diabetic neuropathy and muscle balance problems in diabetics

Long-term diabetes can bring along undesired complications such as diabetic neuropathy, which can affect various organs in a diabetic’s body. While certain internal organs such as the heart, kidneys, lungs and intestines can get affected due to poor blood supply and nerve damage, external organs such as hands, feet, thighs, legs, fingers and toes too are not spared in certain versions of diabetic neuropathy. Hence, diabetic neuropathy and muscle balance problems in diabetics go hand-in-hand and diabetics need to take special care to avoid falling down and aggravating their problems.

Diabetic neuropathy can attack a diabetic’s body in 4 different versions. While autonomic neuropathy affects the nerves connected to the heart, eyes and lungs, and can also affect digestion or bladder functions, focal neuropathy can affect any nerve or cluster of nerves in any part of the body causing sudden pain or weakness. Proximal neuropathy can affect the thighs, hips and buttocks, which can cause weakness in the legs. But it is peripheral neuropathy, which actually affects the legs, hands, fingers and toes and causes searing pain along with numbness in the affected regions.

The last two neuropathies can cause diabetics to lose sensation in the lower part of their body, leading to muscle weakness or even loss of muscle within those organs. This, along with numbness caused by poor blood circulation and nerve damage can result in impaired motor function which can affect walking, standing and running. This causes balance problems and diabetics that stand up suddenly from a sitting position might suddenly lose their balance and fall down. They might also fall down when they try to effect sudden changes in direction such as turning suddenly or twisting in a jerky motion.

Diabetics should therefore visit their doctor if they notice any abnormality in any of the organs of their body. While regular medicines can help to a certain extent along with surgery in certain cases, diabetics that walk in late after ignoring their symptoms for a longer period might find it very difficult to regain use of the affected organs. An alternative medicine which is quite helpful is an antioxidant known as alpha lipoic acid. It is available in capsule and tablet form and can be taken by humans and certain pets, except cats due to a toxic reaction with its liver. Diabetics should also remember to check each leg including each sole of the foot on a daily basis. Diabetics should also remember to stand up slowly and wait for some time to completely retain their balance before starting to walk. Sudden twists and jerks while walking should also be avoided. Diabetics should also maintain their sugar levels within the prescribed limits and stick to a healthy diet to maintain muscle mass. They should also stay adequately hydrated so that they do not experience dizziness due to dehydration.

Hence, diabetic neuropathy and muscle balance problems are entwined together and diabetics might need to take special care to retain their motor functions. They should take the right medications along with physiotherapy according to the instructions of their doctor. Daily inspections of the feet along with additional care while walking should enable diabetics to remain safe from any painful and long-lasting complications related to diabetic neuropathy.

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