According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 5.7 million people are unaware they have diabetes (Health Communities, 2010). Can anyone imagine being one of the 5.7 million? Diabetes is a condition that results from the body’s inability to produce or utilize insulin. Diabetes can cause a number of complications to the body’s functions. Among these complications, diabetic neuropathy is the most common disease in diabetics (WebMD, 2010). Exploring the causes, affects, and treatments of diabetic neuropathy allows readers to become aware of this disease.
“Researchers are not exactly sure what causes diabetic neuropathy, although they have some clues. The biggest clue is that diabetic neuropathy is influenced by blood glucose levels and control” (Endocrine Web, 2010). Glucose is a simple sugar. Glucose is the main sugar that is made from foods that we eat that the body breaks down. The body’s cells use the glucose for energy (Medterms, 2005). Diabetic neuropathy is, simply, damage caused to the nerves. The injuries to the nerves are caused by decreased blood flow and high sugar levels. The extra glucose penetrates the nerves. Once the glucose penetrates the nerves, it begins to interfere with their functions. Electrical impulses that the nerves send to the brain are disrupted by this infiltration.
Other causes that may lead to diabetic neuropathy are age and nerve injury. Diabetic neuropathy may, or may not, appear early. Usually it takes time to develop. It is more common in individuals who have had diabetes for 25 years or longer (Endocrine Web, 2010). Approximately 50% of people with diabetes will eventually develop nerve damage (Health Central, 2010). On the other end of the spectrum, nerve injury, is another factor. Nerve tissues are vulnerable to damage from disease, like diabetes, that impairs the body’s ability to transform nutrients into energy. Lastly, lifestyle choices are another contributing factor...