What's the Link Between Diabetes and Neuropathy?

What's the Link Between Diabetes and Neuropathy?

Neuropathy 一 nerve damage 一 can happen as a result of an injury, infections, metabolic issues, exposure to toxins, and inherited conditions. However, diabetes is one of the leading causes of neuropathy. In these cases, neuropathy is known as diabetic neuropathy.

Here at Precision Laser Joint and Spine Pain Center, Dr. Dustin Hamoy incorporates MLS laser therapy into your neuropathy treatment plans. In addition to this treatment, it’s also important to manage any underlying conditions 一  like diabetes 一  that contribute to your nerve pain.

Below, we take a closer look at the link between diabetes and neuropathy.

How does diabetes affect your nerves?

Diabetes is notorious for causing blood sugar issues, but the reality is that diabetes can affect nearly every part of your body, including your vital organs (especially your heart and kidneys), your eyes, your feet, and even your nerves. All these complications develop because your body either isn’t making enough insulin or using it the right way. 

After you eat, glucose (which your body uses for energy) goes into your bloodstream. Insulin is a hormone that helps move glucose from your blood to your muscle cells and fat cells. If insulin isn’t there to move the glucose from your blood and into your cells, it ends up accumulating into your bloodstream. This is why you might have high blood sugar levels. 

Over time, high levels of sugar can damage your blood vessels. Because the blood vessels are weakened by the damage, it compromises their ability to deliver oxygen and other nutrients to various parts of your body. Not only does this impact your vital organs, but if the capillaries that supply blood to your nerves are damaged, then your nerves won’t receive the nutrients they need to function properly. In other words, high blood sugar can damage the blood vessels that feed nutrients to your nerves, leading to nerve pain. 

There is another way that diabetes leads to neuropathy. High blood sugar levels not only damage the blood vessels that deliver nutrients to your nerves, but the excess sugar also damages your nerve fibers. Each nerve is covered with a myelin sheath, but too much glucose can damage this protective coating, increasing your risk of neuropathy.

Treating diabetic neuropathy

One of the most important things you can do to treat neuropathy is to manage your underlying diabetes. Not only does this help prevent your condition from worsening, but it also helps avoid other complications of diabetes, such as vision loss, amputations, foot ulcers, and kidney disease. Follow your diabetes treatment plan, which may include medication, insulin injections, regular exercise, and healthy eating.

In addition to controlling your blood sugar levels, specific neuropathy treatments can provide relief, such as:

We also offer MLS laser therapy 一a type of laser therapy that uses light energy to heal damaged nerves. MLS therapy also facilitates the removal of toxins, encourages oxygen flow to the targeted area, promotes the release of endorphins (a natural painkiller), and helps to block your nerves from sending pain messages to your brain.

Questions? To learn more about neuropathy treatment options, schedule an appointment at our Glen Burnie, Maryland, office via our booking tool. Or, simply give us a call at 410-324-2968. 

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