Diabetes is a chronic disease that has lots of complications if not kept under control. These complications hinder the normal day to day activities of a person.
Not only that, these complications if progressed really do endanger the life of the person itself. So agreat care must be observed by those who are diabetic. Amongst several other complications, sensory loss is a troublesome complication of diabetes. This affects multiple systems within the body and as such require special care.
Complications Of Sensory Loss With Diabetes
Symptoms Of Sensory Loss And Neuropathy
60 to 70% of diabetics suffer from complications of sensory loss with diabetes. A few of the symptoms which point towards sensory loss would be numbness in fingers and toes, constipation or diarrhea, diabetic foot ulcers, heart burn and nausea, various pains, easy tendency to bone deformities, erectile dysfunction, urinary incontinence, drooping of eyelids, speech difficulties etc.
Diabetic Foot Ulcers
Diabetic foot ulcers are definitely a complication of sensory loss. The person remains insensitive to any pain even if there is a cut or bruise. The person very often is unable to feel the shoes or he walks with uneven weight distribution. There is also reduced blood supply to the feet. The presence of glucose in the blood increases the risk of acquiring an infection.
All these factors lead to the development of infection and thus a diabetic foot ulcer. Gangrene and death of tissues can result faster. The ulcer if not taken into account and treated properly could result in the amputation of that limb. Walking barefoot is to be avoided at all costs. Similarly daily checking of the sole, feet and toes is highly recommended.
Sensory Motor Neuropathy And Bone Deformities
The long nerves of the hands and legs are affected more than the short nerves. The person feels severe burning pain in the hands and feet. The distribution of pain is usually described as glove and stocking distribution. There is also loss of sensations in the feet, loss of reflexes and muscle weakness. This causes the person to walk with an uneven gait.
Callouses and injuries are common and result in injuries and ulcers. Other common occurrence is the fracture of bones of the feet. Also the development of the uneven gait produces pressure on bones and cause deformities. Contractures of toes could also develop.
Burns And Frost Bite
As mentioned earlier the diabetic patient is unable to sense any changes in temperature be it hot or cold. The loss of sensations result in several accidents. The diabetic person is unable to understand the differences in atmospheric temperature in his extremities especially in his feet. Walking bare foot is not recommended for a diabetic.
But the person may walk barefoot without recognizing how hot the pavement is. As such the chances of getting a burn is highly likely. The burns or any injury for that matter, is very difficult to treat in a diabetic. Similarly, a diabetic also risks the chances of acquiring a frost bite if he does not wear proper protective gear when the atmospheric temperatures have fallen down. Thus the use of hot blankets or heating pads or ice therapy for any treatment purpose is not recommended for a diabetic.