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Friday, March 11, 2011

Awareness Can Beat Deadly Diabetic Neuropathy

By Ned Dagostino

Diabetic patients must beware the complication known as diabetic neuropathy. This condition arises due to the elevated blood glucose levels that attends severe diabetes. The glucose damages the nerves, a condition known as neuropathy in medical parlance.

This article aims to inform you of this serious condition. The information will prove useful in preventing this condition, and, in case you do have it, in remedying it. We shall cover the basics of diabetic neuropathy, its symptoms, and the various treatments that can cure it.

Diabetic neuropathy occurs in three forms: focal, peripheral, and autonomic. Focal neuropathy affects the nerves on an individual basis. Generally, but not exclusively, the nerves of the lower limbs are affected. Peripheral diabetic neuropathy affects the entire network of nerves comprising the peripheral nervous system. Autonomic diabetic neuropathy damages the nerves of the autonomic nervous system.

The symptomatic observations associated with diabetic neuropathy are listed below for your information. Use the information to detect this deadly disease.

Temperature fluctuations, ranging from shivering to profuse sweating, and, sometimes, very rarely, even a simultaneous occurrence of both.

Loss of control over the bladder, with the patient experiencing sudden and strong urges to void the bladder.

Severe indigestion symptomized by flatulence, eructations, regurgitation, and vomiting.

Sexual disorders, exhibited in men by premature ejaculation or erectile dysfunction, and in women by sexual insensitivity and vaginal dryness.

The patient's circulatory system is affected, with episodes of palpitations, breathlessness, and poor circulation.

The damage to the nervous system impairs the patient's sensory capacity. This is a dangerous development, as the patient is unaware of harmful situations which can cause physical injury. For example, if the patient loses sensation in his feet, he may step on a hot object and not feel the heat, and thus sustain burn injuries to his foot.

Diabetic neuropathy can be cured only when the underlying diabetes is cured. In the meanwhile, the patient can get relief from the problems associated with diabetic neuropathy in a number of ways.

The only way to control diabetic neuropathy is by ensuring that blood glucose remains within the prescribed norms, and this requires careful monitoring. Besides monitoring the blood glucose level, there are a number of medications which provide symptomatic relief of the problems experienced by the patient. The frazzled nerves generate pain signals which border on the intolerable. This can be alleviated by pain relievers. Blood chemistry modifiers are given to reduce the impact of the elevated blood glucose level. Normal sexual functionality can be restored by the topical application of creams and lubricants. Above all, the patient should realize the criticality of diabetic neuropathy, and should never attempt to self-medicate or do anything without his doctor's knowledge and consent.

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