Diabetic neurology or Diabetic Neuropathy, is one of the most advanced conditions of Diabetes Type II, where patients suffer from damages to their nerves and other neurological problems. One of the most important causes for the development of Diabetic Neurology is high blood sugar levels and high levels of blood pressure and hypertension along with many other reasons.
The symptoms of Diabetes Mellitus are progressive in nature and with the aging of the disease, various symptoms start appearing in different parts of the body. The problems in the nerves occur in various places in the body over a period of time and the symptoms are dependent on the location of these affected nerves. Some of the important symptoms associated with Diabetic neuropathy are as follows:
Important Symptoms of Diabetic Neuropathy
One of the most common symptoms of Diabetic Neuropathy is the tendency to feel full even after a small meal. The problems in digesting food leads to the elevation of blood sugar levels, causing other diabetic complications. The poor functioning of the digestive system leads to diarrhea, acidity and heartburn.
Sometimes the patients suffer from the symptoms of constipation, nausea and other problems related to the ingestion and digestion of food .Vomiting and throwing up after a few hours of having the food,is another common symptom of the development of diabetic neuropathy. The swelling of the abdomen, bloating and gastric problems are other common signs of the disease.
Tingling and Burning Sensation In the Legs and Arms
The beginning of the nerve damage is revealed by a burning or tingling sensation in the feet and hands. The sensations normally begin in the toes and the digits of the feet and spreads upwards. This is usually accompanied by pain in the legs and feet.
The numbness in the extremities of the hand and feet, are important symptoms that signal the beginning of this progressive disease. Abnormal sensations may start in certain parts of the body and this is known as Dysesthesia .
Loss of Feeling In the Legs and Arms
The damage caused in the nerves may lead to a complete loss of sensation and power of response to stimuli in the legs and feet. It is common for patients of Diabetic Neuropathy to not feel pain when they step on something sharp. A cut or a blister may go unnoticed, as the nerves develop further damage. The sensation that is felt on touching something cold or hot is also lost, as the nerves fail to respond to different external stimuli.
Issues Related With the Nerves In the Blood Vessels and the Heart
As the nerve damages spread to the various blood vessels and the heart, there is a feeling of lightheadedness called orthostatic hypotension when the patient stands up.
The heart rate becomes faster than normal and the detection of angina, which is the pain in the chest that is a warning signal for heart attack or other diseases of the heart.
The male diabetic patients develop sexual problems such as erectile dysfunctions while women face vaginal dryness or problems with their orgasms.
Problems in Detecting Blood Sugar Fluctuations
The damages caused to the nerves, makes it difficult to understand the situations that may lead to the blood sugar falling to extremely low levels. The sudden fall in the sugar levels can cause unconsciousness, dizziness and a complete collapse that needs immediate medical attention.
Most patients suffering from diabetic neuropathy develop bladder problems such as leaking of urine and difficulties in emptying the bladder. It is difficult for them to understand that their bladder is full and they need to urinate. This condition is known as Urinary Incontinence.
Patients suffering from diabetic neuropathy may find themselves sweating excessively, even when they are at rest or when the temperature is not too high.
Changes In Vision and Eyesight Problems
One of the major symptoms of Diabetic Neuropathy is blurring of the vision, appearance of cataract problems in the eyes, issues related to the retina, etc. The changes that occur at this stage can cause various other problems connected to the eye and this can cause major discomfort to the patient.
Dizziness and Weakness
The patient who has been diagnosed for diabetic neuropathy can suffer from sudden bouts of dizziness and muscle weakness. It is not uncommon to find them dozing off after a short period of activity.
The difficulty in remaining alert can lead to loss in concentration levels and work efficiency.
The voice of the patients tends to get muffled and unclear. The impairment in speech is caused as the diabetic neuropathy progresses.
Muscle contractions or Fasciculation, Anorgasmia and the presence of sharp electric pains. There is a difference in the facial structure accompanied by the drooping of eyelids.
The symptoms of diabetic neuropathy develop as the nerves get damaged due to a deficiency of oxygen and blood flow to the nerves and uncontrolled sugar levels. These symptoms usually start developing after the patient has lived with diabetes for over 20-25 years. Thus, the symptoms are directly related to the age and duration of diabetes in the patients. The symptoms start developing as and when the damages occur to the cranial nerves, nerves in the spinal cord and its branches and the nerves that mange the functions of the vital body organs such as bladder, stomach, heart and intestines.
All the peripheral nerves of the patient are affected in diabetic neuropathy. These include the motor neurons, pain fibers and the autonomic nervous system. As all the nerves in the body are interconnected, the problems spread progressively to all the organs in different parts of the body.
There may be specific symptoms that are typically related to certain organs and their immediate functions, but it is important to note that the symptoms of diabetic neurology are not mutually exclusive of each other. There are several symptoms of diabetic neuropathy and it is not necessary that all the symptoms occur in the same patient at the same point of time.
It is important to keep a track of all the changes that occur in the different parts of the body as the disease progresses. Proper management of the blood sugar levels can help in the control and prevention of this diabetic neurological problem to a certain extent.