As with most diseases, if you don't take proper care of yourself, you can easily find yourself in a world of hurt. One example of this principle is something called diabetic neuropathy. However, to truly know how you can prevent this from happening, you need to first understand what it is. Luckily, it's not all that difficult to understand.
- What is it? Simply put, diabetic neuropathy is nerve damage to your body due to improper blood glucose levels damaging the blood vessel walls. This in turn leads to problems of the nerves, which then leads to other problems. In all actuality, diabetic neuropathy is an extremely common phenomenon that about half of all people who are diagnosed with diabetes can expect to experience. While there are several types of diabetic neuropathy, most people get one of two types—peripheral neuropathy, or autonomic neuropathy.
- Peripheral neuropathy. This particular type of neuropathy is also known by the name of sensorimotor neuropathy since it can affect primarily your feet, hands, or both. What usually happens is that a tingling, pain, numbness, or even weakness appears and effects how well you are able to use your extremities. There really isn't a whole lot of treatment options available once you have this type of neuropathy, so you will need to make sure you prevent it from forming as much as possible. The best way to do this is to stick closely to the treatment plans that you and your doctor have developed.
- Autonomic neuropathy. Autonomic neuropathy is a type of nerve damage that will affect a wide variety of areas of your body. These areas can include many of the different systems of your body, such as the digestive, heart and blood vessels, sweat glands, eyes, and even the urinary tract and sex organs of your body. One of the most common symptoms of this type of neuropathy is paralysis of the bladder, when the nerves of the urinary tract stop working properly, and as such stop sending the proper signals to your body saying that the bladder needs to be emptied. This ends up causing urinary tract infections, and as such is a fairly painful symptom.
- Other types. There are several other types of neuropathy that a person with diabetes can find themselves subjected to. Some of the other types are things like cranial neuropathy (which as the name suggests affects the head), femoral neuropathy (which affects the legs), Charcot's joint (where the joints are the source of the problem), compression mononeuropathy (where you only have one painful nerve) and others.
- Common prevention methods. One of the most common, and effective, methods for preventing or delaying diabetic neuropathy from developing is by ensuring that your blood glucose levels are within proper ranges. In addition, visiting your doctor for regular checkups, and following the advice and orders from that doctor are the best possible ways to not only identify any signs of neuropathy, but to also prevent it from occurring.
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