Diabetics need to be aware of the long-term effects of diabetes. In addition to monitoring blood glucose levels, following a healthy and fat-free diet and exercising regularly, they should also watch out for any organs such as their hands, feet, eyes, etc that might start showing signs of weakness, pain or numbness. If diabetics are afflicted with diabetic neuropathy, then they should certainly understand the relation between diabetic neuropathy and ot.
Fluctuating blood sugar levels can cause poor blood circulation and nerve damage to various organs in a diabetic’s body including the lungs, kidneys, heart, eyes, hands, feet, finger, toes, etc. The signals that are given by the brain to these specific organs too get diluted or confused as they try to reach the specified organ. This results in diabetic neuropathy, which manifests itself in four different ways. While autonomic neuropathy can affect the nerves related to the lungs, eyes and heart, it can also cause malfunctions in the patient’s bowel and bladder movements and also result in sexual maladies. Focal neuropathy can affect a group of nerves leading to any organ in the body and cause sudden pain or weakness to the diabetic person. Proximal neuropathy can affect the hips, thighs and buttock region and can thus cause weakness in the legs. Peripheral neuropathy too is related to the hands, feet, fingers and toes, and can cause burning or cutting pain along with numbness in these areas.
All these symptoms can result in problems related to digestion, vision, walking and running. Diabetics that notice any changes in their digestive or sight routine, or notice tingling or numbness in their arms or legs should immediately rush over to their doctor instead of waiting till a very late stage, when recovery might be very difficult. In addition to medications or surgery, doctors might also suggest alternative treatments such as antioxidants including alpha lipoic acid, which has shown positive results in trials in Europe. This treatment can be used on humans and pets including dogs, horses, etc but excluding cats since their liver reacts in a toxic manner with this antioxidant.
Doctors might also ask patients to go in for a physical therapy [pt] routine along with occupational therapy [ot]. While physical therapy would concentrate on strengthening the patients muscles and increasing their mobility, ot would concentrate more on teaching the patient to become more self sufficient in his or her own care. Ot would hence include teaching diabetics to improve their motor skills, take additional care while walking on various uneven surfaces and remind them to change their positions, such as standing up from a sitting position, etc, in a fluid manner so as to avoid balance-related problems. Patients will also need to remain adequately hydrated so that they do not suffer from bouts of dizziness or weakness due to dehydration.
Hence, a pt and ot routine will enable diabetics to develop stronger muscles and retain their balance while walking or running, or even changing their position. The relation between diabetic neuropathy and ot is vital, and diabetics need to understand it thoroughly if they want to remain safely active and healthy for a long time.
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