Diabetic neuropathy is a serious complication that arises in individuals with diabetes, impacting the peripheral nerves and causing a range of symptoms. This condition is multifaceted, and understanding its various aspects is crucial for effective management.
Diabetic neuropathy is a type of nerve damage resulting from prolonged high blood sugar levels in individuals with diabetes. It primarily affects peripheral nerves, leading to complications in various parts of the body.
• Peripheral Neuropathy: The most common type, causing pain or loss of sensation in the extremities.
• Autonomic Neuropathy: Affecting the nerves that control vital functions, leading to issues in the heart, digestive system, and more.
• Proximal Neuropathy: Often called diabetic amyotrophy, causing muscle weakness and pain in the hips and thighs.
• Focal Neuropathy: Affecting specific nerves, resulting in sudden, localized pain or muscle weakness.
▪︎ Peripheral Neuropathy Symptoms:
• Numbness or tingling in the feet or hands.
• Sharp, burning pain.
• Sensitivity to touch.
▪︎ Autonomic Neuropathy Symptoms:
• Digestive issues.
• Cardiovascular problems.
• Bladder dysfunction.
▪︎ Proximal Neuropathy Symptoms:
• Severe pain in the thighs, hips, or buttocks.
• Weakness in legs.
▪︎ Focal Neuropathy Symptoms:
• Sudden, intense pain.
• Muscle weakness in specific areas.
Prolonged exposure to high blood sugar levels damages nerves over time.
Other factors include inflammation, genetics, and lifestyle choices.
Risk Factors –
• Poorly controlled blood sugar levels.
• Duration of diabetes.
• Foot Ulcers and Infections:
Numbness increases the risk of injuries going unnoticed.
• Charcot’s Joint:
Weakening of bones in the feet, leading to deformities.
• Digestive Issues:
Gastroparesis, a condition affecting stomach function.
• Cardiovascular Problems:
Autonomic neuropathy can impact heart rate and blood pressure.
• Comprehensive medical history and physical examination.
• Neurological assessments to check reflexes, sensation, and muscle strength.
• Nerve conduction studies and electromyography to measure nerve function.
• Blood tests to evaluate blood sugar levels.
• Blood Sugar Management:
Strict control to prevent further nerve damage.
• Pain Management:
Medications for pain relief, including analgesics and anticonvulsants.
• Physical Therapy:
Exercises to improve muscle strength and flexibility.
• Lifestyle Modifications:
Healthy diet, regular exercise, and smoking cessation.
Depending on symptoms, medications like antidepressants or antispasmodics may be prescribed.
Ayurvedic Treatment –
As per Ayurveda, the main doshas that are involved in diabetic neuropathy are vata and pitta dosha. As we are known in ayurveda diabetes is correlated with prameh. The symptoms of diabetic neuropathy like paraesthesiae, pain and tingling sensation are indicating the involvement of vata dosha. Whereas burning sensation is because of vitiation of pitta dosha.
Ayurveda uses few precious herbs to cure diabetic neuropathy, which are identified by our ancestors before many decades. Some of the herbs are:
It is also referred as Indian Ginseng is the best herb which has many medicinal effects and mainly used for ailing the disorders of nervous system. This herb acts on the nerves and also improves the strength and physical stamina. It also used for relieving the pain over the calf muscles, loss of weight because of diabetes, neuropathy, stress, frequent urination and nerve exhaustions.
Itis an herb used in Ayurveda as a treatment for several diabetic complications. It treats not diabetic neuropathy, but also cures diabetic nephropathy and retinopathy. It acts as a best remedy for several chronic infections and inflammations. It has been noted that it has a calming effect on the nervous system thus it can also be used for the for diabetic neuropathy
Some therapies for diabetic neuropathy
In this therapy, the whole body is massaged gently with the medicated oil to improve the circulation of blood, causes nerve stimulation effect and also relieves stress. They concentrate mainly on the foot (Padabhyanga) which is commonly affected in neuropathy.
Deep relaxation and revitalisation of the central nervous system is achieved in it which is found to get affected in neuropathy.It can alleviate mental and emotional stress and facilitates the unfolding of clarity and bliss.
Itis a process done for the problems of nervous system and other neck problems by applying special type of medicated steaming.
By combining oil and heat therapy, pizhichil is used to enhance blood circulation and simultaneously release toxins from the body. It is one of the major parts of Panchakarma in ayurveda. The medicated oil is squeezed out from the cloth onto the patient’s body followed by a rejuvenating massage.
Kizhi means bolus or a poultice referring to a cloth ball. Navarakizhi treatment makes use of rice that is cooked and filled in a cotton bolus. Medicated oil is applied to the bolus and this is used to massage the body gently to create sweat. The navarakizhi in ayurveda treatment helps to remove toxins from the body and helps provide relief from stress and neuro problems.
In conclusion, Diabetic neuropathy is a complex condition with various types and symptoms, making its management challenging. Early diagnosis, coupled with meticulous blood sugar control and a comprehensive treatment approach, can significantly improve outcomes and enhance the quality of life for individuals affected by this condition. Regular monitoring and collaboration with healthcare professionals are essential components of managing diabetic neuropathy effectively.
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