Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy: What Should You Know?

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Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy: What Should You Know?



​Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is one common complication for diabetes. If someone has diabetes, this condition can increase the risk of falls in the elderly. It damages their nerves, affects their movement, and causes them to be off-balance. This disease is caused by high levels of blood sugar that cause damage to the nerves in one’s legs and arms. The nerves that are damaged have a more difficult time sending messages to the brain and to the body. As someone who cares for an elderly person, you should know what signs of this disease to look for.

Sensitivity to Touch

Those who have diabetic peripheral neuropathy have heightened touch sensitivity. They may feel numbness or tingling in their hands, legs, or feet. For most people with this disease, the symptoms are much worse during the nighttime hours. If your loved one is experiencing sensitivity to touch, they may have this disease.

Muscle Weakness

Chronically high blood sugar levels may also cause damage to the nerves that tell the body’s muscles how they should move. The body’s confusion can cause muscle weakness. You may notice that your elderly loved one has a tough time walking. They may have a tough time standing up out of a chair, as well. If your loved one is experiencing muscle weakness, for any reason, they should talk to their doctor about it.

Balance Issues

Another sign of diabetic peripheral neuropathy that you should look for in your elderly loved one is balance issues. Those with this disease may feel unsteady on their feet. They may be uncoordinated when they try to walk. The reason for these balance issues is that the body is trying to adapt to the changes that are brought about from the muscle weakness and muscle damage.

These are some of the main signs that you should look for in an elderly loved one who has diabetic peripheral neuropathy. While not everyone who has diabetes has this disease, it is more common than you might think.

Have you been noticing your elderly loved one is experiencing more and more issues after they have a diabetes diagnosis? Do they have sensitivity to touch? Are their muscles feeling weaker? Do they have a tough time walking or standing up without falling down? If you notice these things, they could have more than just a basic diabetes diagnosis. They could have diabetic peripheral neuropathy. If this is the case, talk to their doctor about it and get them the help they need right away. 

An experienced caregiver can offer support for the many symptoms that accompany diabetic peripheral neuropathy, including ambulatory assistance, mobility assistance, medication reminders, helping with doctor-approved exercises for balance and muscle maintenance, and more. Consider a caregiver for continued help maintaining independence and to offer you respite time for yourself. 

Sources
https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Peripheral-mm

\\\Neuropathy-Fact-Sheet

If you or an aging loved one is considering caregivers in Franktown, CO, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare today at 303-953-9924.

Greg Rodolph

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