Decoding Diabetic Neuropathy
Diabetic neuropathy is a serious condition that can affect
vital bodily functions. Treatment is available to improve
nerve function and help the patient get back to normal
Diabetic neuropathy refers to nerve damage caused by
diabetes. Around 60% of people diagnosed with diabetes
suffer some kind of nerve damage which could affect the
legs, eyes, feet or nerves controlling vital body functions
such as digestion, heart rate and blood pressure.
Types of Diabetic Neuropathy
It is important to know that diabetic neuropathy does not
refer to just a single kind of nerve damage. These are the
various diabetic neuropathy conditions and not all affect
every diabetic neuropathy patient. Here are the most typical
forms of neuropathy caused by diabetes:
• Peripheral neuropathy – As the term suggests, this
refers to diabetes affecting the peripheral nerves,
mostly of the legs and feet. It is characterized a kind of
tingling sensation or numbness, loss of sensation or a
burning sensation in lower legs and/or feet.
• Autonomic neuropathy affects the nerves controlling
blood pressure, heart rate, bowel and bladder
movements including digestion, sweating, and so on.
Low blood pressure, nausea, diarrhea, fainting, and
difficulty in swallowing are some of the symptoms.
• Femoral neuropathy deals with dysfunction of the
femoral nerve. This is a serious condition as the
individual would not have proper control while
walking and this would increase the risk of falls. There
would also be pain in the hip or groin and numbness
or a tingling sensation in the knee, calf and foot.
• Thoracic or lumbar radiculopathy occurs when nerves
exiting the spine are compressed or irritated. Pain,
particularly localized back and neck pain, are the
common symptoms. This kind of diabetic neuropathy
can also be caused by an infection or tumor.
• Neurogenic arthropathy, commonly called Charcot’s
Joint, is a degenerative condition that affects more
than a single joint and causes swelling, hemorrhage,
joint instability, heat as well as hypertrophic and
atrophic bone changes.
• Foot drop is another condition caused by diabetic
neuropathy. It causes inability in lifting the front part
of the affected foot causing the toes to drag through
the ground while walking.
Factors Causing Diabetics to Develop Nerve
So why does diabetes or increased blood glucose exposure
result in nerve damage? Though the causes are still being
researched intensively, the following contributory factors
have been identified:
• Metabolic factors – increased duration of the diabetic
condition, high levels of blood glucose, low insulin
levels (considered a possibility) and abnormally high
levels of blood fat.
• Autoimmune factors could also cause nerves to
• Neurovascular conditions are thought to be another
major cause of diabetic neuropathy. These affect the
blood vessels carrying vital nutrients and oxygen to
• Conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome in the
diabetic individual could cause mechanical injury to
• There could be genetically inherited traits which could
increase the risk of the individual incurring nerve
damage or disease.
• Finally, lifestyle factors have also been blamed for
increasing the risk of neuropathy in diabetic
individuals and these factors include alcohol use,
smoking and obesity.
Effective Diabetic Neuropathy Treatment
At a state-of-the-art multi-specialty healthcare center,
diabetic neuropathy evaluation involves various
neurological tests based on the symptoms experienced by
the patient. EMG (electromyography) is also performed to
determine where and what level of sensation is lost. The
treatment plan would include chiropractic care as well as
nerve pain relief treatment.
Chiropractic and Nerve Pain Relief
Chiropractic adjustments help correct spinal misalignments.
Chiropractic treatment can help activate the nervous system
enabling it to perform better and improving the
transmission of signals from the brain to the body and back.
Nerve pain relief treatment consists of methods to reduce
symptoms and repair the nerves via tricyclic
antidepressants, narcotic pain medication as well as opiods
and other drugs like opiods. Medication is administered
based on the specific diabetic neuropathy condition,
symptoms, and general health of the patient.