Diabetes is a complex disease that affects just about every part of your body, including your nerves. As many as 70% of people with diabetes have some kind of nerve damage. This damage may affect any type of nerve, causing an array of symptoms.
At Apple Wellness Center in Winchester, Virginia, our skilled chiropractor, Michael Pasternack, DC, treats all types of peripheral neuropathy, including diabetic neuropathy.
Here, we want to talk about diabetic neuropathy, what symptoms to look for, and what to do about it.
Diabetic neuropathy is a type of nerve damage caused by high blood sugar in people with diabetes. Too much sugar in the blood alters nerve function, disrupting the transmission of nerve signals.
High blood sugar also damages blood vessels, decreasing the delivery of oxygen-rich blood to your nerves.
Diabetic neuropathy may affect any nerve in your body, including sensory nerves (feeling and pain), motor nerves (control muscle function), or autonomic nerves (control involuntary functions like digestion and blood pressure).
Because diabetes may damage any nerve in your body, diabetic neuropathy symptoms vary. But most people with diabetic neuropathy have damage to the peripheral nerves in their feet or legs. With this type of nerve damage, you may have:
In most cases, the nerve damage occurs slowly over many years, causing mild symptoms that go unnoticed. If you have diabetes, you should have a diabetic neuropathy screening every year.
Treatment for diabetic neuropathy focuses on the cause: reducing high blood sugar. This includes eating a balanced diet, getting regular exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight.
At Apple Wellness Center, our treatment focuses on helping you create a healthy lifestyle that improves your neuropathy and your symptoms. We can talk to you about your nutrition and teach you some simple exercises you can do at home to help you gain control over your blood sugar.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) may also provide some relief from symptoms. It sends a mild electrical impulse to specific nerves to stop the pain signal from reaching your brain. Though safe and painless, TENS doesn’t work for every type of diabetic neuropathy pain.
Diabetic neuropathy is a serious complication of diabetes. Managing your diabetes is the best thing you can do to improve or prevent diabetic neuropathy. Let us help you gain control over your diabetic neuropathy.
Call our office or click the book online button to schedule an appointment with our peripheral neuropathy expert today.