Dr. Lee gives an explanation about how high blood glucose can damage the nerves and affect diabetic patients causing diabetic neuropathy.
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Speaker: Nerve Damage or diabetic neuropathy. Dr. Lee: High blood sugars do tend to irritate and inflame nerves of the body particularly those going to the feet. This can lead to fairly distressing symptoms of thirst typically, cramps at night, pain in the feet that may interfere with your sleep and some people are extremely disabled by this what they call peripheral neuropathy from diabetes. Dr. Kalla: The nylon filament is a fairly accepted standard for monitoring feeling in an individual's feet with diabetes and this is just a little piece of nylon that we would push against the skin on the bottom like this and with your eyes closed, I ask you to tell me when you can feel it and I go through different areas of the feet asking the individual to tell me each time when they are feeling the touch. Peripheral neuropathy or loss of feeling is extremely important because the nerves to the feet can be thought of as burglar alarm sensors. Speaker: Elevated blood glucose can result in nerve damage, often affecting sensation. Patients with diabetes may experience numbness, tingling or burning pain in the hands and feet commonly in a “Stocking and glove distribution.” If you are experiencing pain, please consult your physician. You may benefit from any number of medications. Dr. Lee: There are reasonably effective medications for treating the symptoms. Do talk to your doctor about them and of course, one very important treatment is to maintain good control of your blood sugar to try to avoid having this happen. Speaker: Other bodily functions may also be affected by this condition. You may experience chronic nausea, abdominal bloating or bladder control problems. Men may experience erectile dysfunction.