By petronius Latest Reply 2013-04-12 16:37:00 -0500
Started 2011-08-29 20:16:45 -0500

I have been a diabetic for 31years. At this point I do not have any neuropathy. I need to learn more about it. I like to prepare myself for possible new complications. Thanks for your help.

12 replies

locarb 2013-04-11 19:33:21 -0500 Report

I had neuropathy before I was diagnosed with Type 2. I also have "normal" blood sugars. I control BG with diet and exercise but I do have to take medication for neuropathy.

There is a lot of mythology regarding diabetes and neuropathy including that controlling blood sugar will prevent or reduce it. More complicated than that. Neruopathy means kidneys but as James mentioned, the vagus nerve is involved. The best advice that I can give you is to see your healthcare provider, do your best to eat healthy, maintain some level of exercise and continuing to take care of yourself emotionally, physically and psychologically.

There are many medications to help with the pain, but it's a very unpleasant condition and people who don't have it don't really understand how debilitating it can be.

jayabee52 2013-04-11 23:53:32 -0500 Report

I believe I mentioned the vagus nerve in connection with gastroparesis (a form of neuropathy) But I never said neuro has to do with "Kidneys".

The literal meaning of the word is accoring to the medical dictionary: "Medical Definition of NEUROPATHY : an abnormal and usually degenerative state of the nervous system or nerves; also : a systemic condition (as muscular atrophy) that stems from a neuropathy." source ~ Also in the "Free Medical Dictionary" ~ http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.c... There is a whole list of various different ailments due to neropathy some having to do with diabetes, others not having a direct connection with diabetes.

You are right about certain forms of neuropathy being debilitating. My painful feet makes me quite hesitant to walk anywhere or stand too long. I CAN do it if I need, but the mental effort in fighting the pain tires me out and I need to rest often.

locarb 2013-04-12 00:43:00 -0500 Report

Thank yo for the "literal" meaning of the word "neuropathy", but I wasn't addressing the definition; rather the origin, or at least one medical opinion with respect to the origin. I don't want to confront you because you and I share comments privately and publicly and I respect you and the current medical challenges that you are (I think) valiantly addressing.

However, below is one of my sources. I know you to be a sharing and giving person. I also note that you cite your education (like you I have a graduate degree…also not in medicine). However, can we at least agree that the complexities inherent to these conditions corroborate and conflict with various sources? Anyway, I always appreciate your input and I honestly hope you're doing better James. (I don't want to respond to the vagus nerve comment other than to say you're correct with respect to your context, but once again, the vagus nerve affects many things, which is all I was referring to).

"Neuphropathy is the deterioration of the kidneys. The final stage of nephropathy is called end-stage renal disease, or ESRD.
Diabetes is the most common cause of ESRD, accounting for more than 43 percent of cases. About 17 million people in the US have diabetes, and more than 100,000 people have ESRD as a result of diabetes. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can lead to diabetic nephropathy, although type 1 is more likely to lead to ESRD.

There are five stages of diabetic nephropathy, or deterioration of the kidneys. The fifth stage is ESRD. Progress from one stage to the next can take many years, with 23 years being the average length of time to reach stage five.
What causes diabetic nephropathy?
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a complication of diabetes that is believed to contribute most directly to diabetic nephropathy. Hypertension is believed to be both the cause of diabetic nephropathy, as well as the result of damage that is created by the disease. As kidney disease progresses, physical changes in the kidneys often lead to increased blood pressure.
Uncontrolled hypertension can make the progress toward stage five diabetic nephropathyoccur more rapidly.
Can diabetic nephropathy be prevented?
The onset and progression of diabetic nephropathy can be slowed by intensive
management of diabetes and its symptoms, including taking medications to lower blood pressure.
Treatment for diabetic nephropathy:
Specific treatment for diabetic nephropathy will be determined by your physician based on:
your age, overall health, and medical history
extent of the disease
your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
expectations for the course of the disease your opinion or preference
Treatment may include any, or a combination of, the following:
proper diet exercise strict monitoring and controlling of blood glucose levels, often with medication and insulin injections medication (to lower blood pressure)
Treatment for ESRD often initially includes dialysis to cleanse the blood, and, eventually, kidney transplantation.
The Importance of Foot Care
Taking care of your feet is especially important if you are experiencing neuropathy. The nerves of the feet are the longest in the body and often are affected by neuropathy. When a diabetes patient loses sensation in the feet, sores or injuries may go unnoticed until ulcers develop.
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases,
proper foot care in diabetes includes checking the feet daily; washing the feet daily; covering the feet with petroleum jelly before putting on socks and shoes; wearing thick, soft socks; wearing shoes that fit properly; checking the shoes for sharp edges or object
before putting them on; never walking barefoot; cutting nails short and straight across; filing away dead skin, but not calluses; testing bath water temperature before getting in; wearing socks at night if the feet have a tendency to get cold; not sitting cross-legged; and having your physician check the feet regularly at visits.
Diabetic Neuropathy (Nerve Problems)
What is diabetic neuropathy?
Diabetic neuropathy, a nerve disorder, is a complication of diabetes that can lead to problems throughout the body.
Persons with diabetes can develop nerve problems at any time, but significant clinical neuropathy can develop within the first 10 years after receiving a diabetes diagnosis. The risk of developing neuropathy increases the longer a person has diabetes. About 50 percent of people with diabetes have some form of neuropathy.
What causes diabetic neuropathy?
Although the exact causes of diabetic neuropathy are unknown, several factors may contribute to the disorder, including the following:
high blood glucose
High blood glucose causes chemical changes in nerves and impairs the nerves' ability to
transmit signals. It also has the potential to damage blood vessels that carry oxygen and
nutrients to the nerves.
inherited factors
There are some genetic traits that may make some people more susceptible to nerve disease than others.
What are the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy?
The following are the most common symptoms of diabetic neuropathy. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms include:
numbness in the hands or feet
pain in the hands, feet, or legs
problems with internal organs such as the digestive tract, heart, or sexual organs causing the following:
diarrhea or constipation
bladder infections
weight loss
The symptoms of diabetic neuropathy may resemble other conditions or medical
problems. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.
What are the different types of diabetic neuropathy?
Diffuse neuropathy is neuropathy that affects many parts of the body, and includes the following:
diffuse peripheral neuropathy - neuropathy that affects nerves in the extremities (legs,
feet, arms, and hands).
Symptoms include:
tingling, burning, or prickling
sharp pains or cramps
extreme sensitivity to touch
loss of balance or coordination
insensitivity to pain or temperature changes
diffuse autonomic neuropathy - neuropathy that affects nerves that serve internal organs,
processes, and systems of the heart, digestive system, sexual organs, urinary tract, and
sweat glands.
Symptoms include:
digestive problems
low blood pressure
impaired perception of pain
profuse sweating
focal neuropathy - neuropathy that affects a single, specific nerve and part of the body,
such as the eyes, facial muscles, hearing, pelvis and lower back, thighs, and abdomen.
Symptoms include:
pain in the thighs
severe pain in lower back or pelvis
pain in the chest, stomach, or flank
chest or abdominal pain that mimics angina, heart attack, or appendicitis
aching behind the eyes
inability to focus the eyes
double vision
paralysis on one side of face
hearing problems
How is neuropathy diagnosed?
In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, the physician may:
check muscle strength.
check muscle reflexes.
check muscle sensitivity to the following:
light touch
request additional tests, such as:
nerve conduction studies (to check flow of electrical current through a nerve)
electromyography (to determine how muscles respond to electrical impulses)
ultrasound (to determine how parts of the urinary tract are functioning)
nerve biopsy (to remove a sample of nerve for examination)
Treatment for neuropathy:
Specific treatment for neuropathy will be determined by your physician based on:
your age, overall health, and medical history
extent of the disease your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
expectations for the course of the disease
your opinion or preference
The goal of treatment is to relieve pain and discomfort, as well as to prevent additional
tissue damage. Treatment may include:
pain medications
antidepressant medications
topical creams
transcutaneous electronic nerve stimulation (TENS) therapy
relaxation training
biofeedback training
Treatment may also be prescribed for complications of neuropathy, such as
gastrointestinal problems, dizziness and weakness, and urinary or sexual problems." (citation omitted)

jayabee52 2013-04-12 01:10:32 -0500 Report

Thank you for your kind response Locarb. I am wondering where you got all of that quote from. Is there a link where all that information is in one place? If so I'd like to see it.

I get that NEUROpathy may be confused with NEPROpathy because of the similarity of the words. NEPROpathy has to do with the kidneys (as was stated in the first part of the quote) What I noted that at the part of the article after speaking of kidney transplantation, the subject suddenly shifts to NEUROpathy. Here is where it changes: "The Importance of Foot Care"
"Taking care of your feet is especially important if you are experiencing neuropathy" (and the article continues for many more lines describing things having to do with NEUROpathy, but having nothing to do with kidneys)

It goes from transplanting kidneys to care of feet. Makes me wonder if the article was somehow spliced together from two or more articles.

Please help my confusion on this!


locarb 2013-04-12 12:45:44 -0500 Report

I'll "message" it to you. It was all one source. I will try to get back to this site on the next day or two.

Hope you're doing well.

jayabee52 2013-04-12 16:37:00 -0500 Report

You may well go ahead and use your edit function below that post and insert it there so it will be there for anyone who comes after and would like to know the source,

Thanks for your inquiry about my well being, I am doing well! Just about to start getting ready for my dialysis treatment tonight. That often wipes me out, but it is good not to be not eating, dizzy and nauseous all the time. So I am good, thank you!

lorene1212 2011-08-29 21:54:05 -0500 Report

Your welcome! I am not sure why I have it. I always thought it was the result of me have HIV. I am hearing on here that people such as yourself have it due to diabetes. So I learn something new everyday. They do have meds for it. But, we will always feel the pain and discomfort from it regardless. My feet burn also like yours so at nite I have a fan that hits my feet to keep them cool. It helps otherwise I could not fall asleep with hot feet. Tried gold bond on feet it did not work. In private areas it did! My arms and hands tingle but dr. said it is carpel tunnel, who knows could be combination of both.. Have to wear those hand things for a while then they feel better but it hurts and goes numb at times. I hope this does not affect someone who does not have because it is very uncomfortable.


jayabee52 2011-08-29 21:43:49 -0500 Report

Howdy Peter
I have diabetic neuropathy. My legs from my knees through my feet down to my toes BURN like fire. My arms tingle from my elbows down to fingertips tingle as does my groin area which includes my private parts. (I couldn't even make love to my new bride adequately.) I may be starting to have gastroparesis, where the stomach won't empty adequately or only erratically. ( I pray not!) It is from neuropathy acting on the vagus nerve.

Really there is no way to prepare for any of these conditions. If you can keep your Blood Glucose numbers in the normal range you are likely not going to get neuropathy.

I pray you keep your BGs under control so you don't run the risk of this complication.


lorene1212 2011-08-29 21:59:49 -0500 Report

So sorry James you have it so severely. Do they give you meds for it and if so what do you take? At the time I am not on any. I just deal with it. It is not as bad as what you are going through. I dont know anything about gastroparesis, but do know it has to do with bowls and ect.. stomach. I have stomach problems and dr.s are checking and doing tests with me . My BS for the first time have been really really good… So happy… Since I came on this site as a matter of fact. I do so appreciate everyone here and am so glad you all are here for me… Never have I seen a post that I did not like. Or any of the friends that I have annoy or disappoint me because I am not of a judging nature. Sometimes, in day to day people I have to admit there are those that I have not appreciated. James your in my thoughts and I do hope all goes well with you. Have a wonderful evening! Sweet dreams.


jayabee52 2011-08-29 22:23:52 -0500 Report

Thank you so much for that Lorene!

Regarding what I take for the burning pain, I take a med Nortryptelene (sp?) and I take a suppliment Alpha Lipolic Acid (ALA) and together with keeping my BG levels in the normal range I think I may feel a bit of improvement in the pain level. It hasn't gone away, however. Actually my pain from Neuropathy is not as severe as others I have heard about. I can at least fall asleep without taking medications. Others are not so fortunate.

Gastroparesis: Here is an article from a Government website:

and here is something from the Mayo clinic:

Thank you for your kind words and wishes Lorene

Praying God's richest blessings be showered on you and yours


ShellyLargent 2011-08-29 20:54:23 -0500 Report

I've had severe to moderate neuropathy for over 20 years now. It's not fun. It's been so bad at times that it keeps me from sleeping or even walking. It's not so bad now that I have a tighter control over my diabetes. It first started out as a slight tingling on the bottom of my toes, then over time ( and no sugar control… Before my diagnosis) it turned into a constant dull ache with periods of horrible stabbing pain. With excellent sugar control, you may never develope it. My diabetes went undiagnosed for over 10 years, then I had really poor control for a while. I hope that you remain one of the "lucky" ones and never get it.

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