Diabetes is a worldwide problem for millions of people and in the United States alone; nearly 18 million people suffer from diabetes, giving the U.S. the distinction of having the third highest number of cases worldwide. To put that in perspective, one in 10 American adults has type 2 diabetes, one in every four to six hundred children and adolescents have type 1 diabetes and there are 1.6 million new cases diagnosed in the US each year.
Though there are several types of diabetes, patients typically fall under either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes accounts for about five to 10 percent of all cases and is characterized by a total lack of insulin. With type 1 diabetes, the body’s immune system destroys the cells that release insulin, eventually eliminating insulin production. Without insulin, cells cannot absorb the sugar (glucose) needed to produce energy. Type 1 diabetes starts in childhood or adolescence.
Type 2 diabetes can come on at any age and accounts for the majority of cases. Type 2 diabetes is characterized by insulin resistance or the body’s inability to respond properly to insulin and can be the result of many factors, from genetics and obesity to high blood sugar over prolonged periods of time; even age can play a factor in developing type 2 diabetes.
There are many ways that patients can successfully control diabetes today. However, for people with uncontrolled diabetes, there are many complications that can arise. Serious health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, kidney failure, lower limb amputation and blindness are all reported. One complication, Diabetic Neuropathy, affects the nerves in the body and results from blood sugar and blood pressure that are too high. Diabetic neuropathy can lead to digestion and other problems but the most common effects are seen in the extremities, especially in the feet and legs. Nerve damage in these areas is commonly characterized by pain, tingling and loss of feeling, which is of the highest concern because loss of feeling can lead to unnoticed injury, serious infection and even amputation. While patients with diabetes have a 25 percent higher chance of amputation than non-diabetes sufferers, a large portion of amputation cases can be avoided with proper diabetes management.
In addition to the pain and sensations associated with peripheral neuropathy, some people may even experience balance problems as well. While there are several different ways to treat Peripheral Neuropathy, in the past the most common way has been through drug therapies. However, as with many drugs, the side effects can be as bad as the pain or largely ineffective. In some cases, treatment ultimately leads to the recommendation of surgery. For patients who have tried traditional means without success, or who want to relieve their symptoms without drugs or surgery, Chiropractic Neurology is an effective and increasingly desirable option.
Chiropractic Neurology treats the underlying symptoms through a variety of non-invasive methods to relieve nerve compression and therefore, the pain, for example. While every patient is unique and every case is different, Chiropractic Neurology is also designed specifically for each patient and treatments vary according to the findings of a complete exam and medical history. Chiropractic Neurology takes a whole body approach and as diabetes and peripheral neuropathy can be brought about from diet, your doctor will also analyze dietary needs and address the diet in relation to pain and insulin. It is important to note that a person currently taking medications should consult their doctor before making changes on their own. However, if you are suffering from diabetic related conditions such as pain and peripheral neuropathy, and are looking for successful avenues of treatment, a doctor trained in functional neurology as Chiropractic Neurologists are, may be just the fit for you. If you would like more information, please contact us today for a consultation.