Risk Factors for Developing Diabetic Neuropathy. Diabeets Complications

 The neuropathies are among the most common of the long-term complications of diabetes disease, affecting up to 50 percent of all people with Type 1 diabetes or Type 2 diabetes mellitus. What is neuropathy? Neuropathy is a progressive loss of nerve fibers and nerve fibers density, resulting in altered nerve conduction velocity. Clinical features of neuropathies may vary greatly, from dermatology to podiatry, or from urology to cardiology. Diabetic neuropathy is the presence of symptoms or signs of peripheral nerve dysfunction in people with diabetes after the exclusion of other causes. Because up to 75 percent of people with diabetes may be asymptomatic, neuropathy cannot be diagnosed without an appropriate neurologic examination. All people with diabetes must be screened frequently to check for the presence of diabetic peripheral and autonomic neuropathy.

Many of the risk factors for the development of diabetic neuropathy are associated with insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome. Even people without diabetes may develop neuropathy. Up to 35 percent of pre-diabetes people with impaired glucose tolerance have painful neuropathy and seek treatment with painkillers. Almost 25 percent of people with Type 1 diabetes who had no evidence of neuropathic disease at baseline in the Diabetes Control and Complication Trial (DCCT) developed diabetic neuropathy. The highest rates developing diabetic neuropathy in people with Type 2 diabetes occurs in those individuals who have hyperglycemia (high blood glucose levels) for more than 25 years.

Neuropathy is one of the most common complications of diabetes, with a lifetime prevalence between 25 percent and 50 percent in people with sugar diabetes. Statistic shows that in developed countries diabetic neuropathy accounts for 50 percent to 75 percent of all nontraumatic amputations. Mortality in people with autonomic neuropathy is 25 percent to 50 percent within 10 years of the onset of symptoms.

Risk factors for the development of diabetic neuropathy may be defined as modifiable and nonmodifiable. To neuropathy nonmodifiable risk factors belong family history of neuropathy, advancing age, and the duration of diabetes disease. There is nothing we can do with this factors. To the modifiable risk factors for developing diabetic neuropathy belong obesity and clinically severe obesity, A1C levels, hyperglyceridemia, smoking of cigarettes, glycemic variability, and hypertension.

Modifiable risk factors for developing diabetic neuropathy can and should be managed. It is in our power to delay or even stop encroaching diabetic neuropathy in its track. Person with diabetes should immediately quit smoking cigarettes and take care of excessive body weight. Intensive diabetes management will take care of glycemic variability and A1C levels. Tight blood glucose control and exercise regimen will help with hypertension. The bottom line is if the person with diabetes wants to like a long and happy life it is time to get busy with intensive diabetes management!

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