systems of the body.
So what are the symptoms of the condition? Well, symptoms vary depending on the type of neuropathy and the nerves affected. There are four main types of diabetic neuropathy. These are; Peripheral neuropathy, Autonomic neuropathy, Radiculoplexus neuropathy and mononeuropathy.
Peripheral Neuropathy affects the feet and legs first, then the hands and arms. It causes grievous foot conditions such as ulcers, infections that can become gangrenous and require amputations, deformities and bone and joint pain. Its symptoms include, loss of reflexes, especially in the ankles, a tingling or burning sensation, numbness or reduction in being able to feel pain or temperature changes, loss of balance and coordination, muscle weakness, sharp pains or cramps and increased sensitivity to touch.
Autonomic neuropathy, refers to neuropathy of the autonomic nervous system. This system is responsible for the control of organs like the lungs, heart, bladder, stomach, intestines, sex organs and eyes.
This variant comes loaded with a lot of symptoms, nay complications. These include the inability of the body to detect that sugar levels are low (hypoglycaemia unawareness), increased or decreased sweating and bladder problems like urinary tract infections, incontinence or urin...
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...t loss, sudden, severe pain in the hip and thigh or buttock, abdominal swelling, if the abdomen is affected and difficulty rising from a sitting position.
Another type of neuropathy is Thoracoabdominal Neuropathy.
Generally speaking the warnings signs which one should watch out for and respond to immediately by seeing a health care professional are; burning, tingling, weakness or pain in the hands or feet that interferes with daily routine or sleep; a cut or sore on the foot that isn’t healing or appears to be taking too long to heal, is infected or getting worse.
This is important because worst case scenarios where such cut or sore become ulceric, if left untreated, may also result in it becoming gangrenous. Surgery or even amputation of the foot may then be the only solution. Other warning signs are dizziness and changes in sexual function, digestion or urination.
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