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Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetic NeuropathyConsistently raised blood Glucose levels and deficiency of insulin damage the nerves which carry signals in form of impulses from skin, internal organs to the brain and from vital centres controlling functioning of these organs , muscles and skin. The reason and mechanism of this damage is a very complex and still poorly understood despite tremendous research that has been conducted. As fas as yet understood- a number of factors together bring about the changes in structure of nerves and cause inflammation and destruction of the nerves or the outer covering of the nerves- the myelin sheath which is intrumental in conducting nerve signals, nerves require insulin and Insulin like growth factors which are provide nutrition and growth stimulus to nerves- these may be deficient in diabetes. This leads to the different types of neuropathies that are seen in diabetes.

Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy are diseases of the peripheral nervous systems, i.e those nerves which carry signals to and from the extremeties like legs and hands. Diseases of the central nervous systems affect the nerves arising out of brain and controlling vital organs like heart, major blood vessels, lungs, stomach, intestines etc. Both of them may occur more frequently in diabetics.

Distal peripheral Neuropathy

Distal peripheral neuropathy - is quite common in Diabetics mainly affecting the feet, symptoms may range from numbness, decreased or complete loss of sensation to hot or cold. The first sensation to be lost in this type of neuropathy is the perception of vibration. These are all caused due to damage to the respective nerves conducting these sensations from the skin of the feet to the spinal cord which further relays these sensations to brain.This plays a very important part in development of the Diabetic foot.

Progressive damage to nerves may cause abnormal perception of touch- even a light touch may feel like burning or pricking pain and make walking difficult.

Compression neuropathies

Compression Neuropathies may also be caused in diabetes like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, shoulder outlet syndrome- symptoms may range from pricking sensation in the palms or hand to weakness and dystrophy of muscles.

Autonomic Neuropathy 

Autonomic nervous system includes many nerves which arise directly out of brain and control and regulate the functioning of vital organs of the body like heart, blood vessels, lungs, stomach, intestines and urinary bladder. These organs are under involuntary regulation, generally their functioning is not controlled by the conscious mind. These functions include controlling the heart rate, dilation and constriction of major blood vessels, working of lungs, acid secretion and contraction of stomach, peristalsis- contraction alternating with relaxation of muscles of intestines which results in forward movement of ingested food, passage of urine, erection of sexual organs etc. Longstanding  diabetes, specially uncontrolled may damage this part of the nervous system resulting in loss of many symptoms like the pain of heart attack, impotence, fullness in abdomen, vomitting, hypoglycemia unawareness. for more on these click here...

 

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