Are these statements valid for you?
• Sometimes you feel like you have socks or gloves when you do not
• Your feet are hurt at night.
• You feel like burning or shooting pain on your legs.
• Your feet are numb and you can not feel your feet when you walk.
People who experience feeling tingling, "pins and needles" or numbness in the legs may not think too much of these symptoms. However, if they persist, it may signal a condition known as neuropathy which can lead to greater problems.
Neuropathy refers to a medical condition where the nerves are destroyed. It is caused by a variety of reasons, such as diabetes, excessive alcohol consumption, genetic predisposition, infection, cancer, nutritional deficiencies, toxin exposure, chronic inflammation that involves nerves and other vague factors.
Among all, diabetes is the most widespread cause of neural damage. This condition is medically known as diabetic neuropathy. It occurs when a nerve or a group of nerves is damaged as a result of high blood glucose levels.
Here are some statistics on diabetic neuropathy:
Up to 50% of diabetics will suffer from diabetic neuropathy during their disease, according to a 2004 review entitled "Diabetic Sickle Neuropathy" published in Diabetes care.
According to a 2011 study entitled "Metabolic Correction in the Management of Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy: Improvement of Clinical Results beyond Control of Symptoms," published in Current Clinical Pharmacology, up to 50% of diabetics with diabetic neuropathy show no symptoms.
The prevalence of diabetic neuropathy increases with age and diabetic years. It begins at the pre-diabetic stage and 8% of diabetics already have diabetic neuropathy when diagnosed with diabetes, according to a 1993 study titled "The prevalence with graded severity of various types of diabetic neuropathy, retinopathy and nephropathy in a population population group: The study Rochester Diabetic Neuropathy, "published in Neurology.
Fifty percent of diabetics aged over 60 years have diabetic neuropathy, according to a 1993 study entitled "A multicenter study on the prevalence of diabetic peripheral neuropathy in the UK clinical hospital population" Diabetologia.
Fifty percent of diabetics are unable to characterize diabetic neuropathy as a complication of diabetes due to low awareness, according to a 2009 article entitled "Diabetes mellitus: Awareness of Diseases and Lifestyle Changes in Female Patients " Journal of the Postgraduate Medical Institute.
Only 28% of diabetics are aware that people with type 2 diabetes are more likely to suffer amputation than people without diabetes, according to a survey by ICM Research.
Foot care diabetes
Most people take care of the legs for granted. For diabetics, however, foot care is a serious issue that can cause unfortunate consequences if neglected.
This is due to the fact that nerve damage can cause reduced or loss of sensation in the legs, causing wounds and minor injuries to go unnoticed and become poorly drawn, infected or difficult to heal.
The healing process for diabetics is also endangered by poor circulation. Eventually, finger, leg or even lower leg foot mutilation may be necessary if treatment is no longer possible.
While you may be aware that diabetes can lead to amputation, you may not be aware that amputation is nerve damage. Amputation can be avoided with proper nerve care.
Other complications of diabetic neuropathy to be observed include common deformities, acute pain and extreme limb sensitivity, urinary tract infections, incontinence, low blood pressure, digestive problems, sexual dysfunction and eye complications.
Amputation and foot ulcer are common, serious diabetic problems that can be avoided or delayed if identified and treated early.
The American Diabetes Association recommends diabetic adults to make annual reports on the detection of diabetic neuropathy. Such projections include the history of the disease, a physical foot inspection and neurological and diabetic peripheral neuropathy tests.
There are five simple clinical trials for the diagnosis of peripheral neuropathy in the legs and arms, including the sense of folding and reflective analysis of the ankle, the vibration tests using a adjusting fork and biometrics.
Strict blood sugar control, proper dietary control, proper leg care, regular exercise, and smoking cessation are important in preventing or delaying neuropathy and related complications.
Vitamins B1, B6 & B12
Vitamins B, namely thiamine (vitamin B1), pyridoxine (vitamin B6) and cobalamin (vitamin B12), are used by the body to nourish and regenerate nerve processes.
Vitamin B1 is involved in energy metabolism, helps maintain myelin capsules covering the nervous axons and is used in the synthesis of key signaling molecules in the nervous system known as neurotransmitters.
Vitamin B6 is involved in the synthesis of neurotransmitters, while vitamin B12 is involved in nerve cell maturation and regeneration, nerve cell metabolism and nerve myelin formation.
In populations at risk for neuropathy, especially diabetics, early detection and treatment of neuropathy is vital to prevent irreversible damage to the nerves.