Understanding diabetic neuropathy symptoms

If you are diabetic there is a chance that you may come across the tingling or burning sensation in your feet.
 diabetic neuropathy symptoms
Sometimes, it may feel like something is crawling on your feet and when you check it, nothing was there; one of the signs of diabetic neuropathy symptoms.
Your hands or feet may get numb for a small time and then get normal.
 
If you are facing above condition, please, it’s a request not to ignore it. You should consult your doctor as soon as possible as you may be suffering from a medical condition called diabetic neuropathy.
 
What exactly is diabetic neuropathy?

It’s one of a diabetes complication in which your nerves get damaged. If your blood sugar is high for a prolonged period of time, slowly your nerves start getting damaged and later shows complex symptoms that are painful to handle.

There are different forms of neuropathy that affect your different body part (which is discussed in later part of the article). But your legs are most vulnerable to get affected by it as it is located farthest from the body.

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I am diabetic but currently doing fine; what are my chances to get affected by it?
It’s been found that around 50% of the diabetic suffer from this diabetic neuropathy symptoms.
You can understand the data that how rampant the problem is and still there is so less discussion about it.
 
The following factors increase your chances to get affected by this problem;
 
#1 High Blood Level
High Sugar level damages your nerves slowly and with time you will face the complications.
 
Every time your blood sugar rise above 140 mg/dl, make a note that it’s damaging your nerves.
Read about blood sugar level a diabetic should aim for by clicking this link
 
If you are managing your sugar level as per ADA guidelines (which recommends 180 mg/dl) is good.
But now you have to make effort to get your blood sugar as close as normal person (not above 140 mg/dl at any point

diabetic neuropathy symptoms


#2 Prolonged Diabetes

It has been found that being diabetic for more than 20 years increase your risk of getting complications.

Read about different form of diabetes by clicking this link

Within the long timeframe, you may have innumerable sugar spikes;

The spikes which you had no idea about;
The spike which was considered innocuous;
And these harmless spikes will create issues later
 

 

#3 Smoking and Excessive Drinking

Your risk of diabetic neuropathy symptoms increases manifolds if you smoke.
I know it’s not easy to quit smoking just like that. I don’t smoke but have met many people who are trying to give I up.
“I have tried many times but the cravings just overtake me,” one of my nondiabetic friends said;
 
But if you are diabetic, you have higher risks;
Higher risk of amputations;diabetic neuropathy symptoms
Higher risk of heart failure;
Higher risk of kidney failure;
 
So you have to try harder;
Try to enroll yourself in “Quit Smoking” program;
Try to be in a community who have quit smoking;
 
you are already braving yourself with diabetes;
you are already a fighter;
you can reach your goal, just do it step by step;

 

How can diabetic neuropathy affect my body?

Diabetic neuropathy symptoms have been classified into different types and each type affect your body differently;
 
#1 Peripheral Neuropathy
It mainly affects your toes, feet, legs, hands, and arms.
As your feets are most distantly located from your body, it’s most vulnerable to get affected.

You may face symptoms like:
Numbness;
Tingling, Burning, Crawling Sensations;
Sharp Pains;
Extreme Sensitivity;
Muscle Weakness around the foot and loss of reflex; you may notice a change in walking style of a person
 
If you are facing with these symptoms, it gets important for you to check your feet regularly;
Notice if your feet sustain any cuts or wounds;diabetic neuropathy symptoms
 
If they do;
 
Report immediately to the doctor.
 
Neuropathy, if not paid attention, can destroy your leg senses. So if you sustain any leg injury, you will not able to feel it.
 
That untreated injury will develop an infection and make it spread in different part of your leg.
 
That infection that developed with small injury will ultimately get your leg amputated.
Try to wear a comfortable footwear every time to avoid an injury. Do not move out of bed without good pair of sleepers.
 
 

#2 Autonomic Neuropathy
It affects the nerves that control your internal organs like heart, digestive symptoms, urinary tract etc.
your organs get affected and show symptoms as follows:
 
a. Heart and Blood Pressure
Damage to nerves affects the body ability to adjust Blood Pressure and heart rate.
The risk of heart failure also gets elevated.
 
b.Digestive System:
You may have constipation;
Gastroparesis (cause stomach to empty too slowly) which cause person to have nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, glucose fluctuation
 
c. Urinary tract
Prevent bladder to empty fully which could result in bladder infection
 
d. Sexual Response also gets affected;
 diabetic neuropathy symptoms
e. Eyes
Neuropathy affects your pupil. It makes you difficult to see at night.
 
 
 #3 Focal neuropathy:
It appears suddenly and affects specific nerves, most often legs or head.
 
You may feel following problems in your legs:
a. Pain in legs and thigh
b. Muscle loss
They most often occur in older age.
But tends to improve by itself and does not cause long-term damage
 
It can also cause following diabetic neuropathy symptoms in the upper part of the body:
a. Double vision
b. The eye cannot focus properly
c. Ache behind eye
d. Paralysis on one side of the face
 
 
I just got diagnosed? why am I facing neuropathy problem so early?
Usually, diabetes got undetected for long period of time. You may have high sugar for a long time before you got diagnosed. And within those period your nerves may have got damaged;
 
The same happened with my case; I got diagnosed with diabetes in April 2017 and I came to know that it been a time since I got high blood sugar.
Within two months of being diagnosed, I started having crawling feeling on my left footdiabetic neuropathy symptoms
was in my office at that time;
 
I thought that it’s something very usual and will go away with time;
Well, it did go away and I didn’t think of it again that day.
 
But a day after, I felt it again with greater intensity and for a longer duration.
 
Within a week, I started having pain in front portion of my foot;
The pain was not excruciating but enough to change my walking style.
 
I googled about it and then came across the term neuropathy.
 
Next day, I took a break from the office and visited my doctor. He checked my foot thoroughly and said I am in beginning stage of neuropathy.
He prescribed me certain medication which I still have it.
 
 
What medications you are taking and are you finding any relief?
Before I write anything about the medicine, I want to mention that I am not a doctor neither I want to become one. The write-up is all about the medication that was prescribed by my doctor and the results I got from it.
Also, I did a lot of research on these medications and I think it’s better for our community to know about it.
 
When my doctor diagnosed with neuropathy, he prescribed me Alfalipoic Acid (100mg) tablets for 1 month.
 
After taking the tablets daily for 20 days and I felt relief from the pain I was having.
 
And within a month, there was no pain but some minor crawling sensation which appears for some seconds on any chosen day.
 
The doctor had asked me to discontinue the medication in a month;
But even after 3 months, I am still having it, though on alternate days.
 
why did I continue with the medications?
Because the crawling sensations came back;

So I am still taking the medicines but on alternate days.

 

Why are you not being prescribed with Alfalipoic Acid?
 In Germany, it’s a standard to prescribe Alfalipoic acid for diabetic neuropathy symptoms. The doctor may even face legal issues on not going with the standards.
In fact, these tablets are widely prescribed throughout Europe.
 
However, the same is not the case in US.
 
I have read the stories in which doctors were put in trouble by prescribing these Alfalipoic medications to the patients.
 
It seems that these tablets are not the norms in US.
 
So if are living in US, there is good chance that your doctor may not prescribe your these tablets or may even not heard about the treatment themselves.
 
What is Alfalipoic acid exactly?
It is a naturally occurring antioxidant that can be found in many foods such as yeast, spinach, broccoli, potatoes, and organ meats such as liver or kidney.
What does antioxidant do?
Our body cells, is under daily assault from a variety of sources, from poor diets to pollution. This violent process is called “oxidation,” which damages your cells.

Enter antioxidants. They include vitamins and other nutrients that target free radicals to prevent the cells damage. ALA is one of those anti oxidants.

Alfa Lipoic Acid
Alfa Lipoic acid is an antioxidant that prevents cell damage.
It also helps to regenerate other antioxidants like Vitamin C and E.
For diabetics, the ALA prevents further nerve damage and improves the condition of existing damaged nerves. (so helpful for diabetic neuropathy problem)
ALA also helps improve insulin resistance (good for Type 2 diabetics)
Our body does produce it in minute quantities, but most of it comes from your diet. Some of the best natural sources include grass-fed red meat and organ meats

 

Important points to remember while taking ALA? 

ALA leach biotin from your body. So it’s recommended having external source of biotin to your body
You can take peanuts as a natural source of biotin.
CAUTION:
1. Hypothyroid patients should avoid ALA
2. ALA reduces blood sugar so keep a watch in your insulin dosage to prevent hypo
3. Not for pregnant women & children

FINAL WORD

These diabetic neuropathy symptoms are the ones which you don’t want to have. From slight irritations to excruciating pains, these symptoms can hamper your style of living.

If you are diabetic, try to avoid this complication by keeping your blood sugar in normal range.

And if you are among the lot like me, who are already facing these issue, the best option is to have proper medications from your doctor and prevent the nerves to get damaged further.

Tell us about the type of complication you are dealing with and what medicines you were prescribed.

Are you have any relief?
Or the condition got worse?

Please share your comments below. Share how’d you liked the article and suggest any improvements.

diabetic neuropathy symptoms
You can also share your diabetic story, your experiences, you learning by clicking this link. Share your story to help our newly diagnosed with  your mistakes and management tips

3 Responses

  1. Narayan says:

    Very good information

  2. Amit says:

    Glad to have read this. I m facng similar nerve Problem on both feets. Have diabetes for almost 18 years now. Sugar level was high for long time tht got unnoticed. But bow for last 2years this foot Problem have risen n its very svere. Live inGurgaon n haven’t found a good doc till now for nerve issues.

    • admin says:

      Hi Amit
      you can consult your doctor for alfalipoic acid (ALA) tablets, atleast they worked for me well. you can read about ALA in the article. I have also mentioned the medical research link stating the benefit of ALA for neuropathy symptoms in the article.
      you can help our fellow members by sharing your diagnosis story and your experience on living with diabetes by going to following link. Your contribution can help the community to learn from others mistakes; Thanks
      https://yogicult.com/contact/

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