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Diabetes & The Body

Diabetic Neuropathy - Complication Of The Nerves

Diabetes and nerves? Well what is diabetes got to do with nerves?

If this is what at the top of your mind then this information is for you.

According to a recent article published in the current opinion in neurology,one of the most respected neurology journals,there are multiple factors that cause diabetic neuropathy. there is increasing evidence that abnormalities in the pylol pathway,nerve regeneration and the sodium and calcium channels(the systems and processes that are concerned with the transmission of impulses through the nerves)are linked to the development of diabetic neuropathy.

There are different types of neuropathies caused in connection with diabetes and the most common among them is peripheral neuropathy.The greatest danger from this type of neuropathy is the development of foot ulcers. Diabetes neuropathy may be of varying severity and severe neuropathy can even result in weakness and loss of balence during walking.The symptoms usually start as changes in sensation in the toes and gradually moves up to involve the foot and then the entire leg.Symptoms range from numbness to cramping and stabbing pain.

Other neuropathies involving diabetics are:

Autonomic neuropathy: The autonomic nervous system supplies nerve fibres to various parts of the body like the heart,the alimentary tract, sweat glands,urinary bladder and the genitalia. The ANS controls the automatic functions of the body, and autonomic neuropathy might cause distruptions in the blood pressure,sweating mechanism,diabetic diarrhea, and stomach malfunction, called diabetic gastroparesis.

The occuerence of sexual dysfunction in both males and females is now well recognised.Diabetes results in ED in 50-75% of men.more than 50% of men develop ED within 10 years of the diagnosis and it may precede the other complications of hdiabetes.In contrast with research regarding the effects of male sexuality,the understanding of how diabetes affects a womens sexuality is minimal.

Another type of neuropathy affecting diabetics is Diabetic Mononeuropathy.This condition involves damage to a single nerve. A common version of mononeuropathy usually affects a single nerve leading to the muscles of one eye, and may cause double vision (diplopia) when looking in certain directions.


Treatments for diabetes neuropathy are most likely to be effective if administered early in the course of the neuropathy,when abnormalities of the peripheral nerves are more likely to be reversible.People with diabetes should regularly be checked for abnormal glucose metabolism,this helps in early detection of the neuropathy.
Treatments for diabetes neuropathy range from application of topical creams to regular medication over a period of time.The symptoms of neuropathy may completely regress,sometimes even without treatment,or decrease to a significant extent with treatment.topical application of capsaicin cream has been found to be a particularly safe and effective in symptomatic diabetic neuropathy.Tight diabetes control remains the cornerstone of theraphy for Diabetic neuropathy treatment and prevention of further complications.

Source : Current Opinion In Neurology Last Modified : Oct 16, 2002.
Compiled and edited by Editorial Team and approved by Expert Panel of
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