Diabetic Neuropathy in Benson
Are you struggling with neuropathy or neuropathy from diabetes in Benson? Diabetic neuropathy is a disorder that begins due to damage of the peripheral nervous system. These are the smaller nerves used to feed electric to the parts away from the heart (feet, hands, legs, and/or organs). This condition is also known as peripheral neuropathy and generally occurs because blood supply is lost partially to the nerves. The nerve without proper oxygen and nutrients begins to degenerate. This damage occurs in Diabetics from high glucose in the blood by weakening and clogging small blood vessels. If the blood doesn't feed the nerves, they begin to decay and die. For example, if damage occurs in the sensory nerves of the feet, then a person’s sense of touch and warmth will be impaired. Generally, neuropathy creates pain, numbness and tingling in the extremities (hands and feet). There are several different causes of this condition, including:
- Diabetes and Prediabetes (The most common cause of peripheral neuropathy)
- Cholesterol medications (statins)
- Metabolic Disorders/ Inflammation
- Chemotherapy/ Toxins
- Lumbar and spinal problems
Misdiagnosis of Diabetic Neuropathy
Diabetic Neuropathy is often overlooked and misdiagnosed due to other symptoms like:
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Restless Leg Syndrome
- Clumsiness (self-diagnosed)
- Heel Spurs
- Fallen arches
- Carpal Tunnel
- High Blood Pressure
Though these are real diagnoses the underlying cause often is nerve death in those who have other neuropathy findings. They also can be secondary diagnoses induced from diabetic complications.
Types of Diabetic Neuropathy in Benson AZ
Diabetic neuropathy in Benson often creates painful sensations described as tingling, burning and prickling. With a condition such as this, a specific duration of pain varies. Diabetic neuropathy can be broken into several types. This is because we have different kinds of nerves in our bodies that serve different functions. Your symptoms and treatments depend on which type of diabetic neuropathy you have.
There are four types of diabetic neuropathy:
- Peripheral neuropathy (also called diabetic nerve pain and distal polyneuropathy)
- Proximal neuropathy (also called diabetic amyotrophy)
- Autonomic neuropathy
- Focal neuropathy (also called mononeuropathy)
1. Peripheral Neuropathy
Peripheral diabetic neuropathy goes by various names: peripheral diabetic nerve pain and distal polyneuropathy. In this Patient Guide, we’ll refer to it as peripheral diabetic neuropathy, or simply peripheral neuropathy.
Peripheral neuropathy is the most common form of neuropathy caused by diabetes. It affects nerves leading to your extremities—to your feet, legs, hands, and arms. The nerves going to your feet are the longest in your body: after they branch off the spinal cord in the lumbar region (low back), they have to go all the way down your legs and into the feet—quite a distance.
Because the nerves leading to your feet are so long, it’s most often these nerves that are damaged; there are more of them to be damaged. This nerve damage can lead to the foot problems often associated with diabetes, including foot deformities, infections, ulcers, and amputations. Call Sage Run Family Chiropractic today for help.
2. Proximal Neuropathy
Proximal neuropathy can also be called diabetic amyotrophy. That myo in the word means muscle, so this is a form of neuropathy that can cause muscle weakness. It specifically affects the muscles in the upper part of your leg(s), buttocks, and hips.
Sometimes, proximal neuropathy can also involve nerve pain, especially pain that shoots from the low back and down the leg. The technical medical term for that is radiculopathy, although most people refer to it as sciatica. If there’s also shooting nerve pain involved, this form of neuropathy can also be called polyradiculopathy-diabetic amyotrophy.
Proximal neuropathy is the second most common type of diabetic neuropathy (second only to peripheral diabetic neuropathy) in Benson. It usually affects elderly people with diabetes; as opposed to peripheral neuropathy, it usually resolves with time or treatment.
3. Autonomic Neuropathy
Autonomic nerves are supposed to keep your body running as it should. There are many functions that happen in your body without you thinking about them: your heart pumps, you breathe, and your stomach digests food. Those actions are controlled by the autonomic nervous system; it is also sometimes called the automatic nervous system.
The autonomic nervous system should maintain your body’s homeostasis, which is its normal, balanced state. If the autonomic nerves are damaged by the effects of diabetes—autonomic diabetic neuropathy—then your body may have trouble maintaining homeostasis.
Autonomic neuropathy can seem daunting because it can affect so many of your body’s systems, from your digestive tract to how well you can see. However, remember that your symptoms depend on what specific nerves in the autonomic nervous system are damaged.
4. Focal Neuropathy
All the types of diabetic neuropathy above—peripheral, autonomic, and proximal—are examples of polyneuropathy. Poly means that they affect many nerves. Focal neuropathy, by contrast, affects one specific nerve; it’s focused neuropathy. It can also be called mononeuropathy.
Focal neuropathy, which comes on suddenly, most often affects nerves in the head (especially ones that go to the eyes). It can also affect the torso and legs.
When focal neuropathy affects the legs, it has different symptoms than proximal neuropathy, which can also affect the legs. Proximal neuropathy, as you can read above, causes muscle weakness in the legs, and it may also cause shooting pain down the leg. Focal neuropathy, however, causes pain in very specific locations on the legs, which you can read more about in the symptoms article.
There is a better chance of improving the symptoms if proper treatment for an underlying condition is received. It is common to see the condition correlating with several life factors, such as poor nutrition, various diseases, trauma or pressure on the nerves. In some cases, there is an unknown cause. This is referred to as idiopathic neuropathy.
According to the Neuropathy Association, more than 20 million Americans are suffering from a form of neuropathy. That means that more people suffer from this one condition than Alzheimer’s, Epilepsy, Rheumatoid Arthritis, HIV, Parkinson’s Disease, and Multiple Sclerosis combined. Of those 20 million Americans suffering from neuropathy, an estimated 15-18 million of those people have this condition due to a form of diabetes. Diabetes and prediabetes affect 100 million Americans according to the CDC. Neurological symptoms can begin to arise in the prediabetes stage and progress to debilitating problems if left untreated.
Signs of Diabetic Neuropathy
Most commonly, peripheral neuropathy may start in the longest nerves — the ones that reach to your toes. Specific symptoms vary, depending on which types of nerves are affected. Signs and symptoms may include:
- Burning feet / foot and hand pain
- Sharp, jabbing or electric-like pain in the feet, legs and hands
- Extreme sensitivity to touch, even light touch in the feet / foot legs and hands
- Lack of coordination or balance problems
- Muscle weakness or paralysis if motor nerves are affected in the feet and hands
- Bowel or bladder problems if autonomic nerves are affected
These symptoms typically affect the feet/ foot, legs, and hands starting at the tips then moving upwards.
NOTE: Small Fiber Neuropathy is often mistaken for Plantar Fasciitis, Vascular Insufficiency, or Degenerative Lumbosacral Spine disease.
Causes of Neuropathy as a whole
There is not a single underlying cause for neuropathy. Benson Chiropractor David Kreinbrook explains that the most frequent diabetes and prediabetes represents the largest classification. Almost 70% of Americans with diabetes have developed a form of neuropathy due to the disease. Medical diagnosis often calls some neuropathies idiopathic which is of an unknown cause. The remaining percent of neuropathies is composed of a group called acquired neuropathies. Some of these can be mixed causes with diabetic neuropathy, thus accelerating the nerve damage faster than other diabetics. This group consists of causes such as:
- Poor nutrition and nutritional deficiencies
- Lumbar Nerve pressure
- Repetitive movements for extended periods of time
- Various autoimmune diseases
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Toxins in foods, water, etc.
- Heavy metal poisoning
- Various medications/Statins (cholesterol meds)
- Certain cancer treatments (Chemotherapy very common)
- Hereditary neuropathies (from inherited disorders)
- Other diseases
Who can Develop Diabetic Neuropathy?
Diabetic neuropathy can affect all people of all ages in Benson. The CDC states that over 100 million people in the United States are affected by Prediabetes and Diabetes. Our food and drink choices have created an epidemic level problem in metabolic systems. Nerves can be altered drastically from these choices. Type 1 Diabetes is suspected to be autoimmune related but type 2 has usually arisen due to diet primarily.
Diagnosis of Diabetic Neuropathy
This condition is generally a simple diagnosis to make. It seems complicated because it is not often that it is a disease present alone rather a symptom of an underlying disease. There is a process that occurs before the diagnosis is made. The process may consist of:
- Full medical history
- Physical exam
- Neurological exam
- Postural analysis
- Blood tests
- Nerve conduction test
- Toronto Scoring Test
- Thermal test
- Electric Response test
In some cases, a nerve biopsy may be requested by a physician.
Diabetic Neuropathy Medical Treatment Options
There have been several treatments developed for the treatment of neuropathies in Benson. Treatment options range from medications, creams, special diets and therapies. All these common treatments are designed to treat the symptoms and usually the pain. The most common course of treatment is prescription antidepressants to relieve pain in non-depressed patients. None of these current treatments tend to treat the underlying cause. Fewer yet help the imbalance and falls which increased greatly as we get above the age of 50.
Anticonvulsants are another choice of treatment used for neuropathies. A less favorable medication used is opioid narcotics. These are the most effective for alleviating the pain. Topical creams that may be used are lidocaine or capsaicin.
There are also few common therapies available. Often, they have proven the most benefit. Some being used:
- Dietary supplements to help nerve impedance
- Chiropractic adjustments
- Polychromatic low-level light therapy
- PEMF, Oxygen and electrotherapy
- Cold Laser
Proper nutrition is very important in preventing and managing diabetic neuropathy. This is especially true about diabetics who think diabetic medication will allow them to eat whatever they want without consequences. An exercise plan is highly recommended in the beginning phases of Neuropath. However, exercise is not recommended if the condition is stage 3 or 4. If you are currently a smoker, it is advised to quit. For relief at home, massaging your hands and feet will stimulate the nerves and relieve pain. It is also extremely important to avoid spending extensive periods of time on your knees or elbows in order to prevent further damage.
Estimated age-adjusted prevalence of diagnosed diabetes by race/ethnicity
and sex among adults aged >18 years, United States, 2013–2015
Our Approach to Diabetic Neurological damage
We have developed a set of protocols based on The Toronto Scoring methodology and a National Peripheral Neuropathy organization (NeuroTCA). More than 400 Doctors belong to this national organization. If we accept a patient in Benson who is a candidate for care, there is a proven track record of success. The cutting-edge non-invasive technologies coupled with experience in this condition have led to our treatments proving a 90% relief of pain in just 2 weeks! According to a study of 70 patients in 17 different clinics doing this methodology(Neuro TCA) reported 90% patient satisfaction rate at an average of 10.3 treatments. 8.6% were undecided at that point and only 1.43% were not satisfied. It should be noted that 100% of diabetic neuropathy sufferers were satisfied with care in the study. The undecided and 1 person unsatisfied had unknown cause not related to diabetes. We can determine how severe your diabetic neuropathy and will give you a print out of what stage neuropathy you have. We do not accept patients who are too severe to bring the nerves back. Nothing in Neuropathy is 100% or a grand slam, but we are happy to be at 90% and improving that since this 2009 study. Fortunately, our track record with diabetic neuropathy is beyond 90%. To find out if we could help your diabetic neuropathy or if you have this condition, we have a special offer on this page. Think of what you are missing in life and the cost of not getting the right help.
As always remember that if you have questions you can call the team at Sage Run Family Chiropractic in Benson for help.
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