The nature of pain in diabetes
Diabetes mellitus is accompanied by many different complications. One of them is associated with a violation of the work of some parts of the nervous system and is called diabetic neuropathy. It has many symptoms that can significantly complicate the normal course of a person’s life. Are there effective ways to alleviate this disease at home? To answer this question, it is necessary to understand the causes and features of its development.
Causes of pain in diabetes
Diabetic neuropathy is a fairly common occurrence that accompanies diabetes mellitus. It is diagnosed in every second or third patient. The condition is characterized by a decrease in the sensitivity of the extremities, as well as a number of autonomic disorders and malfunction of the urogenital system.
This manifestation of diabetes mellitus (if there are no other factors in the development of neuropathy) is usually said when there are signs of damage to certain parts of the nervous system that control the organs of the human body. The disease is characterized by a large variety of symptoms, which is why doctors in a wide variety of fields (from neurologists, cardiologists, endocrinologists to dermatologists) deal with diabetic neuropathy.
The causes of this complication of diabetes include pathological conditions, the appearance of which is due to the defeat of small blood vessels in the human body. The capillaries undergo the first destruction. And the multiple metabolic disturbances that occur on this background, contribute to the development of edema of nerve tissues, difficult passage of nerve impulses, cell damage as a result of increased oxidation, and many other destructive processes that lead to the death of nerve endings.
The reasons contributing to the development of the disease are also the patient’s age, the duration of diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure, the presence of obesity and bad habits.
Symptoms of diabetic neuropathy – complications of diabetes
In diabetic neuropathy, its initial symptoms appear only after some time. Until a certain point, the work of the damaged nerves is performed by healthy ones. The nerve endings of the limbs are affected first, since the nerve fibers in these areas have a greater length.
Symptoms also depend on exactly what part of the nervous system is affected by the disease. It should be noted that the peripheral departments are more susceptible to this disease, therefore the following types of neuropathy are distinguished:
This complication of diabetes corresponds to a symmetrical lesion of sensory nerves on the face or limbs. Symptoms of this neuropathy are:
- high susceptibility to stimuli (tingling, burning, paresthesia) due to improper transmission of nerve impulses from the affected nerves;
- incorrect responses to external stimuli (painful sensations may arise in response to light tactile touches, or noise in the ears may appear in bright light);
- decrease or complete loss of sensitivity of the hands and feet.
This type of neuropathy in patients with diabetes mellitus causes the destruction of the motor nerves that transmit signals from the brain to the muscle fibers. It is characterized by:
- certain instability when walking;
- disorders of the vestibular apparatus;
- the deterioration of the mobility of the joints (due to edema and deformities caused by improper circulation);
- a decrease in muscle tone in the limbs (the swelling of the muscles is replaced by a decrease in their physical volume, and then complete atrophy).
Patients with diabetes, complicated by this type of neuropathy, are faced with disruptions in the functioning of the internal organs, which are caused by the malfunctioning of the corresponding section of the nervous system. Symptoms of this complication are:
- malfunctions of the digestive system (problems with swallowing food, abnormal stool, belching, vomiting);
- abnormalities in the urogenital system (rare and inadequate emptying of the bladder, impotence in men);
- disorders of the cardiovascular system (arrhythmia, pressure surges increase the risk of developing a heart attack);
- deterioration of the skin (hyperhidrosis for a change, which comes from excessive dryness of the skin, as well as the rapid development of the inflammatory process at the site of a severe injury);
- blurred vision (manifested in the dark).
Prevention of pain in patients with diabetes
Diabetes mellitus is a potentially fatal disease that affects hundreds of millions of people every year. One of its manifestations is diabetic neuropathy. She needs not only constant monitoring of blood sugar levels, but also the introduction of certain changes in the usual way of life. These preventive measures that facilitate the manifestation of some symptoms include.
- Warm bath
This is one of the simplest techniques that relieves the painful sensations experienced by diabetics. Heat allows you to get rid of stress, relax, and improve blood circulation in the area of damaged nerves. It is recommended to take warm baths twice a day (for 20 minutes). For an extra relaxing effect, you can add a handful of sea salt to the water.
- Regular exercise
In order for diabetes and its manifestations to have a lesser impact on the usual way of life, sufficient attention should be paid to physical activity. Properly chosen exercises (such as swimming or walking) help reduce blood sugar levels, increase pain tolerance, and improve circulation in the limbs.
Self-massage is another effective remedy that can affect the course of a disease such as diabetes. Gentle stroking and massaging areas of the body along the affected nerve can improve blood circulation and partially restore the functioning of damaged nerve fibers.