Diabetes Leg Pain: Facts, Care, and Treatment
Diabetes can lead to nerve damage and slow wound healing due to high blood sugar levels, eventually causing diabetes leg pain and the need for diabetes leg pain treatment. As a result, the intense and chronic pain, tingling, ulceration, and other symptoms can impact your life.
Untreated diabetes — or the inability to manage blood sugar levels — can unfortunately lead to these lower-extremity health issues.
Diabetes Leg Pain: How, When, and Why
It’s common for diabetics to suffer from several complications, including diabetes leg pain — especially if their blood sugar levels do not remain under control. In fact, diabetic neuropathy is one of the most common complications of diabetes. High blood sugar (glucose) levels can damage nerves throughout the entire body.
In addition to pain and numbness in the legs, feet, and hands, diabetic neuropathy can cause other symptoms. The condition can also affect the digestive system, urinary tract, blood vessels, and the heart. Symptoms may be mild for some people, while other diabetics experience severe pain and disabilities as a result.
Approximately half of the people with diabetes suffer from diabetic neuropathy, making diabetes leg pain treatment all the more important so you can live a healthier life. Consistent blood sugar control and a healthy lifestyle can often prevent or slow down diabetic neuropathy.
The Two Main Types of Diabetes Leg Pain
There are four main types of diabetes leg pain, or diabetic neuropathy, and it is possible to experience more than one. The symptoms experienced by a person depend on the affected nerves and the type of infection present. In most cases, symptoms develop gradually. Nerve damage may not be apparent until considerable damage has occurred.
Peripheral neuropathy is when the feet and legs are affected first, followed by the hands and arms. Nighttime symptoms include numbness or reduced ability to feel pain and temperature changes, tingling or burning sensations, sharp pains or cramps, muscle weakness, extreme sensitivity to touch, and serious foot problems such as ulcers, infections or bone and joint damage.
Autonomic neuropathy’s origins come from the autonomic nervous system. Your blood pressure, heart rate, perspiration, eyes, bladder, digestive system, and sex organs are all controlled by this system. Diabetes can affect any of these areas. Low blood sugar may cause a lack of awareness, a drop in blood pressure from rising or sitting/lying down, dizziness or fainting, bladder and bowel problems, slow emptying of the stomach, loss of appetite, difficulty swallowing, and changes in the way the eyes adjust from light to dark. Problems with sexual response can also occur. It’s critical to find a diabetes leg pain treatment immediately with any of these symptoms.
Two More Types
Another type of diabetes leg pain is proximal neuropathy, where nerves in the thighs, hips, buttocks, and legs are often affected. Besides the abdominal area, it can also affect the chest. One side of the body usually experiences symptoms, but they can spread to the other side as well. There may be severe pain in the buttocks, hip or thigh, weak and shrinking thigh muscles, difficulty rising from a sitting position, and chest or abdominal wall pain.
Lastly, mononeuropathy is a condition where a single nerve is damaged. The affected nerve can be found in the face, the torso, arm or leg. Symptoms include difficulty focusing, double vision, paralysis on one side of the face, numbness or tingling in the fingers or hands, weakness in the hand, pain in the shin or foot, difficulty lifting the front of the foot or pain in the thigh.
Causes and Facts of Diabetes Leg Pain
Different factors cause the various types of diabetes leg pain. Uncontrolled high blood sugar damages nerves over time and interferes with the ability to send signals, leading to the development of diabetic neuropathy. High blood sugar levels weaken the capillaries that deliver oxygen and nutrients to the nerves.
Overall, diabetics are at a higher risk of developing neuropathy, and nerve damage is more likely to occur when these risk factors are present:
- Tobacco use. As a result of smoking, arteries narrow and become hard, which reduces blood flow to the legs and feet. Wounds have a difficult time healing and peripheral nerves are damaged.
- History of diabetes. This is when blood sugar is not controlled well over the long run.
- Inability to control blood sugar levels. All diabetes complications, including nerve damage, are more likely to occur with uncontrolled blood sugar.
- The risk of diabetic neuropathy increases with a higher body mass index (BMI).
- A kidney disorder. Diabetic kidney disease can cause kidney damage over time. The resulting toxins in the bloodstream can damage nerves.
Looking into a comprehensive diabetes leg pain treatment should be your immediate priority if you are experiencing any of these causes or factors.
Diabetes Leg Pain Prevention
Carefully managing your blood sugar and taking good care of your feet can prevent or delay diabetes leg pain. You should perform blood sugar maintenance tests at least twice a year. The results of this test will show your average blood sugar levels over the past two to three months.
When you suffer from diabetic neuropathy, foot problems can include sores that don’t heal, ulcers, and even amputations in the worst of cases. By having a thorough foot examination at least once a year, you can prevent many of these problems from occurring.
Caring for Your Feet
Take good care of your feet at home, and have your health care provider check your feet each time you make a visit. Keep your feet healthy by following your health care provider’s recommendations as well. Diabetes leg pain treatment should be your last resort and only if needed, as you can protect your feet beforehand by following these steps:
- Make sure your socks are clean and dry. Don’t buy socks with tight bands or thick seams that are not made of cotton or soft fibers.
- Keep an eye on your feet every day. Make sure there are no blisters, cuts, bruises, cracked or peeling skin, redness or even swelling. For hard-to-see areas of your feet, use a mirror or ask a friend or family member for assistance.
- Shoes that fit well should be cushioned. Protect your feet by wearing closed-toe shoes or slippers. Toes should be free to move inside your shoes. By purchasing properly fitted shoes, you can avoid problems such as corns and calluses.
- Dry and clean your feet. Use lukewarm water and mild soap to wash your feet every day. Make sure you thoroughly dry your feet and the areas between your toes.
- Be very careful when trimming your toenails. You should cut your toenails straight across. Make sure the edges are smooth by filing them gently. A podiatrist can assist you if you are unable to do this yourself.
- You should moisturize your feet. Moisturizing prevents cracks. However, it’s not a good idea to apply lotion between your toes because it could stimulate fungal infections.
Wellness and Pain Can Help
A range of options are available at Wellness and Pain to treat your diabetes leg pain. Here, we offer conservative treatments, routine visits, and minimally invasive quick-recovery procedures. We can keep you free of problems by providing lifestyle education, home care advice, and the right diabetes leg pain treatment plan to help you avoid and manage issues, quickly relieving the conditions inhibiting your life by using cutting-edge techniques.
We personalize patient care plans based on each patient’s condition and unique circumstances to relieve pain, improve mobility and mental space, and improve your overall health.
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