Neuropathy Carroll IA Feet Stepping on Spike

Are you experiencing diabetic neuropathy in Carroll IA? This prevalent condition can have serious consequences, but understanding medical jargon doesn't have to be overwhelming. Simply put, diabetic neuropathy refers to nerve damage caused by diabetes. Considering that our nerves regulate various functions and systems in our bodies, it's clear how this disease can have far-reaching effects. At Iowa Neuropathy and Pain Clinic, our physicians strive to offer valuable insights and treatment alternatives for individuals dealing with diabetic neuropathy. Through this article, we aim to provide information and options to address this condition effectively.

Understanding the Causes of Diabetic Neuropathy In Carroll IA

Individuals who have experienced diabetes for an extended duration generally exhibit elevated blood sugar levels compared to those without the condition. In a similar manner to how sugar negatively impacts dental health, excessively high blood sugar levels can also inflict damage upon the blood vessels that provide nourishment to our nerves. As these blood vessels and nerves sustain damage, the structures reliant on them suffer as well. For instance, individuals enduring diabetic neuropathy often encounter an extensive array of complications, including but not limited to skin disorders, hypertension, gastrointestinal issues, renal disease, vision impairments, and mental health disorders. It is crucial to recognize that diabetic neuropathy exclusively affects our peripheral nervous system, encompassing the nerves outside of our brain and spinal cord. Consequently, these nerves bear the responsibility of supplying all the structures associated with our limbs, organs, and even our eyes.

Related Disorders Linked to Diabetic Neuropathy

Understanding the existence of various nerve disorders and neuropathies is crucial. Identifying the symptoms associated with diabetic neuropathy can be a challenging process, but it is important to note that diabetic neuropathy solely affects individuals with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. The following list offers insights into the complications and conditions often linked to diabetic neuropathy:

  1. Mononeuropathy: This refers to damage occurring in a single peripheral nerve. Typically caused by physical injuries like a fractured arm, the pressure exerted on the nerve leads to abnormal sensations such as tingling or numbness. In severe cases, prolonged pressure can result in nerve death, causing a loss of function in the associated structure.
  2. Polyneuropathy: Similar to mononeuropathy, polyneuropathy involves damage to multiple nerves throughout the body. Unlike mononeuropathies, polyneuropathies are usually associated with systemic disorders like diabetes, nutritional deficiencies, liver problems, or cancer. Due to the involvement of a larger number of nerves, polyneuropathies tend to be more severe than mononeuropathies.
  3. Amyotrophy: Amyotrophy is frequently associated with diabetes and specifically refers to nerve damage affecting the groin, buttocks, and legs. As the nerves supplying these areas sustain damage, the corresponding muscles weaken.
  4. Third Nerve Palsy: Diabetes has been linked to eye damage, and the third cranial nerve plays a crucial role in eye movement. When this nerve is affected by diabetes, individuals experience difficulties in moving the eye in various directions. It is important to note that third nerve palsy can also be caused by other conditions.
  5. Mononeuropathy Multiplex: Like most of the previously mentioned conditions, mononeuropathy multiplex develops gradually over time. As sensory nerves, responsible for sensations, become damaged, individuals may experience persistent low back and leg pain.

Recognizing Indications and Symptoms of Diabetic Neuropathy

It is crucial to comprehend that individuals who receive an early-stage diabetes diagnosis do not immediately experience the symptoms associated with diabetic neuropathy. Diabetic neuropathy is a slow-developing complication of diabetes that may take over two decades to manifest noticeable signs. Regrettably, individuals with diabetes typically fail to recognize the indications and symptoms of diabetic neuropathy until it reaches an advanced stage. Identifying these symptoms early on can facilitate more effective treatment. Here are some of the most commonly observed signs and symptoms reported by patients at Iowa Neuropathy and Pain Clinic:

  • Experience of numbness or a sensation of pins and needles in the arms and legs.
  • Persistent feelings of sickness throughout the day.
  • Difficulties with bowel movements or recurring episodes of diarrhea.
  • Feeling full after consuming smaller meal portions than usual.
  • Trouble swallowing food or beverages.
  • Abnormal vomiting shortly after eating a meal.
  • Challenges with vision or speech.
  • Weakness in the muscles of the arms and legs.
  • Excessive or insufficient sweating.
  • Sexual dysfunction in both men and women.
  • Sensation of abnormal heat or cold.
  • Frequent urinary tract infections in women.
  • Drooping eyelids.
  • Dizziness upon standing up.
  • Increased heart rate or chest pain (be cautious about the possibility of a heart attack).

Frequent Complications Associated with Diabetic Neuropathy

While the previous compilation of signs and symptoms provides an understanding of how diabetic neuropathy affects the body, there are further complications linked to this disease process.

Unfortunately, many of these complications can be quite severe. In the advanced stages of diabetic neuropathy, there can be a complete loss of sensation in the lower extremities. Consequently, individuals may develop infections without being aware of their presence. The extent to which these infections progress unnoticed determines whether amputation becomes the necessary course of treatment. However, it is more common for deformities in the joints of the feet and knees to develop before reaching the point of amputation. Due to the interference with the nervous system, diabetic neuropathy is associated with a reduced ability to detect abnormally low blood sugar levels. Normally, individuals are able to recognize the symptoms of hypoglycemia and take appropriate measures to address it. However, those suffering from diabetic neuropathy often fail to receive these warning signs, which can sometimes lead to fatal consequences. Alongside these serious complications, individuals with diabetic neuropathy have reported an increased incidence of urinary tract infections, dizziness, difficulties with eating, and generalized nausea.

Diagnostic Tests for Diabetic Neuropathy

The diagnostic procedures for diabetic neuropathy vary from a basic physical examination to comprehensive testing. Often, the symptoms reported by patients can serve as a significant indicator of the presence of diabetic neuropathy. In cases where our doctors at Iowa Neuropathy and Pain Clinic are unable to conduct the necessary tests, we can always provide referrals for further testing. The following are some of the commonly performed tests and procedures to confirm the existence of diabetic neuropathy.

In our clinic, we usually initiate the process with a physical examination. This examination focuses on assessing the muscles and sensations that are frequently affected by the nerve damage associated with diabetic neuropathy. We begin by testing your reflexes, primarily in the legs and lower extremities. Additionally, we examine any changes in skin texture or color, assess blood pressure when transitioning from sitting to standing, and evaluate any loss of sensation in the legs and feet.

If, after the physical examination, our doctors still have uncertainties regarding the presence of diabetic neuropathy, we may recommend further testing. Typical diagnostic tests for diabetic neuropathy include electromyography (EMG) or nerve conduction studies (NCS), which are crucial for evaluating muscle and nerve function, respectively

Approaches to Treating Diabetic Neuropathy

Despite the prevalence of diabetes, one might expect a wide range of available treatment options. However, despite our extensive understanding of how diabetes develops and its effects on the body, the number of treatment solutions remains limited. The primary focus is on preventing the development of diabetic neuropathy in the first place by effectively managing blood sugar levels and promptly seeking treatment upon recognizing the signs and symptoms mentioned above. However, once diabetic neuropathy has manifested, most treatments target the resulting symptoms, with pain management being of utmost importance. The following are current treatment options, along with an ongoing investigation into a potential treatment.

As previously mentioned, elevated blood sugar levels have been identified as a major contributor to the development of diabetic neuropathy. The challenge for researchers and healthcare providers lies in maintaining blood sugar levels within an optimal range to avoid potentially severe complications.

When discussing an ideal blood sugar range, most doctors aim for readings between 70-100 mg/dl. Under normal circumstances, the body naturally regulates blood glucose levels through a complex interplay between the hormones glucagon and insulin. However, individuals with diabetes often face issues related to insulin function. Ensuring safe glucose levels in the bloodstream has become a pressing concern.

Dr. Callaghan, a prominent researcher in this field, has found that improved glucose control leads to significant improvements in diabetic neuropathy, particularly for individuals with Type 1 Diabetes. However, further research is needed to determine the safe levels of blood glucose. The concern arises from the fact that when blood glucose levels deviate from the optimal range, additional complications such as death, coma, behavioral abnormalities, muscle weakness, and weight gain can occur.

If you are experiencing neuropathy or diabetic neuropathy in Carroll IA, we encourage you to contact our team at Iowa Neuropathy and Pain Clinic today.


8:00am - 12:00pm
1:00pm - 6:00pm

8:00am - 12:00pm
1:00pm - 7:00pm

8:00am - 12:00pm
1:00pm - 5:00pm

8:00am - 12:00pm
1:00pm - 7:00pm

8:00am - 12:00pm
1:00pm - 5:00pm

8:00am - 10:30am


Iowa Neuropathy and Pain Clinic

715 N Clark St Suite B
Carroll, IA 51401

(712) 775-2418