Lifestyle diseases such as diabetes affect millions of people in the United States. While diabetes can be managed, patients with this condition may develop complications, including diabetic neuropathy in Baltimore, which involves nerve damage. This complication resulting from diabetes mainly affects nerves in your legs and feet. The symptoms depend on the type of diabetic neuropathy you have. Below are the various symptoms and the types of diabetic neuropathy.
This type of diabetic neuropathy affects nerves in your stomach, heart, bladder, eyes, and sex organs. Damage to these nerves may result in various symptoms that include:
- Digestive problems such as vomiting, nausea, heartburn, diarrhea, constipation, and frequent feelings of hunger
- Hypoglycemia unawareness
- High blood pressure
- Urinary tract infections
- Low sex drive
Peripheral neuropathy or distal symmetric peripheral neuropathy affects your legs and may proceed to your arms and hands. Symptoms include:
- Numbness or reduced response to stimuli such as pain and temperature changes
- Joint pain in your foot. You may also develop ulcers and infections.
- Muscle weakness and cramping
- Uncomfortable tingling or burning sensations
These symptoms may worsen during the night.
This type of diabetic neuropathy affects the nerves in your hips, buttocks, thighs, and legs. You may experience the symptoms on one side of your body, and spreading to the other side. This condition may also affect the nerves in your abdominal and chest area. You may experience symptoms such as:
- Intense stomach pain
- Sudden and severe pain in your thighs, hips, and buttocks
- Weakness in your thigh muscles that may make standing difficult
- Weight loss
Focal neuropathy or mononeuropathy
This condition causes nerve damage to a specific area. The two types of focal neuropathy include peripheral and cranial. This type of diabetic neuropathy may lead to symptoms that include:
- Soreness and pain in your foot or wrist gradually developing over several weeks and months
- Double vision
- Muscle weakness in your hands
- Numbness and tingling sensations in your fingers except for your pinkie
- Pain around one of your eyes
How is diabetic neuropathy treated?
Treatment for diabetic neuropathy helps relieve pain, slows the disease’s progression, and restores function as there is no established cure for this condition.
Your doctor may recommend pain-relieving medications. However, these drugs may not work for everyone. Examples include:
- Anti-seizure drugs. Medications such as gabapentin and pregabalin used to treat seizure disorders may help minimize nerve pain. There are different side effects that you may experience when using these drugs, including dizziness and swelling.
- Tricyclic antidepressants such as desipramine, amitriptyline, and imipramine may help mild to moderate nerve pain. While under these medications, you may have a dry mouth and become drowsy. Other types of antidepressants include serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Side effects associated with these antidepressants include constipation, nausea, and reduced appetite level.
Depending on the neuropathy-related complication you have, your doctor may refer you to a specialist to help improve digestive problems, urinary tract problems, and sexual dysfunctions.
While your doctor helps manage your condition, it is essential to keep your blood pressure under control and make healthy food choices to reduce your symptoms. If you have further questions about diabetic neuropathy, schedule a session with your specialist at CHOICE Pain and Rehabilitation Center to learn more.