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Fall 2011
Volume 7, Issue 2
Health Chronicle
DIABETES
Neuropathy, or nerve damage, is a disorder that
reduces the ability of nerves to carry signals, or
messages, throughout your body. It can afect
almost 60 percent of people with diabetes.
Experts don’t know its cause. But they do know high
blood glucose can damage your nerves and the blood
vessels that carry oxygen to your nervous system.
There are diferent types of neuropathy. The most
common is peripheral neuropathy. This usually
damages the nerves in your feet. It also can afect
your arms, legs and hands.
Autonomic neuropathy damages the nerves in your
internal organs. It may damage the digestive
system, urinary tract, heart or sexual organs.
What Are the Symptoms?
Warning signs of peripheral neuropathy include:
●●
Tingling, burning or numbness in your arms,
hands, legs or feet
●●
Oversensitivity or loss of sensitivity to touch
●●
Problems with balance and coordination
Some symptoms of autonomic neuropathy include:
●●
Dizziness or fainting spells
●●
Vomiting, diarrhea or constipation
●●
Frequent bladder or kidney infections
●●
Impotence
Be sure to tell your doctor if you experience symptoms
Neuropathy: What You Need to Know
or think you are losing your sense of touch. Your doctor
can perform tests to check for the disorder.
Can I Prevent Neuropathy?
To lower your risk for nerve damage or slow it down:
●●
Keep your blood glucose level under control
●●
Exercise regularly*
●●
Maintain a healthy weight
●●
Take medication as prescribed
●●
Avoid smoking and drink alcohol only in
moderation
●●
Take care of your feet
Your doctor also can prescribe medications to treat
pain and symptoms and prevent more nerve damage.