How Diabetic Neuropathy Affects the Body
Heart and Blood
affects the cardiovascular system by interfering with nerve impulses that
regulate blood pressure and heart rate. As a result, blood pressure may drop
sharply after sitting or standing causing dizziness or fainting. Diabetics with
autonomic neuropathy may also not be able to feel angina (chest pain) as a
warning sign of heart disease.
Nerve damage can affect digestion and cause the
stomach to empty too slowly which may cause blood sugar levels to fluctuate.
Persistent nausea, bloating and vomiting may occur in some cases. When nerve
damage affects the bowels, it can cause constipation or diarrhea.
Pain and Numbness of Extremities
Peripheral Neuropathy damages the nerves of the
limbs, especially the feet. Symptoms of this type of neuropathy are numbness,
tingling, burning, cramps, extreme sensitivity to touch or loss of feeling for
pain, pressure or temperature. Due to loss of sensation, foot injuries or ulcers
can go unnoticed, resulting in serious infections that may spread to the bone.
Damage to the nerves often results in loss of reflexes and muscle weakness.
Nerve damage can prevent the bladder from
emptying completely, so bacteria can grow more easily in the urinary tract.
When autonomic neuropathy damages the nerves of the bladder, a person may not
know when the bladder is full or controlling it, resulting in urinary
The nerve damage and circulatory problems of
diabetes can also lead to a gradual loss of sexual response in both men and
Skin Dryness and Sweating
Nerves to the skin may cause to much or too little
sweating. When nerve damage affects the activity of the sweat glands, it makes
it difficult for the body to regulate temperature by producing adequate
perspiration. Other times, the result can be profuse sweating at night or while
eating. Autonomic neuropathy is also associated with changes in skin texture
and the moisture and oiliness of the skin that may result in dryness,
thickening, and cracking of the skin.
ramabadran seshadri, 2013091522:36:41