The Connection Between Diabetes and Peripheral Neuropathy

Your nerves perform many essential functions in your body, including controlling muscle movement, regulating body functions, and delivering sensory information. Many illnesses and injuries can disrupt your nerves’ normal functioning, causing uncomfortable symptoms and significant long-lasting issues.

At Spinal Diagnostics, with offices in Tualatin and Newberg, Oregon, our focus is on making your life better through quality medical care that relieves your pain. Highly skilled and caring pain medicine doctors Dr. Robert HerosDr. Jason AndersonTyler Huntington, PA-C, and Debora Mitchell, NP, have the only practice in the area that focuses completely on treating neuropathic and spinal pain. They bring a wealth of experience to working with patients with peripheral neuropathy to relieve symptoms and develop an effective treatment plan. 

What is neuropathy?

Nerves are fibers that carry messages around your body. Neuropathy is a condition in which your nerves do not function normally. This is typically caused by damage to the nerves from an injury or disease. 

Neuropathy can affect your motor nerves that control muscle movement, your sensory nerves that deliver sensory information to your brain, or your autonomic nerves that control your functions such as your heartbeat and metabolism. Peripheral neuropathy is a type of neuropathy involving nerves that relay information between your brain and spinal cord and the rest of your body. 

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a condition in which your pancreas doesn’t make insulin, or your body doesn’t produce enough insulin. Insulin is a hormone that allows your body to process the energy in glucose stored in food and deliver it to your cells. In diabetes, the glucose remains in your blood, resulting in high blood sugar (hypoglycemia).

The connection between diabetes and peripheral neuropathy

When you have chronically high blood sugar levels, they can cause damage to the blood vessels that supply your nerves with nutrients. They can damage your nerve fibers as well. This damage results in nerves that don’t function correctly, a condition known as peripheral neuropathy.

Approximately 60 to 70% of people with diabetes develop peripheral neuropathy at some point. However, diabetes doesn’t necessarily result in peripheral neuropathy. With early diagnosis of diabetes and proper medical management, blood sugar levels can be properly managed, preventing peripheral neuropathy from developing. 

What are the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy?

Peripheral neuropathy may cause you to experience the following symptoms, typically in your legs, arms, feet, and hands:

  • Weakness
  • Painful sensations
  • Numbness
  • Tingling feeling
  • Burning sensations
  • Inability to feel temperature
  • Pain with touch

These symptoms are typically worse at night but can happen at any time. They usually occur on both sides of the body but may occur on only one side. 

Treatments for peripheral neuropathy

At Spinal Diagnostics, we provide you with the latest treatment options for peripheral neuropathy, including:

  • Lifestyle changes
  • Treatment for underlying conditions
  • Spinal cord stimulation
  • Medications
  • Dorsal root ganglion stimulation
  • Steroid injections

We understand that every patient is different and needs different treatments. We work closely with you to find the best options for you that relieve your symptoms and make you feel better.

Many people with diabetes develop peripheral neuropathy, a nerve condition that causes uncomfortable symptoms such as weakness, numbness, or tingling in the extremities. There are many treatment options for peripheral neuropathy that relieve your symptoms and allow you to function normally. 

To set up an appointment, call one of our offices or use our handy online booking tool to schedule a visit.

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