Many people suffer from diabetes; however, not all of them develop peripheral neuropathy. There are certain external and internal factors, which play great role in this co-morbid condition.
Moreover, this is one of the very specific illnesses that are related to diabetes. To explain diabetes peripheral neuropathy, you can simply imagine that your nerves are damaged because of diabetes.
The reason for this is the microangiopathy (destruction of the small blood vessels). In this condition the blood supplies of the nerves are damaged and the nerve can stop getting its vital ingredients from the blood. Therefore, little by little the nerve stops to function properly.
The myelin cover of the nerve is also damaged. This blocks the impulses that the nerve conducts and because of that the main function of the nerve, which is to conduct impulses is damaged. That’s how the communication between the nerve system and the other tissues is lost.
What are the nerves that go damaged more commonly?
Usually, in most cases in diabetics neuropathy, the distal nerves are damaged more compared to the nerves that are located in the upper extremities and in the thorax.
The nerves of the foot are damaged and because of that the first symptoms start from there. The first symptom is the lost of sensitivity. In most cases you will lose your tactile sensation. You will not feel touches and pain.
That’s why many people damage their limbs when they suffer from diabetes. They just do not feel any pain. However, your deep sensations are safe and they will not be affected. You will be able to feel vibration; you will have your descriptive sensation saved.
That explains why people with peripheral neuropathy do not lose their balance like those who suffer from a injury in the brain. Unlike sensation, the motor functions are relatively intact. People do not feel any weakness in their muscles. They muscle power is okay.
When you suffer from diabetes, this is one of the complications that you may expect. That’s why it is essential that you are aware of the symptoms listed above. If you are able to recognize them fast, you will be able to start the treatment right away and you will have bigger chances of protecting your nerves against further damage.
Losing tactile sensitivity in the lower extremities and especially the thumb is usually the first sing of this complication. This could progress and you may lose your sensitive of pain, tactile touch and temperature.
When you have diabetes, you must know that this is one of the things that could happen to you but diabetic peripheral neuropathy is a complication that can be regulated with the proper therapy and medical care.
Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy
Written by Dr.Albana Greca Sejdini, Md, MMedSc
Medically reviewed by Dr.Ruden Cakoni, MD, Endocrinologist