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Diabetic Autonomic Neuropathy

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Diabetic neuropathy is the name for nerve damage caused by diabetes. Neurological issues are present in half of all diabetics. You are more prone to develop neuropathy if you have had diabetes for a long time, and it can present many different serious medical complications.

The involuntary actions that occur within your body, such as your heart beat or digestion, are all controlled by your autonomic nervous system. Diabetes can cause damage to these particular nerves, and when it does it is called "Autonomic Neuropathy." This condition has an adverse impact on the cardiovascular system, urinary tract, blood vessels, digestion, sex organs, eyes as well as the sweat glands.

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One of the most common symptoms of this form of neuropathy is bladder paralysis. With this condition, the nerves do not sense any pressure even as the bladder fills with urine. Since the urine remains in the bladder longer, urinary tract infections may occur.

Autonomic neuropathy can also cause erection problems when the nerves controlling penile erection become damaged. Even so, sexual desire is usually not affected.

When the nerves within the small intestines are damaged diarrhea can occur, usually taking place during the evening. Another consequence of nerve damage in the small intestines is constipation.

Your abdomen can also be affected by neuropathy. This happens when it cannot transfer food around your digestive system, which can make you feel bloated as well as lead to vomiting. This particular disorder is called "Gastroparesis", and has an impact on how quickly the body digests the food. This could make it very difficult to determine the proper insulin dosage based on the food you ate.

No one really knows what causes autonomic neuropathy, but medical professionals are constantly looking for better treatment methods for this type of nerve damage. The following is a list of some of the more common symptoms associated with this condition.

Digestive System

· Upset stomach or acid reflux

· Vomiting undigested food

· Feeling bloated after eating

· Feeling full when you ate very little

· Diarrhea or constipation

· Loss of bowel control

· Unpredictable blood sugar levels

Urinary System

· Frequent urination or not urinating enough

· Even though your bladder's full you don't feel like urinating

· Loss of bladder control

· Frequent bladder infections

Reproductive System

· Men - Difficulty obtaining or maintaining erections

· Women - Difficulty getting aroused or having orgasms

Cardiovascular System

· Feeling dizzy when standing up too rapidly

· Fainting for no reason

· Heart beats too rapidly when at rest

Sweat Glands

· Perspiring heavily after eating or during the night

· You don't perspire when you're hot

· Your feet has really dry skin


· Difficulty with night vision

· Difficulty adjusting from light to darkness

Diagnosing autonomic neuropathy will require more than just a routine physical exam. For example, bladder problems may require an ultrasound while an x-ray can help find stomach ailments.

There are various methods used in treating diabetic neuropathy. For instance, if your problem is vomiting or feeling bloated after a small meal, a dietitian can help by developing a special meal plan for you. In addition, there are medicines that can help with digestion and also minimize issues with diarrhea. Also, as we all know, erection problems can be treated with certain medications.

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Do you have any of the symptoms of diabetes []? Early detection is the key to avoiding serious complications like diabetic neuropathy [].

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