Diabetes

Do you suffer from diabetic neuropathy?

This is a very common condition and the consequences can be severe. Medical terminology can also be confusing and sound more complicated than it really is. For instance, the term diabetic neuropathy literally means nerve damage due to diabetes. With nerves controlling every function and system throughout our bodies, it is easy to begin to see how extensive this disease process can become.

Causes

Individuals having abnormally high blood sugar (glucose) levels may develop diabetic neuropathy as well as other serious health problems. Diabetes is a disease that affects how your body uses blood sugar (glucose). Glucose is an important source of energy for the cells that make up your muscles, tissues, and brain. The underlying cause of diabetes varies by type, but can all lead to excess sugar in your blood.

Symptoms and Additional Information

It is important to understand that when people are diagnosed with early stages of diabetes, they don’t automatically begin to feel the symptoms associated with diabetic neuropathy. Diabetic neuropathy is a slowly developing complication of diabetes that may take upwards of 20 years to become noticeable. Unfortunately, people suffering from diabetes don’t typically notice the signs and symptoms of diabetic neuropathy until it is in its advanced stages. Recognizing these symptoms early can help you obtain a more effective treatment. The following are some of the signs and symptoms most commonly noticed by our patients at Neuropathy and Pain Solutions:

  • A loss of feeling or pins and needles sensation throughout the arms and legs
  • Feelings of sickness throughout the day
  • Trouble going to the restroom or excessive diarrhea
  • Filling up after eating smaller than normal meal portions
  • Having trouble swallowing food or drink
  • Abnormal vomiting after eating a meal
  • Difficulties with vision or speaking
  • Weakness throughout the muscles of legs and arms
  • Excessive or deficient sweating
  • Sexual dysfunction in men or women
  • Feeling abnormally hot or cold
  • Frequent urinary tract infections in women
  • Sagging of the eyelids
  • Feeling dizzy immediately after standing up
  • Increased heart rate or chest pain (be aware of the possibility of heart attack)
  • Third Nerve Palsy – The third cranial nerve is one of the most important nerves for maintaining eye motion. As this nerve is damaged due to diabetes, people begin to experience difficulty in moving that eye in almost all directions. NOTE: Third nerve palsy can be caused by a number of other conditions.

Complications of diabetic neuropathy:

  • People who have suffered from diabetes for a long period of time typically have higher blood sugar levels than someone without the disease. Similar to how sugar is bad for your teeth, abnormally high blood sugar levels also cause damage to the blood vessels which give nourishment to your nerves. As the blood vessels and nerves are damaged, so are the structures that depend on them.
  • People suffering from diabetic neuropathy often have a long list of complications including; skin disorders, high blood pressure, stomach issues, kidney disease, vision problem, and mental health disorders. It is important to understand that diabetic neuropathy only affects our peripheral nervous system, meaning the nerves outside of our brain and spinal cord. Therefore, these nerves are the ones responsible for supplying all the structures related to our legs, arms, organs, and even eyes.
  • Many of these complications can be relatively severe. In the advanced stages of diabetic neuropathy, the condition can create a loss of feeling throughout the lower extremities. As a result, some people develop an infection without even knowing it’s present. Depending on how far this infection progresses before its noticed dictates if amputation is the best line of treatment.
  • However, it is more common for deformities of the joints of the feet and knees to develop before an amputation is required. Due to the interference with the nervous system, diabetic neuropathy has been associated with a decreased ability to notice abnormally low blood sugar. Typically, a person will be aware of the symptoms of low blood sugar and make the proper changes to improve it. However, sufferers from diabetic neuropathy often fail to receive the proper message, sometimes leading to death.

Treatment

The medical team at Neuropathy and Pain Solutions will perform a physical exam that includes a careful review of your symptoms and diagnostic studies to identify the issue. Our medical team will then work with you to develop a customized treatment plan to address your symptoms and the underlying cause.

Following the physical examination, if the medical team is unsure of whether diabetic neuropathy is present or not, you may be referred for additional testing. Typical diagnostic testing for diabetic neuropathy includes an EMG or NMG which are essential for evaluating proper muscle and nerve function respectively.

The treatment plan may include Electric Cell Signaling Treatment (EST), a non-surgical treatment, during which our medical team inject a Pharmaceutical Grade Nutrient Blend to decrease inflammation and pain. Then, they apply carefully controlled electrical signals to the affected region which targets and helps soothe the damaged nerves. It’s essentially painless other than a slight pinch with the injection and takes just a few minutes to perform. EST has a high efficacy rate, providing significant relief for up to 87% of patients who undergo the therapy. This innovative treatment provides significant reduction of nerve symptoms for patients. This FDA cleared treatment could eliminate the need for pain medication as it restores your mobility and overall function. At Neuropathy and Pain Solutions, we want to work with your body to get to the source of the pain, not cover up the pain. Neuropathy and Pain Solutions accepts Medicare and most major insurances.

Our team may also recommend physical therapy, ergonomic tools, and stretches.

Our medical team stays involved with patients’ overall diabetes or vascular condition management plan. For example, a member of the medical team may ask about blood sugar regulation.