Diabetic neuropathy is a condition commonly associated with type-2 diabetes causing damage to nerves. Uncontrolled levels of blood sugar, otherwise known as hyperglycemia, alter the ability of nerves to send signals, causing diabetic neuropathy.
The symptoms may not be visible in the beginning because of the slow progression of the condition. It usually takes a long time to develop diabetic neuropathy.
A patient suffering from diabetic neuropathy may feel numbness, tingling, pain, weakness in the limbs, loss of balance and coordination. These are the common signs associated with peripheral neuropathy and may get worse at night.
Besides peripheral neuropathy, there are three other types of diabetic neuropathy. These include autonomic neuropathy, radio-complexes neuropathy (affects mainly the nerves in lower limbs), and mono-neuropathy (affects mainly the nerves in middle body).
Autonomous neuropathy, which is also the major type of diabetic neuropathy, causes nerve damage, leading to severe neurodegenerative disorders such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease. It can occur in heart, bladder, stomach, intestine, eyes, and sex organs. The signs may include, loss of consciousness, bladder issues, constipation or diarrhoea, gastroparesis, nausea and vomiting, trouble swallowing, increase or decrease in sweating, uncontrolled body temperatures, trouble in vision while adjusting to light or dark environments, Erectile dysfunction and vaginal dryness, loss of libido.
The exact causes for diabetic neuropathy vary from type to type. High blood sugar also affects the capillary walls supplying oxygen and nutrients to nerves. The other factors may include nerve inflammation, genetics, smoking, and alcoholism.
The condition can be prevented by controlling blood sugars, carefully monitoring prediabetes symptoms and fasting blood sugar levels, balanced diet and follwoing the doctor's advice.