Neuropathy is one of the major consequence of type 2 diabetes.
Every diabetes sufferer will experience this problem sooner or later, and it can manifest anywhere in the body.
In this article, you will learn 9 symptoms of neuropathy in type 2 diabetes patients along with tips on treating it.
What is neuropathy in type 2 diabetes?
To explain the term "neuropathy in diabetes" we need to focus in the individual words: "diabetes" and "neuropathy," and in that order.
With diabetes, there is a problem with the regulation of blood sugar.
When you eat or drink something that contains a lot of sugars/carbs (carbohydrates), sugar enters your body. In a healthy person, the action of the hormone insulin ensures that these sugars are transported to the cells of your body to provide them with energy.
Although this literally means "disease of the nervous system" in Greek, neuropathy (sometimes called "peripheral neuropathy") only affects nerves outside the brain.
The condition can lead to all kinds of nasty problems.
Neuropathy has a number of causes. So, if you're diagnosed with neuropathy, you can't automatically conclude that you have type 2 diabetes.
Different causes of neuropathy include:
Purpose of this article
If your doctor discovers you have neuropathy, it may be due to one of the causes listed above. However, (pre)-diabetes is by far the most common cause.
That's why I'll be giving you 9 symptoms of diabetic neuropathy in this article. I'll also be explaining exactly what diabetic neuropathy is and what increases your chances of getting the disease.
How is neuropathy diagnosed?
Simple. Visit your doctor and tell him about your medical history. If you have diabetes or pre-diabetes, he is probably aware of it. Otherwise, he will do a test, measuring the HbA1c in your blood, for example. Or he may give you the so-called "glucose tolerance test," which measures how your body responds to a large amount of sugar.
Research shows that if you score above 7.8 mmol/L on a tolerance test, you are in the danger zone.
7.8 mmol/L is the point where damage to your organs and your nerves begins to occur.
Neuropathy in diabetes is also often symmetrical. which is generally not the case with neuropathy in non-diabetic patients.
Meaning that if you have neuropathy in your left foot, you will often have it in your right foot as well.
How does diabetic neuropathy develop?
Elevated blood sugar levels cause your capillaries to become clogged with sugar molecules, which affects your nerves. .
At first, you can feel pain. But in cases with severe damage, you can lose all feeling completely.
You may think that "not feeling" is better than "pain," but this is not the case:
Which nerves are sensitive to neuropathy in diabetes?
All the nerves in your body can be affected. But usually, the damage starts with a number of specific nerves. As a result, you get several characteristic symptoms. More about this later.
Generally speaking, there are three recognized forms of neuropathy:
This relates to the peripheral nerves. Symptoms present themselves in the skin, arms and legs. But you also have difficulty using your muscles and with overall coordination.
You often notice these problems first. It starts with loss of feeling in your limbs. The inability to feel the pain and discomfort of open wounds and ill-fitting shoes increases your chances of developing a diabetic foot.
This form mainly affects how your organs work. If you experience this form of neuropathy, you will notice that your stomach, intestines, bladder and genitals do not work as they used to.
This often causes you to lose control over the specific organ or function. Think of becoming impotent or suffering from incontinence.
NEUROPATHY OF THE NERVES IN THE BRAIN
Your brain is responsible for the functioning of your senses and much much more.
Because your eyes are connected to your brain you can, for example, experience loss of vision or facial paralysis and pain. The closer the symptoms are to your head, the greater the chances that cranial neuropathy will occur in the near future.
What increases the chances of detecting neuropathy?
Regular testing for diabetic neuropathy is essential.
This can happen during your annual check-up and would usually focus on diagnosing a numbness in the feet. Or you can ask to be checked during a medical pedicure.
If your doctor never talks about the topic, be sure to mention it yourself. Diabetic neuropathy is serious. The sooner you diagnose it, the better.
You will then be able to do something about it, including using my tips to reverse your diabetes.
High blood sugar is the dominant factor likely to lead to diabetic neuropathy. (I'll be giving you a detailed overview of how to reduce this when we discuss the [natural] treatment options later in this blog). In addition to high blood sugar, several other risk factors increase the chances of developing neuropathy:
The latter deserves a little more explanation.
Aging and neuropathy in diabetes
You are unlikely to get severe diabetic neuropathy if you have a high blood sugar level just once or twice in your life. But if you have high blood sugar for an extended period of time, the damage is pretty much guaranteed.
If you do not follow my advice to cure your diabetes, you will be exposed to unhealthy high blood sugar levels as you get older.
If you think you can live with less feeling in your toes, then you are not taking this disease seriously enough. If you don't do anything about it, it is more than likely that your foot will have to be amputated.
This is just one of the many severe complications of diabetic neuropathy. Below, you will find a list of nine symptoms of diabetic neuropathy. I will explain how these can manifest and the consequences you can expect.
Symptom 1: Stiffness and muscle pain in your legs
Before you get numbness in your feet or legs, a period of stiffness and muscle pain usually precedes. This is a vital sign that something is wrong with your nerves.
There should be no other possible explanation for these symptoms. If you have run a marathon or cycled the Tour de France, it is understandable that you have a bit of muscle pain. But if you have been a couch potato for the past months and suddenly experience muscle pain, something is not quite right.
Vascular claudication is a phenomenon of diabetic neuropathy. It causes pain while walking, which forces you to take regular breaks to ease the pain.
The pain is caused by too little oxygen going to the bone tissue.
The oxygen is blocked by the many sugars that clog the small capillaries.
If you have diabetes and notice these symptoms, pay close attention to your blood sugar level. Is it often above 7.8 mmol/L? Then you are regularly in the danger zone and the chances are that your symptoms will only get worse.
Follow my step-by-step plan to reverse your diabetes by clicking here. You should also visit your doctor to have your legs examined and find out whether or not there are any other symptoms you might have missed.
Do you find this article helpful? Click on one of the buttons to share it!
Symptom 2: A numb feeling in your feet
This is the classic symptom of diabetic neuropathy and something that every doctor looks out for.
Numbness is a symptom of a diabetic foot. This is a severe complication that can lead to your foot having to be amputated.
However, a lot can happen before amputation becomes necessary, and it can be avoided altogether if you take the numb feeling seriously and bring it to your doctor's attention as soon as it becomes apparent.
Symptom 3: Not noticing wounds
Because of the numb feeling in your foot, you might not notice a wound. This is a big problem.
Because you don't experience any pain, you won't notice a wound that is deteriorating into something with extremely serious implications.
The wound can easily become infected and if left unnoticed and untreated, the tissue will die.
Also, wounds don't usually heal properly if you have diabetes. This isn't necessarily due to diabetic neuropathy. It could also be the result of clogged up blood vessels.
Waste products are not removed and oxygen cannot be supplied to healthy tissue. As a result, your body can't do what it would normally do to heal the wound.
Your immune system cannot respond to a problem in an area where the nerves no longer work because the nerves cannot transmit signals to summon the immune system.
So your body doesn't do anything proactive to heal the wound. Thus making the healing process go even slower.
Symptom 4: Impotence
Of course the last thing you need is being unable to making love anymore. But it is a common consequence of neuropathy and diabetes.
One in three male patients will suffer from it.
That is not a pleasant prospect. And it will in most cases express itself in a short or half limp erection.
In more severe cases, you will not get an erection at all.
Another variant is that you ejaculate without fluids. In that case, one of the nerves is no longer working properly, causing the circular muscle in the penis to close. As a result, the sperm does not come out. The sperm will end up in your urine in the form of flakes or clouds.
Symptom 5: Sexual problems as a woman
Women do not have a penis, so they can not have erectile dysfunction. This does not mean that women get away with diabetic neuropathy and sexual disorders.
First of all, there are practical and hygienic problems, such as not being able to get wet and getting a fungal infection.
That is pretty inconvenient but not insurmountable.
It is much more difficult if you have no feeling in and around your private parts. This happens when the nerves are damaged. You will no longer experience physical sensations during sex.
Symptom 6: Gastroparesis
This is a complicated word for delayed stomach emptying. The literal translation of gastroparesis is gastric paralysis. Although paralysis of the stomach occurs in some cases, the symptoms often start milder.
For example, you can suffer from:
Often the cause is a damaged nerve which is responsible for stomach movement and emptying.
When it stops working correctly, your food will take a much longer time to go to your intestines.
It may lead your doctor to propose that you only eat mashed or liquid foods.
You don't feel like drinking smoothies your entire life? Then read my article on how to reverse type 2 diabetes within a couple of weeks.
Symptom 7: An impaired immune function
A numb feeling in your feet sounds innocent. And maybe you do not have impotence or gastric paralysis.
But if you find yourself suffering from the symptom above, then you pretty much know that other nerves in your body are also damaged.
One of the most severe damages you can have is damage to your:
"vagus nerve", also called the "wandering nerve".
This nerve is responsible for controlling many autonomic (parasympathetic) processes in your body.
The wandering nerve runs from the brain stem to the organs. And therefore it affects many parts of the body.
What this nerve also does, is regulating your immune system.
The vagus nerve also affects the following organs:
Diabetic neuropathy is likely to damage this nerve. As a result, many organs can no longer perform their function correctly.
Symptom 8: Double vision
I mentioned earlier that your eyes could suffer if you have diabetes.
In fact, diabetes is one of the most important causes of visual impairment and blindness in the Western world.
This has to do with diabetic retinopathy, which means "disease of the retina".
With diabetic retinopathy, the small blood vessels in the eye are damaged by the sugars. This, strictly speaking, has nothing to do with your nerves. So I will leave this for another time.
Another complication however that also has to do with your eyes is the loss of control over your eye muscles.
This can happen if a nerve in your brain gets damaged.
As a result, you can feel pain and have double vision in the long run.
Symptom 9: A balance disorder
Your body gives signals to your brain. They are used to determining where you are and stand in a room. As a result, your brain can prevent you from constantly falling over or bumping into things.
If the nerves are affected by neuropathy, they will no longer transmit signals to the brain properly. As a result, signals that are received into the brain are not recognized correctly.
Think for example of the placement of the feet. If this mechanism is disrupted, the following things will happen more frequent:
In severe cases, balancing becomes very difficult. Consequences of this are dizziness, nausea and problems with your mobility.
Treatment tips of diabetic neuropathy
The treatment of diabetic neuropathy is aimed at preventing further deterioration and reducing the current symptoms. This will only be possible if you visit a doctor or a medical pedicure every now and then.
You should certainly do this. Airing your complaints to a medical specialist is essential. No one can get away with self-diagnosing using Wikipedia, or by googling a bunch of symptoms.
But there is a method to improve your diabetes within six weeks. This can often lead to a reduction in your diabetic neuropathy.
The Diabetes-Free Secret to solve the neuropathy?
it has recently been discovered that it is possible to reverse type 2 diabetes. Everything you need to do this can be found in your local grocery store.
You can reverse type 2 with one powerful principle. It's something I call"The Diabetes-Free Secret". I have written a number of pages about this secret that will change your life forever. You will learn:
Enter your e-mail address below and I will send you the E-book for free.
PS: What do you do to improve your diabetic neuropathy? Leave a comment below