Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

Diabetic peripheral neuropathy affects all areas of the body, but particularly the feet and pancreas. Equally as important, but much more manageable are the effects this disease has on urination, sweating, sexual function, and blood pressure. Careful evaluation of body function and blood testing can catch some problems in their early stages. Some symptoms include constipation, diarrhea, and gastroparesis. Causes of peripheral neuropathy include inheritance, poor diet, and lack of exercise, smoking, drinking, and trauma. Leading a healthy lifestyle will dramatically decrease the threat of ongoing problems with diabetes. Understanding unhealthy habits in a person's life that need to change will provide a starting point for a plan toward healthier living. Once the problem areas are established and a plan is set in place, diabetic peripheral neuropathy becomes a small part of life rather than the center of it.

With small changes to lifestyle a person can almost eliminate daily threats of developing symptoms associated with this disease. If the list of things to change is long or even more than 2, a person should create a thoroughly detailed plan for success. This will include small daily goals and rewards when these goals are met as well as long-term more drastic changes including elimination of a smoking or drinking habit. Many causes of peripheral neuropathy are linked back to a weakened immune system caused by poor body management. Stress is a daily part of life, which puts the body in a vulnerable position for catching disease and infections. Evaluation conducted by the patient as well as friends and family will ensure a through life examination for items that could possibly be eliminated from daily life. This may include involvement in an activity or simply rearranging responsibilities in order to become more time efficient. Likewise, attitude toward any activity or life in general will calm a person before the effort of eliminating things becomes a stressor in itself. Understanding what can be controlled and what cannot be controlled will aid in successful overall management.

Healthy eating is simply a matter of planning meals and making more consciously healthy choices at the grocery store. Read labels and know what is being read. Labeling of food becomes a game to a certain extent for companies in order to stick within the FDA guidelines. There are many words used for sugar including high fructose corn syrup and substitute sweetener. Though these phrases tell the truth, an average person may not associate them with plain sugar thus overlooking the danger associate for people with diabetic peripheral neuropathy. The more a person knows concerning the risks of developing some causes of peripheral neuropathy certain foods bring and actually how to read a food label the better the choices of food will be. Even though fresh foods generally do not have food labels, approximate amounts can be calculated by using scientific equations tested through research. Eating fresh fruit before bed will help establish good readings throughout the whole next day and create an internal environment ideal for a good nights sleep. "Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the LORD, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock and of the herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all." (Jeremiah 31:12)

Exercise is crucial after all adverse habits have ceased. These habits include smoking, alcohol, caffeine, and any use of illegal drugs. Exercise performs a wide variety of functions aiding in successful management of diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Starting any type of activity automatically increases lung function as well as strengthens all other major areas of the body including the immune system, pulmonary system, and circulatory system. All these systems greatly affect any factors associated with the causes of peripheral neuropathy. The stronger the whole body is the better it will be at fighting off any disease or infection. Starting out slow with short distance walking is a perfect way to exercise the body without hurting it or causing discouragement. As much or as intense as a person wants to get is up to the individual situation, however if cardiovascular needs are not met then the body is much more susceptible to infection and disease. The need for cardiovascular fitness is being met even if it is only once a week or for 10 minutes a day. Causes of diabetic neuropathy associated with fitness include extreme fatigue and sore feet. In addition, without proper exercise the entire body suffers thus opening the door for disease and infection to overcome the body.

In addition to proper body management, unforeseen circumstances create a platform for breeding this disease. Automobile accidents, falls, and sports related injuries can all cause nerve damage, which leads to increased chance of problems with diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Kidney disorders, diabetes, liver disorders, vitamin deficiencies, and hormones also pose an increased risk for developing this disease. Basically anything that impairs the body's normal functions with particular attention to digestion becomes one of the causes of peripheral neuropathy. Cancer, tumors, repetitive stress, bacteria, and viral infections all decrease the strength and functioning of the body as a whole therefore become risks as well. Medication is sometimes needed to treat existing problems as well as prevents new infections from occurring. Eating healthy on a manageable daily schedule as well as implementing regular exercise and stress management will ensure the best possible environment for prevention of disease.

Symptoms Of Peripheral Neuropathy

In its most common form, symptoms of peripheral neuropathy include pain and numbness in the hands and feet. Some people feel a sense of tingling or burning. Other people feel like they have a thin stocking or glove over their feet and hands. There is not one cause for this condition; however, the most common cause is the result of diabetes. Other causes can be infections, traumatic injury, being exposed to a toxin, or even metabolic problems. Many times the condition will improve, especially when the patient undergoes peripheral neuropathy treatment to improve the underlying cause. But the improvement will take time. The medications often prescribed for this disease are drugs used for other illnesses such as epilepsy and depression.

To understand the progression of the disease means understanding the reasons for the condition. The condition revolves around the central nervous system, which entails the brain and the spinal cord as the main organs. All the nerves of the body are connected to these two members. These nerves tell when the body is touching something painful, such as heat. The nerves also control the movement of the muscles and automatic functions of the body such as blood pressure, heart beat rate, digestion, and the urinary system. This condition usually first affects the longest nerves, the ones that go down the leg and into the toes. Depending on which nerve is affected, a person can feel numbness and tingling in the legs, which may spread to other parts of the body, a burning pain or sharp, jabbing sensation, sensitivity to touch, a loss of coordination, muscle weakness even leading to paralysis, and urinary tract incontinence. These problems lead people to see peripheral neuropathy treatment.

Some causes of the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy are easier to remedy than others. For example, is the cause is trauma or pressure on the nerve that can be reversed. Often people who have had to endure a cast or crutches are in this category or someone who has a repetitive job, such as a computer keyboard typist. A tumor could also be causing the pressure. If the cause is a deficiency in vitamin B, a change in diet is in order. Alcoholics may also experience this condition, which means dealing with the alcoholism for peripheral neuropathy treatment. With other causes, the remedy is more difficult because the disease cannot be cured. At least half of everyone who is diagnosed with diabetes will have this problem. Other diseases that can cause this condition are kidney disease, liver ailments, thyroid deficiencies, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis, among others. Sometimes, the underlying problem is an inherited gene, which is impossible to reverse also. One of the most difficult is an exposure to poisons. This can include chemicals such as heavy metals or even some cancer drugs. Sometimes, the underlying reason is never found.

A person who experiences the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy should consult a doctor right away to determine what is wrong. Because the condition is hard to diagnose, the doctor will probably order a variety of tests to determine the cause. This could include blood tests, urinalysis, thyroid tests, and a nerve conductions study. This is called electromyography, which determines which nerves may be affected. The study shows how well the nerve can conduct electrical signals. Carpal tunnel syndrome may be one of the diagnoses of the study, and then proper peripheral neuropathy treatment can be planned.

Because one of the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy is numbness, that can lead to other problems within the affected area. For example, a person who has lost sensation may not feel when the affected area is cut or burned or harmed in any other way. Then infection can set in. Usually, with the nerve damage, the healing process may be more difficult, so an infection can be very dangerous. Some peripheral neuropathy treatment is taking pain medications, anti-seizure medications, a lidocaine patch, and antidepressants. Pain medications are just to relieve pain in the damaged area. Anti-seizure drugs may also alleviate the pain. A lidocaine patch helps with the soreness without giving any side effects that drugs may cause, and since this is a topical medication, is easy to administer. Antidepressant drugs interfere with the chemical processes in the brain and spinal cord, and in that way, also act as pain relievers.

Ecclesiastes 3:3 is a familiar verse that says, "There is a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up." As protectors of our own bodies, when we experiences symptoms of peripheral neuropathy, we must address the source. Part of that care is to prevent any damage that we can. This means dealing with the disease that caused it. For example, if the source is diabetes, it is essential to follow the diabetic diet to lessen any damage that may be done to the nerves. Controlling blood pressure and cholesterol levels will also help. A person should immediately stop smoking. Eating a healthy diet with plenty of vitamins is essential as is getting the proper exercise. If nerves have already been damaged, a medical professional can advise of the appropriate exercise regime. Massaging the areas that are affected is important as well as being careful not to put pressure on the affected parts of the body. For many, that means taking special care of the feet and avoiding crossing legs to avoid poor circulation.

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