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Rein in sugar levels to prevent damage to nerves

Khaleej Times (United Arab Emirates)


Nov. 23--Patients with poor control of sugar and long history of diabetes are more vulnerable.

Diabetic neuropathy is nerve damage from high blood sugar in patients with diabetes. Any nerve or nerves of the body can be affected by this syndrome, explained Dr Sudhanshu Singh, Specialist Endocrinologist, Zulekha Hospital, Dubai.

Patients with poor control of sugar and long history of diabetes are more vulnerable. Many patients with long history of diabetes have damage in nerves but they may not have any symptoms.

Most common type of diabetic neuropathy affects feet and hands and is known as distal polyneuropathy. It affects the sensitivity of feet, legs, hands, and arms. Common symptoms are pain, tingling, burning, numbness, muscle weakness. Skin ulcers can happen because of loss of sensations. They may worsen with time and even become very big. This can even lead to amputation.

Another type, autonomic neuropathy affects urinary tract, digestive system, sex organs, sweat glands, eyes and heart. It presents with erectile dysfunction in men and sexual problems in women, bladder problems (loss of bladder control, frequent urinary tract infections), digestive system problems (bloating, nausea, vomiting, diarrheoa, constipation). Other common symptoms are postural dizziness (dizziness on standing).

So it is very important to consult the doctor as soon as possible if you have diabetes with numbness or pain in your feet, legs, hands, or arms, ulcer on your foot or leg that is not healing.

Good blood glucose control is very important to prevent any damage to nerves and if damage has already started, it can help in preventing further damage. It is very difficult to reverse damage which is already there but pain and burning symptoms can be treated. The problems related to diabetic neuropathy can be treated and prevented by sugar control, healthy diet, exercise, healthy weight, smoking and alcohol cessation.

You can prevent foot ulcers by following simple daily habits like checking feet by eyes with the help of mirror daily for any redness, bruises, blisters, cracked skin, calluses, cuts, and ulcer. Don't walk bare feet and always wear good fitting shoes and slippers, wash your feet with normal water.


(c)2013 the Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

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Copyright Khaleej Times (United Arab Emirates) 2013

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