Diabetes mellitus being one of the most common metabolic disorders has myriads of complications affecting almost every organ system in the body, through direct or indirect effects. One of the most important complications is diabetic neuropathy. Neuropathy simply means damage to nerves. For medical profession the question still remains unanswered how diabetes is associated with nerve damage.
It is thought that something interferes with the body’s nerve pathways so that the nerve impulses are not transmitted properly. It is thought that chronic hyperglycemia (high blood sugar level) or uncontrolled diabetes is the primary leading cause for neuropathy.Diabetic neuropathy can appear and disappear in a short period of time.
About ninety percent of diabetics suffer from complications of the nervous system, especially peripheral sensory nerves. It is often called sensory neuropathy because it often causes odd sensation or loss of sensation in legs, feet and hands.
The other neuropathy is called autonomic neuropathy. It is less common complication of diabetes. In autonomic diabetes neuropathy the damage is caused to the nerves that control various body functions such as the digestive system, urinary tract and cardiovascular system.
Many diabetics feel weak and numb calves and legs and are unable to carry body weight.The urinary bladder loses its efficiency and there is uncontrollable dribbling of urine or incomplete emptying of bladder.
Symptoms Of Neuropathy In Diabetics
Burning pain and light band like sensation. The pain can be mild or it can be annoying.
- Muscle weakness and sporadic shooting pains.
- Unsteady gait. These people may have great difficulty while walking because of pain or due to loss control of leg movements.
- Sensory levels of pain, cold, warmth and texture are affected.
- Increased heart rate, aching or stabbing pain in the night.
- Excess sweating.
- Impaired erection in men, numbness, and tingling pain in legs and sometimes in arms.
- Double vision for varied period of time.
- Neuropathy interferes with sleep and people often suffer from insomnia.
Diabetic peripheral neuropathy may appear and disappear suddenly. However it can lead to injury in cases where the person with diabetes feels no sensation of pain. This often happens on the bottom of foot.
Urinary Bladder Problems In Diabetes
Bladder problem is common in diabetes patient. It is caused due to damage to the nerves which control bladder function. More than half the patients suffering from diabetes may face the problem.
- Three things can happen, in first case there is over activity of bladder which may result in frequent urination, sudden urgency and leakage of urine.
- Secondly the nerves of sphincter muscles of bladder may get damaged. This may cause frequent leakage or tighten the muscles and prevent easy flow of urine.
- The third condition can damage the nerves of bladder as a result the bladder is unable to contract and becomes weak. Urine is not emptied completely. It is called urinary retention.
Prevention And Treatment Of Diabetic Neuropathy
The patient should have a balanced diet with necessary vitamins and nutrients. The emphasis should be on whole grains, brown rice, cottage cheese, milk and sprouted seeds.
- Soybean milk is an excellent remedy for nervous disorders. A teaspoon of honey taken with a cupful of soybean milk every night, tones the nervous system.
- Barley brew is also very effective. Boil one-fourth cup of barley grains in half cup of water. The water should be strained carefully after it has been boiled down to one quarter.
- Drink half liter of mixed juices of raw carrot and spinach for quick and effective absorption and assimilation.