The Link Between Diabetes and Neuropathy in Jacksonville FL
Whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you're relegated to a lifetime of constant monitoring and adjusting to make sure you keep your blood sugar levels optimal.
Diabetes puts you at risk for a long list of other health complications, including kidney damage, heart disease, and stroke. It can also lead to nerve damage, otherwise known as diabetic neuropathy.
While there's no cure for neuropathy, there are ways to slow its progression and manage the pain it causes. Our team of experts at Advanced Medical Centers in Jacksonville, Florida, specializes in treating and relieving the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy in Jacksonville FL so you can live your life as you wish.
Here's what you need to know about the connection between diabetes and neuropathy and what you can do about it.
What is the relationship between diabetes and neuropathy in Jacksonville FL?
When you have diabetes, your body has trouble with the hormone insulin. You either don't produce insulin at all (type 1) or your body is resistant to the insulin it does produce (type 2). Either way, this malfunction is dangerous because insulin regulates the glucose in your blood, also known as blood sugar.
Diabetics have chronically high blood sugar, which can wreak havoc throughout your whole system, including your nerves. This is where the link between diabetes and neuropathy lies. The elevated glucose destroys nerve fibers, particularly in your feet and eyes.
Why be concerned about diabetic neuropathy?
Diabetic neuropathy is a gradual process that affects up to 70% of all diabetics. If you keep your blood sugar under control diligently, you may be able to prevent neuropathy or at least delay its onset or slow it down. But if you let it go unchecked, here's what could happen:
- Tingling and numbness in your feet and hands
- Shooting pain or burning sensations
- Foot ulcers
If all that sounds manageable, you're right - until you hear what could happen next.
The symptoms we just listed are all due to decreased blood flow to your extremities and damage to the nerves. If you ignore your high blood sugar and don't regularly monitor the health of your limbs, the tissues in those areas may die, which might necessitate amputation.
Types of diabetic neuropathy
Your feet and hands are the most common victims when you have diabetes, but they're not the only ones. Nerve damage is categorized by the group of nerves involved, and each group is susceptible to damage from diabetes. Here are the most common types of neuropathy among diabetics.
Diabetes most often affects your peripheral nerves, the ones that control your motor movements. That's why you get mixed messages from your nerves in your feet, legs, hands, and arms.
With peripheral neuropathy, those nerves may feel like they're on fire when there's no heat source around. Or they may feel like there are pins and needles poking at them. Even worse, they may feel nothing at all.
When high blood sugar damages your autonomic nerves, it hits the areas of your body where you don't have conscious control, such as your bladder, digestive system, heart, lungs, and sex organs.
The results of autonomic neuropathy include trouble swallowing, diarrhea, constipation, sexual dysfunction, dizziness, and shortness of breath. Severe autonomic neuropathy is life-threatening.
If your nerve damage affects a very specific area, like your head, hand, or leg, you may have focal neuropathy. As the name implies, this type focuses on one body part. It often affects your wrist and hand in the form of carpal tunnel syndrome or your eyes, causing double vision, achiness, and the inability to focus.
Help for Diabetic Neuropathy
You don't have to live with the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy. We can help you overcome the pain and other sensations from interfering with your daily activities, and help you put the breaks on your diabetic neuropathy.
The first step is a commitment from you to keep your blood sugar under control. That means eating a diabetic-friendly diet, getting plenty of exercises, and not smoking.
We take an integrative approach to your neuropathy. Our team includes experts in various fields of health care to ensure you get the most effective treatment based on your individual needs, rather than the narrow perspective of a single approach.
We employ the benefits of chiropractic care, physical therapy, and regenerative medicine to decompress nerves, increase blood flow, promote healing, and relieve pain. No one technique works well for everyone, which is why we offer a broad spectrum of specialties here at Advanced Medical Centers.
If you have diabetes and want to find out more about diabetic neuropathy and your treatment options, give us a call to schedule an appointment at either of our two locations.