What Is Diabetic Neuropathy?
Diabetic neuropathy is damage that affects the peripheral nerves of the body. The damage is specifically to the nerves of the ganglia, outside of the skull, the spinal cord, and some other nerves that aid the body in assisting fundamental organs, such as the heart, bladder, intestines, and stomach.
Diabetic neuropathy refers only to individuals who have diabetes.
Different nerves are affected in varying ways. Relatively familiar conditions which may be associated with diabetic neuropathy include:
- Third Nerve Palsy: When the individual cannot move his eye normally due to damage of a cranial nerve.
- Mononeuropathy: When only a single nerve is affected - the nerve is physically compressed, resulting in a lack of blood supply.
- Amythrophy: Muscle pain due to progressive waste and weakening of muscle tissues.
- Mononeuropathy multiplex: Profound aching soreness regularly felt in the lower back, hips or legs, resulting in sharp loss of sensory function of the nerves. This can slowly develop over a number of years.
- Polyneuropathy: Most commonly, this disorder results in weaker hands and feet, as well as some loss of sensation in the affected areas. Some patients complain of a burning needles-like pain. This disorder occurs when many nerves throughout the body simultaneously malfunction. The patient might step on something that should hurt, but feel nothing. It can appear either without warning or steadily over a long period.
- Autonomic neuropathy: The visceral nerve is affected, which may impact on the heart rate, digestion, respiration, salivation, perspiration, blood vessels, and sexual arousal. This occurs when there is a failure from the heart arteries to adjust heart rate and vascular tone to keep blood flowing continually to the brain. Dizziness or fainting when standing up rapidly is common.
- Sensory motor neuropathy: When sensory nerve loss affects the face; in some cases it may spread to the upper arms...