When Should You See A Neurology Specialist For Your Diabetic Neuropathy?

Health & Medical Blog

Diabetic neuropathy is fairly common in people who have diabetes, and it shouldn't be ignored. It's thought to be caused by poor circulation, which causes your nerves to be deprived of the oxygen that they need to survive. Sensory nerves are most commonly affected, and damage to the sensory nerves will cause you to have difficulty feeling touch or temperature. Diabetic neuropathy can also cause chronic pain, which usually feels like a burning or stinging sensation.

In addition to being painful, diabetic neuropathy also raises the risk that you'll need to have an amputation. If you injure yourself and don't notice due to nerve damage, it can develop into a diabetic ulcer. If left untreated, the ulcer can spread until amputation is required. Because of the risks that diabetic neuropathy poses to your health, it's important to treat it. In most cases, your primary care doctor will be sufficient to help you manage your diabetic neuropathy. However, there are some instances in which it's best to seek the aid of a neurology specialist. Below, you'll find out when you should strongly consider seeking specialized care for your diabetic neuropathy.

Your Neuropathy Starts or Worsens Suddenly

Diabetic neuropathy usually starts as pain and numbness in your feet, and it slowly spreads upwards. Once you notice diabetic neuropathy in your feet, it generally takes a few months before you feel it in your hands and in your legs. If you have neuropathic symptoms that begin or worsen suddenly, you should schedule an appointment with a neurology specialist. There's a chance that your neuropathy may not be related to your diabetes at all, and a neurologist can help you find out the cause behind your new symptoms.

For example, carpal tunnel syndrome can cause sudden neuropathic pain in one of your hands. When combined with diabetic neuropathy, these other causes of neuropathy can cause extreme symptoms. It's important to find out the cause and treat it, if possible.

You Faint Frequently or Have a Rapid Heart Rate While Resting

In addition to affecting your sensory nerves, diabetic neuropathy can affect your autonomic nervous system as well. Your autonomic nervous system is responsible for numerous tasks such as maintaining your heart rate and automatically constricting the blood vessels in your neck when you stand up.

If your autonomic nervous system has been damaged by diabetic neuropathy, you may have a very fast resting heart rate or may faint frequently. Once your autonomic nervous system is affected, it's a good idea to see a neurology specialist about your diabetic neuropathy. Fainting can be dangerous, and neuropathy that affects the heart can lead to potentially fatal heart rhythm problems.

Your Nerve Pain Prevents You From Sleeping at Night

Finally, it's a good idea to see a neurology specialist when severe neuropathic pain prevents you from getting a full night's sleep. Nerve pain is one aspect of diabetic neuropathy that can be controlled fairly well with medication, but it may take a few attempts to find the medication and dose that works for you. Supplements like alpha-lipoic may help as well. A neurology specialist can help you find a combination of medications and supplements that control your nerve pain, helping you get a good night's rest.

Overall, it's important to manage your diabetic neuropathy as best you can by controlling your blood glucose and working with a neurology specialist. Worsening diabetic neuropathy that leads to you losing feeling in your limbs can make it very difficult to walk, and it also increases the chance that you'll develop a diabetic ulcer from a wound that you didn't notice.

Talk to a medical center, such as North Texas Neuroscience Center PA , to get the treatment you need.


3 December 2020

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