Like many diseases, diabetic neuropathy has no known cause. Even though the cause is unknown, there are many different factors that can lead to people developing the disease. Many people who do not have their diabetes under control can develop diabetic neuropathy. If your blood sugar is too high for a long period of time, you are more at risk of developing the disease. Since diabetes poses many other complications, including neuropathy, it is important to stay in touch with a doctor to keep blood sugar levels at target range, as well as go over lifestyle treatments to keep neuropathy at bay. Also, by understanding some of the causes of neuropathy, as well as the risk factors that can trigger neuropathy, you can look out for symptoms and catch the disease early, and try to lessen symptoms and keep the pain away.
Diabetic Neuropathy Causes:
The main cause of diabetic neuropathy is prolonged exposure to high blood sugar. This exposure can damage the nerve fiber, causing diabetic neuropathy. The reason this happens is not clear yet. High blood sugar can also damage blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients to the nerves, which can damage them. There are also some factors that are unrelated to diabetes, which can make some people have a higher risk of developing neuropathy. High blood sugar can interfere with the nerves’ ability to transmit signals.
There are a few other factors that can lead to diabetic neuropathy. These include: genetic factors that are unrelated to diabetes, inflammation in the nerves which is caused by an autoimmune response, occurring when the immune system mistakenly attacks part of the body as if it were a foreign organism, and smoking and alcohol abuse, which can damage both nerves and blood vessels, which also increases the risk of infection.
Diabetic Neuropathy Risk Factors:
Unlike most of the causes of diabetic neuropathy, the risk factors that can cause the disease are avoidable. Anyone who has diabetes can develop neuropathy, however, if you are able to avoid any of these risk factors, you will be less susceptible to nerve damage. One of these risk factors is smoking. Smoking is bad for your health, even without having a health condition. Smoking narrows and hardens the arteries, which reduces the blood flow to the legs and feet, which are the places in the body that diabetic neuropathy affects the most. This also makes it difficult for wounds to heal. Another risk factor that can make it easier for a person to develop diabetic neuropathy is being overweight. If you have a high body mass index, this may increase the chance of developing diabetic neuropathy.
Seeking Diabetic Neuropathy Treatment:
Other risk factors that can make a person have a higher risk for developing diabetic neuropathy has to do with diabetes itself. If you have poor blood sugar control, you have the greatest risk for developing complications, which includes nerve damage. You should always keep your blood sugar within target range in order to maintain the health of the nerves in your body. Another risk related to diabetes is how long you have had diabetes. The risk of developing diabetic neuropathy increases the longer you have had actual diabetes, especially if the blood sugar is not well controlled. One last risk factor that has to do with diabetes is kidney disease. Diabetes can cause damage to the kidneys, which can increase the toxins in the blood, which contributes to nerve damage.
Avoiding the risk factors, and knowing what causes diabetic neuropathy can be extremely helpful. You can recognize if you have experienced any of the causes or risk factors and get help sooner rather than later. If you are experiencing any neuropathy symptoms, please consult with your physician on what treatment option will be best for you. In most neuropathy cases, medication, therapeutic neuropathy treatment, or physical therapy are generally different neuropathy treatment options doctors will recommend based on the severity of the condition.