Diabetic neuropathy is divided into a few specific types of the disease. This comes from the various types of nerves present in our the body, each serving different functions. The symptoms present and cures will also be dependent on the type of neuropathy you are affected with, but controlling them is more likely the same – by managing diabetes properly.
The neuropathy types are called proximal neuropathy (also known as diabetic amyotrophy), peripheral neuropathy (also known as distal polyneuropathy or diabetic nerve pain), focal neuropathy (also known as mononeuropathy) and autonomic neuropathy.
In this article, we will be talking about proximal neuropathy (also known as diabetic amyotrophy).
Diabetic amyotrophy or also known as proximal diabetic neuropathy is a disorder commonly caused by the complications from type 2 diabetes. But patients with type 1 diabetes can also suffer from this condition.
The second most frequent type is Proximal neuropathy, after the peripheral diabetic neuropathy, which is the most common of them all. It is often caught by older individuals with diabetes, in opposition to peripheral neuropathy that can be cured with good treatment.
The complications of this condition is notable on the buttocks, hips, legs and lower thighs. It is characterized as wasting of the muscles that cause weakness, numbness, pain and aberrations in sensations. These problems are often due to the neural damage caused by the fluctuations of the blood sugar levels of the body.
Signs and Symptoms
There are several symptoms associated with diabetic amyotrophy. People who suffer from this condition often experience unexplained weight loss and asymmetrical weakness in the lower limbs.
Sometimes, patients can experience sharp pains in the hip or thigh area and spreads through the leg. Weakness is also noticeable in the arms and is sometimes associated with muscle pains. Loss of knee reflexes can also happen.
The first signs are sharp pains and muscle weakness in hips and thighs. To determine whether diabetic amyotrophy is indeed present, electrodiagnostic studies are often conducted by the doctor, being nerve conduction studies and electromyogram as the most common ones.
Doctors may also opt for lumbar puncture and MRI scans to check for spinal cord fluid inflammation or to find out if the nerves around the spine are compressed.
For patients who suffer from type 1 and type 2 diabetes, it is important that you keep good control over your blood sugar levels. This means following all your doctor’s orders and staying away from any vices like smoking or drinking alcohol.
Doctors will also prescribe some antiepileptic, immunosuppressants and steroids. Many patients eventually recover after treatment depending on the severity of the nerve damage. Keep in mind that early intervention will prevent permanent nerve damage, slow down the deterioration process and perpetuate recovery.
Since muscle wasting is an issue, it is essential that you stay active under the supervision of a professional. There is also loss of sensation on the feet therefore injury can easily occur. On top of that, recovery in usually takes time, especially when the condition has already progressed.
Your doctor will most likely refer you to a physical therapist to hasten your recovery and improve your functional mobility. A physical therapist can also provide detailed instructions to the patients on how to use rehab devices when necessary.
Control and Prevention
The best way to treat and prevent this condition is to control your blood sugar levels. Eating habits should be altered and your diet should consist of low carbohydrates and healthy fats.
It is also important that you participate in physical activities like exercising regularly and avoid drinking alcohol or smoking. Maintaining an ideal weight is also necessary in controlling and preventing complications.
Diabetes is a whole-body, whole-person disease and is best treated when you have a team of professionals to guide you on what to do. This can include your doctor along with a nutritionist, dentist, pharmacist, physical therapist and others.
It is also important to let your family and friends get involved. They can offer you their support and help you stay motivated to stick to your health plans.