Diabetic neuropathy pathophysiology seeks to uncover the various mysteries that lead diabetics towards the dangerous path of various diabetic neuropathies which can create havoc with their organs and in essence, their well-being. Since the causes and symptoms sometimes overlap with other diseases, forming a firm conclusion is quite difficult and this also affects the treatment process accorded to such diabetic patients.
Diabetics that suffer from type I and type II diabetes for a longer period of time might slowly drift towards diabetic neuropathy. This disease affects different organs of the body due to the damage caused to nerves and poor blood circulation which in turn is due to the body normally being in a hyperglycemic state, i.e. when blood sugar levels remain on a higher side. This state disturbs the structure and transport of vital cells, stripping nerves of their protective coating and damaging them as sugar levels continue to remain high, which is further accelerated if cholesterol levels also remain on the higher side. This affects the organs that are dependent on these nerves while poor blood supply complicates matters further.
This results in impaired organs that slowly lose their ability to function effectively and if not treated on time, might lose complete activity. Diabetic neuropathy affects many vital organs including the heart, lungs, eyes, kidneys, hands, feet, toes and fingers, among others. Depending on the organs affected or activities disturbed such as bowel or bladder movements, they are assigned appropriate names such as Focal, Peripheral, Proximal or Autonomic neuropathy. When the motor fibers of external organs such as hands, legs, feet or fingers are affected, then this condition manifests in the form of searing or cutting pain along with numbness as oxygen-starved nerves slowly degenerate.
Patients that complain of such symptoms are then made to undergo tests such as electromyography or emg and other nerve reaction tests to determine the extent of damage done to different organs. Treatments include surgery and different medications as well as localized applications, depending on the organ affected by diabetic neuropathy. While standard medicines include antidepressants, anticonvulsants and topical creams, alternative medicines such as alpha lipoic acid, which is an antioxidant available in capsule form too has shown positive results in alleviating pain and helping to balance blood glucose levels in diabetic patients. Physical therapy or pt and occupational therapy or ot is also advised to patients that need to maintain vital muscle mass and lower their fat and cholesterol levels. Patients that reach hospitals while the disease is in its nascent stage can expect some form of reversal in their conditions depending on the organ affected but patients that rush to their doctor at a very late stage can only expect to slow down the ravaging disease.
Although there are different theories about the pathophysiological routes taken to reach the state of diabetic neuropathy by a diabetic patient, the fact remains that early detection, strict blood glucose control along with a diet that lowers fat and cholesterol levels along with adequate exercise could delay the onset of this debilitating complication of diabetes. While the search for the elusive diabetic neuropathy pathophysiology continues, patients would need to realize the importance of regular checkups along with maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
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