Diabetics that have diabetes for more than 20 years stand a 50% chance of getting afflicted with some form of diabetic neuropathy. It is important that diabetics take adequate care to avoid this debilitating complication from reaching its end stage, since it could threaten their health and their life too. There are certain measures that diabetics should take to avoid end stage diabetic neuropathy.
Diabetes is caused by high blood sugar levels. While a healthy diet, regular exercise and strict control over blood sugar levels is essential to keep glucose levels under control, over a longer period of time, these high levels of sugar affect blood circulation adversely and cause nerves to die. The organs that are dependent on these nerves thus suffer damage, which becomes irreversible if not detected and treated on time.
Diabetic neuropathy affects vital internal and external organs such as eyes, lungs, heart, kidneys, bowel, intestinal tract, hands, feet, etc. These are further identified as Focal, Autonomic, Peripheral and Proximal neuropathy. The problem is that diabetics might not even notice the arrival of any diabetic neuropathy until the symptoms manifest themselves in a painful manner. By the time they rush to their doctor, the affected organ might be severely affected and their doctor might have a tough time in reversing the neuropathy. However, a regular testing routine can definitely help in detecting and treating the appropriate neuropathy well in time. Among other tests, an emg or electromyography is an important test that can determine the state of the diabetic’s nerves.
While some neuropathies such as those affecting the eyes can be surgically treated, others that affect the hands, legs, fingers and toes might need medicines that can only slow down the onslaught and lower the pain. Of late, an alternative medicine by the name of alpha lipoic acid has shown promise in treating humans and most pets alike, except cats. However, if the complications reach the end stage, then it could prove to be very dangerous to the patient. If the patient’s hands or feet have been affected and infected severely, then they might have to be amputated to prevent the infection from reaching the bone and causing gangrene. Other complications such as those involving the kidneys can pose a danger to the patient’s life since that would entail putting the patient on dialysis since the kidneys would be unable to perform the required function.
The end stage of such complications could have a negative effect on the diabetic’s physical and mental health. Hence, patients should inspect their hands and feet regularly and also keep any eye out for any other changes in their body, such as altered digestion, bladder or bowel routines. They should rush to their doctor immediately instead of waiting for complications to spiral out of control.
Hence, although end stage diabetic neuropathy can be quite painful and traumatic for diabetics, a strict testing routine and proper medical care upon detection can offer diabetics a chance to reverse or slow it down to a great extent. Avoiding smoking and alcohol too can help in this regard. Diabetics should realize that diabetic neuropathy needs to be taken seriously if they want to lead a healthy life.
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