Nerves are important for sending messages to the brain about touch, temperature, and especially pain. Nerves tell your muscles to move. They let your body know when it needs to digest food or urinate. Nerve damage for diabetics usually occurs after the patient has had the disease for several years. Most diabetics have some nerve damage. This damage is called Diabetic Neuropathy.
There are two kinds of nerve damage, and each has their own effect on the body. Peripheral neuropathy causes pain, tingling, numbness, or weakness in your hands or feet. The second nerve damage can be more severe. It can result in digestive problems, nausea, vomiting, bladder problems, dizziness and fainting, and changes in your eyes. A severe problem can develop which doesn’t allow your body to give you the warning signals of a heart attack or low blood glucose levels.
Diabetics can also have focal neuropathy, which means that a group of nerves can be affected and cause sudden weakness or pain. It also can lead to paralysis of one side of the face, this condition is known as Bell’s palsy.
Compressed nerves are another risk for diabetics. This happens when something in the body pushed against a nerve that prevents it from sending the correct signal to the brain. Symptoms can be mild and caused by other conditions. Knowing what to look for and reporting them immediately to your doctor will help. Your doctor can give you an exam and tests to decide if you have, and what the extent of the nerve damage is.
Is it possible to prevent nerve damage? You can b taking a few steps of prevention. Keeping your blood sugar levels under control by planning meals, exercising, and taking your medications will help in delaying or preventing nerve damage. You may test your own blood to make sure that your levels are staying good from day-to-day. You might want to have a lab test at least twice a year. That will tell you what your blood glucose levels have been for the previous two to three months.
Check for any signs of nerve damage. If problems are occurring, get help right away. Early treatment is essential in preventing more damage later. Taking good care of your feet is important for diabetics. Nerve damage in your feel may make you unaware of even a tiny injury that can result in amputation. Check your feet every day especially if you can’t feel any pain in your feet. Use a mirror to check the bottoms of your feet for any problems, and use your hands to feel your hands for unusual bumps, dry skin, or spots that are either hot or cold. Any sores or breaks in the skin should be taken care of immediately. Without the proper care, a diabetic can lose toes, a portion of their foot, or the entire leg.
Be sure to protect your feet by wearing shoes and socks that fit. After washing your feet with warm water, dry thoroughly, especially between the toes. Use lotion on your feet but avoid using it between toes. If you need special shoes, get them. If you have foot problems because of diabetes, Medicare may pay for special shoes. If you are unable to feel pain in your feet, consult with your doctor about the kinds of exercise you can do. An exercise specialist will be able to help diabetics with neuropathy.