Diabetic neuropathy is a nerve disorder caused by diabetes. The high blood sugarfrom diabetes affects the nerves and over time increases a person's risk for nerve damage. Keeping blood sugar levels within the target range recommended by your doctor helps prevent diabetic neuropathy.
Types of Diabetic Neuropathy:
Diabetic neuropathy can be classified as Peripheral, Autonomic, Proximal, or Focal. Each affects different parts of the body in various ways...
Autonomic neuropathy affects the nerves that control involuntary body functions such as digestion, bowel and bladder function, sexual response, and perspiration. It can also affect the nerves that serve the heart and control blood pressure, as well as nerves in the lungs and eyes. Autonomic neuropathy can also cause hypoglycemia unawareness, a condition in which people no longer experience the warning symptoms of low blood glucose levels.
Proximal neuropathy causes pain in the thighs, hips, arms, or buttocks and leads to weakness in the legs and hands, resulting in difficulty in walking, standing, picking up objects, buttoning your clothes, etc.
Focal neuropathy results in the sudden weakness of one nerve or a group of nerves, causing muscle weakness or pain. Any nerve in the body can be affected.
How Diabetes Causes Damage to the Nervous System?
There are several factors that are likely to contribute to nerve damage through diabetes...
Prevent Diabetic Nerve Damage:
Keeping your blood sugar levels in your target range, set with your doctor, may help prevent nerve damage from ever developing. The best way to do this is by checking your blood sugar and adjusting your treatment. It is also important to get to and stay at a healthy weight by exercising and eating healthy foods.
If you wish to discuss any specific problem, you can consult the doctor and ask a free question.
Cranial nerve palsy is one of the common culprits of causing double vision. This is all the more true for people above the age of 60. A person is more prone to cranial nerve palsy if he is suffering from high blood pressure and diabetes. This is the reason why this disease is more commonly known as diabetes palsy. Eventually, though they get better and the problem of double vision disappears.
One weak cranial nerve leads to the weakness of other cranial nerves as well. In case the eyes fail to move together, chances are that the patient will have double or blurred vision. In case the sixth nerve gets affected, side to side double vision is encountered. For the 3rd and 4th nerve disturbance, there could be a vertical double vision. The lack of blood flow causes pain to the eye.
Possible Causes of Cranial Nerve Palsy?
Cranial nerve palsy can result from traumatic or congenital factors. They can also result from vascular diseases such as strokes, hypertension, diabetes, and aneurysms. It can also arise out of infections, increased intracranial pressure, migraines, and tumours. A patient's age and clinical findings help a doctor decide the right course of treatment.
There are no particular treatments which can speed up the recovery of cranial nerve palsy. In a case of pupil pain, doctors may prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs such as Motrin and Advil. They key to natural recovery is to ensure that the blood sugar and the blood pressure is diligently controlled. By patching the eyes, the problem of double vision can be resolved. They are typically worn over both the eyes. They are however known to slow down the process of recovery and strain the eye. There is no known exercise to fix this condition. Botulinum injections are sometimes used by doctors to straighten the eyes but the result of such a treatment greatly varies from person to person. Doctors mostly rely on watchful waiting until the phase passes within 6-8 weeks. Pain medications are recommended on a case to case basis.
Managing cranial nerve palsy can be difficult for a working person. It involves many lifestyle changes till the condition fully cares. Some of the suggestions given by an ophthalmologist include resting the eye as long as one can. Reading or working on a computer should be eschewed since it puts great pressure on the eyes. The eye should not be contacted with forehands in case there is too much pain. Other basic hygiene issues include taking the medicine time to time, cleaning the eye with fresh water two to three times a day, putting the eye drops on time as prescribed by the doctor.
The human body goes through aches and pains from time to time depending on injuries and other kinds of joint, muscle and nerve pain. The various types of pain include somatic pain, visceral pain, and neuropathic pain. While somatic pain refers to pain that comes from injuries caused to muscles, connective tissues and joints; visceral pain happens due to inflammation and excessive stretching of organs.
Read on to find out more about pain management:
Somatic Pain: This bone pain is usually localised and can increase with movement, becoming sharper with increased motion. Somatic pain can usually be treated with the help of analgesics that can treat the pain area, especially for pain that takes place due to surgical incisions and other dull aches or sharp pains that are localised. This kind of pain can also be treated with physiotherapy, acupressure and other exercises based on the area of the pain.
Visceral Pain: While this kind of pain can be treated with the help of medication, it also usually improves and fades with time. The medication for this kind of pain usually alters the neurotransmitters of the brain that convey pain signals and trigger pain in the body. This medication also helps in bringing down the inflammation for pain improvement.
Neuropathic Pain: This kind of pain is usually accompanied by irregular limb movements and discomfort as well as motions like twitching. It is a more permanent kind of pain that lasts long and causes greater discomfort than the above two kinds of pain. Neuropathic pain can be treated with the help of anticonvulsants that usually help in the prevention of nerve pain and irregular movements that can trigger off this kind of pain. It also acts on the serotonin levels and other chemicals of the brain for better nerve pain management and as an anti-depressant as well.
The various kinds of pain discussed above can be treated in different ways, in medicated and non-medicated ways. The method will also depend on whether the pain is acute or chronic.
How To Control Nerve Pain?
Nerve pain or peripheral neuropathy, as it is medically known, is characterized by pain, numbness and weakness that arise out of nerve damage. This pain is usually restricted to the feet and the hands.
What are the common causes?
Diabetes is the most common cause for this condition. However, other causes, such as injuries, infections and prolonged exposure to certain toxins can also trigger nerve pain.
How can you control nerve pain?
Topical Painkillers: Certain over the counter ointments and creams can help relieve nerve pain. These medications act as local anesthetics; that is they numb the area of the pain. Capsaicin, a derivative of chili peppers, is one of the major ingredients used in these medicines. Others use botanical oils as the major ingredients.
Supplements: The lack of Vitamin B12 is considered to be a very important cause, and at times, a catalyst for nerve pain. In a case such as this, Vitamin B12 supplements or injections might be administered. Although more research needs to go into this, but certain supplements, especially gamma-linolenic and alpha-lipoic acid can help soothe nerve pain caused by diabetes.
Acupuncture: This time honored Chinese approach is a proven alleviator of nerve pain. Acupuncture releases chemicals which numb the pain, or prevent the pain signals from travelling to the brain.
Physical Therapy and Massages: Physical Therapy can especially heal and strengthen weak muscles that can stem from acute nerve damage and pain. Though more evidence is needed, according to a few sufferers of this condition, massages can be helpful with the tremendously painful muscle spasms that can so often result from nerve pain.
Relaxation Techniques: In combination with the above mentioned approaches, relaxation techniques can go a long way in relieving debilitating neural pain. Besides being helpful with dealing and reducing a few stress phases of life which can cause nerve pain, these techniques might actually root out the actual pain itself.
Lifestyle Modifications: This one’s always a winner! Eating a well-balanced diet that guarantees all nutrients in uniform amounts can never go wrong. Regular exercises for about 30-45 minutes can remedy different types of pain; nerve pain being one of them. Try and limit alcohol intake (a peg once a week won’t harm one, but binge drinking can play the ultimate spoilsport and make all health plans go topsy-turvy!). Abstain from smoking or chewing tobacco as this is usually the primary contributor towards any medical condition or disorder.
Typical Trigeminal Neuralgia and Atypical Trigeminal Neuralgia.
The typical form or this disorder results in certain episodes of severe, sudden, shock-like pain in one side of the face, which lasts for seconds to few minutes.
Trigeminal Neuralgia may have symptoms which include one or more of patterns like the following:
A person might come across spontaneous attacks of pain or even attacks which might get triggered by certain things like touching the face, chewing, speaking or even while brushing the teeth.
When trigeminal neuralgia occurs, the trigeminal nerve’s function gets disrupted. The problem occurs through a contact between an artery or a vein and the trigeminal nerve at the base of one’s brain. This contact puts pressure on the nerve, thus causing it to malfunction.
Trigeminal Neuralgia can occur due to people getting aged or due to any kind of disorder that causes damage to the myelin sheath that protects certain nerves. A number of triggers can lead to the pain of trigeminal neuralgia, which include:
What Is Radiofrequency Ablation for Trigeminal Neuralgia?
Radiofrequency Ablation or RFA is a technique by way of surgery, which helps to direct high-frequency heat on to the targeted areas of the body, such as tumors and tissues. When a person suffers chronic pain that means the high-frequency heat is getting targeted to the nerves.
A person suffering from trigeminal neuralgia, would have his or her doctor, who is a neurosurgeon, uses radiofrequency ablation to hit the trigeminal nerve, thereby destroying the nerve’s ability to get the pain signals transmitted to one’s brain.
Medication is the first line of treatment for trigeminal neuralgia by a neurosurgeon, to see how the patient reacts. If that person suffers from severe pain in the face and does not show any improvement through medication, then the doctor might recommend him/her to go for radiofrequency ablation surgery.
How Is The Procedure Conducted?
During the radiofrequency ablation for trigeminal neuralgia, people remain awake and asleep at different times. The process includes:
When the patient is asleep under the influence of general anaesthesia, a neurosurgeon would carefully place a needle through the corner of one’s mouth in order to reach the trigeminal nerve, which lies at the base of the skull. Then, once the X-rays confirm the needle is right in place, the neurosurgeon would wake the patient up, stimulate the nerve and ask the patient if he or she could feel the stimulation exactly at the place where the pain is experienced. This particular step confirms that the doctor has hit the right location. Once, the patient gets back to sleep, the doctor uses radiofrequency heat to minimally injure the nerve, sufficiently enough to induce a numb feeling on the face along with tingling, thus take the pain away.
One of the most loved Bollywood actresses, Anushka Sharma, has reportedly been diagnosed with bulging disc, more commonly known as a slipped disc or a protruding disc.
As per the media reports, the actress, who has been busy promoting her upcoming movie ‘Sui Dhaga’, has been advised rest by doctors.
So , let’s take a look at the symptoms, causes and treatment of bulging disc.
A bulging disc happens when the tough outer layer of the disc bulges into the spinal canal. It is one of the most common spine injuries which can occur in your lumbar spine (lower back), cervical spine (neck) or thoracic spine (upper and mid-back).
The symptoms of bulging disc can vary on the basis of the location and severity of the condition. There is a possibility that a person suffering from a slipped disc does not have any signs till the bulging area does not press against a nearby nerve.
A person, however, may feel severe pain if the spinal nerve is pressurised by displaced disc material.
The signs of bulging disc may include:
The most common sign of the disease is intense pain radiating to the hips, buttocks, legs and feet due to damaged disc. In the cervical spine, pain can radiate from the neck, down the arm and to the fingers. The other signs are numbness, weakness, tingling and muscle spasms.
Causes of a bulging disc:
Among the most common reasons for a bulging disc are injury, wear-and-tear, ageing, excess body weight, severe trauma, etc.
Genetics may also be the reason for developing this condition. People with family history of degenerative spine conditions are more prone this disease.
What are the treatments?
People who are diagnosed with a bulging disc are generally recommended treatments that relieve its symptoms. These treatments include warm compresses, exercises, medication and rest.
If the condition of the patient does not improve even after the above mentioned measures, the doctor will advise surgery.
How to prevent a bulging disc?
Bulging disc can not be entirely prevented but you can be physically active, do some back strengthening exercises and yoga to reduce the chances of suffering from it.
We hope the condition of Anushka is not severe and she soon returns to her full-fledged schedule to keep us enthralled with her flawless on screen performances. Wish her a speedy recovery !
Patients with diabetes are likely to suffer from nerve damage. This condition is known as diabetic neuropathy. An increase in the blood-sugar level can damage nerve fibres, especially in the legs and feet. Diabetic neuropathy is a common complication for people suffering from diabetes.
Types of neuropathy
Risk factors of diabetic neuropathy
Common complications of diabetic neuropathy
Back pain is something that affects many people all over the world. Persistent and chronic pain seems to be one of the most common complaints. Middle back pain is back pain that is felt in the thoracic vertebrae region, which is located between the base of the neck and top of the lumbar spine. The ribs attach to a long, flat bone in the middle of the chest called the sternum and wrap around the back. In case, there is a nerve around there is squeezed, disturbed, or injured, you are likely to feel pain in different spots where the nerve goes through, for example, your arms, legs, chest and the stomach.
Some of the most common causes of middle back pain are as follows:
The condition of persistent pain in the body, where an outbreak of the Varicella Zoster virus has caused Shingles, is termed as post-herpetic neuralgia. It is a debilitating complication of the herpes zoster virus. The blisters that occur in shingles develop a crust formation and neuralgia begins after these crusts are formed. It may also occur in people who do not produce the crustaceous lesions. A burning pain that is long-lasting, even after the rash and the blisters disappear, is observed. There is a criteria of the pain to be persistent for around three months for the confirmation of post herpetic neuralgia.
The cause of this condition is damage of the sensory nerves that can occur due to the movement of the reactivated Herpes Zoster virus from the nerves to the skin. In an individual affected with chickenpox, the infection can involve dorsal root ganglia, where the virus lies dormant. Under conditions like stress due to infection or in an immuno-compromised individual, after a period of time, reactivation of the virus takes place. This reactivation causes production of Shingles on the body. The dormant virus reaches the skin and reactivates to produce lesions.
With an increase in age, the chances of developing post-herpetic neuralgia also increase. It primarily affects older individuals in the age group of 60 to 70 years. Treatment is aimed at pain management and providing symptomatic relief, with improvement of the neuralgia over a period of time. Symptoms of this condition are limited to the area of shingles’ outbreak. Trunk is commonly affected on a unilateral site. It can also occur on face. Common symptoms include pain lasting 3 months or longer after healing of the shingles rash, allodynia, numbness over the affected area and itching. Even a slight touch of cloth over the affected area can cause alleviated pain to the individual. Disturbed sleep and development of clinical depression is usually associated with post herpetic neuralgia. The medications given for post herpetic neuralgia are aimed at pain relief and resolving of symptoms. Management of chronic pain can be brought about by the use of a combination of pain relieving drug classes.
Some commonly used drugs for treatment of post-herpetic neuralgia are as follows:
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!