Question:What are the nerve complications of diabetes and how are they treated?
Answer:Patients with diabetes, particularly after many years of diabetes, unfortunately often develop neuropathy. So, neuropathy is a disease of the nerves, and that most frequently presents with numbness and tingling of the hands and feet. This is a sensory form of neuropathy; in other words this is something the patient feels.
Sometimes the sensory neuropathy can present as pain in the hands and feet. This becomes a more challenging problem to ultimately make the patient feel better. However there are multiple medications that can be tried to see whether or not that pain can be relieved. Sometimes even improved glycemic control, in other words getting the blood sugar more regulated can improve the symptoms of neuropathy, but be careful here, because occasionally the symptoms can actually worsen when the diabetes controls improve, but then later on they do, in fact, get better.
The other forms of neuropathy can affect the autonomic nervous system, and the autonomic nervous system controls the heart rate, it controls the gastrointestinal tract, controls erectile function. So when disorders of the autonomic nervous system become apparent, ultimately symptoms of delayed stomach-emptying after eating, diarrhea or constipation, or erectile dysfunction may surface. And occasionally when severe, if patients get up too quickly, their heart rate may not respond to being upright, and therefore the patient may feel fainty upon arising.
So, these are just some of the complications that relate to neuropathy, and I do think that you should seek medical attention with your physician so that he or she can work with you to determine what medications might be useful.
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