If you are a diabetic, and you suffer from pain in the legs, do not overlook and stay relaxed. You need to check for neuropathy and impending nerve damage.
In almost 50% of those suffering from diabetes, a very common yet painful condition called Diabetic Neuropathy exists which arises due to progressive loss of nerve fibres and their function. Disturbed glucose metabolism leading to high blood sugar for a long duration damages these nerve fibres causing microangiopathy.
With a high prevalence of prediabetes and diabetes in our country, there is a very high risk of impending nerve damage leading to early loss of productivity in life.
The most common neuropathies are:
- Numbness, tingling or burning sensation; insensitivity to pain or temperature; cramps in legs; extreme sensitivity to touch; loss of control and coordination which often worsens at night. This condition is known as Peripheral Neuropathy. All these result in foot deformities, blisters and ulcers.
- Proximal Neuropathy usually affects hips, thighs and legs causing pain and weakness in limbs. Patient needs help even with basic activities like sitting and standing.
- Focal neuropathy can present as double vision, eye pain, facial paralysis and sometimes as a sharp pain affecting a specific location of legs,back or hand.
A careful history and examination by a diabetes specialist along with a few basic tests and a good feet examination can help to reach the diagnosis of neuropathy and early treatment. Various drugs help in relieving the symptoms and to some extent even reversing the disease process for which a Diabetes specialist can be consulted.
Though the best way and the only way to slow down and treat this progressive damage is to keep blood glucose levels under a tight control. So keep a check
on your blood glucose levels, take regular medications, exercise daily, quit smoking and alcohol, and maintain a timely regular visit to your doctor.