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What is diabetic neuropathy?

Diabetic neuropathy is a type of nerve damage that can occur in people with diabetes. It is caused by high blood sugar levels over a prolonged period of time, which can damage the nerves and lead to various symptoms.

There are several types of diabetic neuropathy, each affecting different parts of the body:

  1. Peripheral neuropathy: This is the most common form of diabetic neuropathy and affects the feet and legs, causing pain, tingling, numbness, and muscle weakness.

  2. Autonomic neuropathy: This type of diabetic neuropathy affects the nerves that control the internal organs, such as the heart, blood vessels, bladder, and intestines, causing issues with blood pressure, heart rate, digestion, and bladder control.

  3. Proximal neuropathy: This type of diabetic neuropathy affects the hips, thighs, and buttocks, causing pain and muscle weakness in these areas.

  4. Focal neuropathy: This type of diabetic neuropathy affects specific nerves, causing sudden and intense pain, muscle weakness, or double vision.

Treatment for diabetic neuropathy depends on the severity of the symptoms and the type of neuropathy. In many cases, controlling blood sugar levels can help prevent further nerve damage, and managing underlying conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity can also be helpful. In addition, physical therapy, pain management, and medications may be used to manage symptoms and improve quality of life.

It is important for people with diabetes to work closely with their healthcare provider to monitor their blood sugar levels and manage their diabetes to prevent diabetic neuropathy and other related complications. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent or slow the progression of diabetic neuropathy and improve overall health outcomes.

Treatment of the pain caused by diabetic neuropathy often requires a multidisciplinary approach. The experts with Austin Neurosurgeons and Dr. Daniel Peterson are ready to help you on your path to recovery.


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