Neuropathy, My Enemy!
Neuropathy is a term used for nerve disease. This is serious as the nervous system controls everything the body does. This can cause pain and loss of feeling in the fingers, legs and feet. It also has an effect on the nervous system that has control over the heart rate, digestion, blood pressure and sexual function.
This condition is the chief contributor to amputation of the foot and leg. That is why we have to avoid this at all cost. Studies have shown that those who manage to control their condition intensively lower the risk by 60%. How else can we prevent this?
In addition to taking control of one's blood glucose level, there are other things we can do. Since we know that the nerves need steady supply of blood to do its work, we can stop smoking. We can also exercise regularly so that we can keep the nervous system in good working order. We can also avoid alcohol as it is known to be toxic to our nerves.
What are the signs and symptoms of neuropathy? When the sensory nerves are damaged, we may not feel the pain and temperature change. If it is the autonomic nerves that are damaged, our heart rate and level of perspiration increase and men may not be able to have an erection.
If the nerves that manage the muscles are damaged, then we lose strength and become weak. Most damages though are the sensory nerves in legs and sometimes in the arms. We may experience numbness or pain in the tips of the toes and fingers and over some months or years, they will spread upward. Here are those neuropathy symptoms:
- Burning pain
- Sensation of something crawling
- Aching and stabbing pain
- Numbness, pain, or a tingling feeling
That said, how is this condition treated? Reducing the symptoms is possible if the blood sugar level is under control. So, please, please work on this. I know it’s not easy but it is still better than the complications. We all know this, but still it is easier said than done. And I am kind of frustrated because all I can do is cheer you on. I wish I could do more!
The doctor may be able to prescribe a pain reliever or other medications to ease the hurt and the throbbing. Then there’s a non-prescription cream containing hot pepper extract that may help. It is called capsaicin. They say that it blocks the pain when this is rubbed on the skin.
It takes two to four weeks though from the first time you rubbed the cream before you can feel relief from that cream. And then it has to be applied everyday so that the pain will not come back. Other treatments to relieve the pain include biofeedback, relaxation techniques and acupuncture.
Now because neuropathy reduces the sensation to heat and cold, make sure you don’t burn yourself when taking a bath. The same is true when you use a heating pad or an electric blanket. And in the winter, take care that you don’t get frostbite.
Portage Lacks Diabetes Doctors
There is a shortage of doctors for diabetic patients but at least Robinson Memorial is taking steps to address this problem. They established a Diabetes Care and Education Center at its Kent Medical Arts building. They now have three American Diabetes Association-certified diabetes educators who provide information to newly diagnosed patients. This should be going on all over the country.
Neuropathy, Prevent the Complications
Neuropathy can be prevented by working with the physician to maintain tight control of the blood sugar. To help prevent complications, examine legs and feet every day, take care of the nails regularly, rub lotion on the feet if dry, wear properly fitted shoes and see a podiatrist for help if needed. Medicare covering expense for diabetic shoes is the latest news.
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