Causes And Risk Factors Of Diabetic Neuropathy

Nerve And Blood Vessel Damage

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Nerve and blood vessel damage are associated with all types of diabetic neuropathy. In addition to the painful foot symptoms that are common with peripheral neuropathy, the autonomic type of diabetic neuropathy can lead to more serious problems with the nerves and blood vessels. For example, patients with this form of the condition may have cardiovascular, bladder, eye, and gastrointestinal concerns. Urinary tract infections, bladder incontinence, nausea, constipation, and bloating may develop. Some patients experience an elevated heart rate, problems with blood pressure regulation, and swallowing difficulties. This type of damage to nerves and blood vessels cannot be reversed, and treatment focuses on pain relief and slowing down or halting the progression of damage. For example, patients who have urinary tract infections or blood pressure changes will be given medication to treat these concerns. Specific pain relievers designed to treat pain from diabetic neuropathy can be prescribed as well. To slow the progression of nerve and blood vessel damage, diabetes patients will be given specific blood glucose targets. Keeping glucose readings between eighty and 130mg/dL prior to meals is considered ideal for reducing the risk of nerve complications. If readings are taken within two hours of eating a meal, doctors recommend they measure less than 180mg/dL.

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Emily Fowler
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