For those of us with diabetes, diabetic neuropathy is a commonly talked about condition. Even if your diabetes is well controlled, it’s always good to know what the signs and symptoms are of conditions that you are more likely than others to develop. Arming yourself with knowledge is the best ally in prevention and the best defense in catching it early on!
Diabetic neuropathy, as the name implies, is the occurrence of neuropathy in an individual with diabetes. Neuropathy is when the nerves are diseased or dysfunctional, which can cause various symptoms ranging from weakness to numbness in the extremities. There are four different types of neuropathy: peripheral, autonomic, radiculoplexus, and mononeuropathy. According to the statistics, at least half of diabetic individuals will experience peripheral neuropathy in their lifetime. When a person with diabetes suspects they have peripheral neuropathy, studies have shown that the following symptoms are the most commonly experienced:
- Tingling, burning, freezing, prickling, or stabbing sensations.
- Heightened sensitivity to hot and cold, vibrations, or touch.
- Weakened muscle movements or instability.
- Dizziness, lightheadedness, or digestive issues.
For many people with peripheral neuropathy, the tingling, burning, or sensations of numbness commonly start out slow in their extremities and spread upwards from the fingers or toes. A heightened sensitivity to temperatures, vibrations, or touch can be especially dangerous when paired with weakness in the muscles and dizziness — so it’s no surprise that many folks with peripheral neuropathy may experience falling more frequently as their symptoms arise. What comes as a surprise to many people who are diagnosed with diabetic peripheral neuropathy is that their increase in sweating and bladder or bowel problems were indicative of neuropathy developing. Knowing these symptoms can help you or a loved one identify neuropathy early on!
If any of these signs or symptoms sound familiar to you, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Ask Dr. Scott McKinney at your next appointment what options are available for you. Send us a message or call us today at (713) 946-1500 to get penciled in at one of our 8 convenient locations in the Houston area and surrounding towns.