Prediabetic and Diabetic Neuropathy Doctor
The Silent Epidemic of Peripheral Neuropathy
More than 40 million Americans now suffer with some form of peripheral neuropathy. The cause in nearly 70% of these cases is either pre-diabetes or full-blown diabetes. Are you experiencing any numbness, prickling or tingling in the toes or fingers? Are you sometimes kept up at night by restless legs? Then you may be developing peripheral neuropathy. Your nerves are a very precious thing to waste. If you’re destroying the nerves in your hands and feet, it is very likely that you are damaging them in your brain!
What Is Peripheral Neuropathy
It means that you have sick and damaged nerves in your feet and/or hands. Generally, the symptoms of numbness, prickling or tingling in the toes or fingers begins as a mild problem. You may only become aware of this nerve damage after it is well established.
With a, thorough neurological exam, a careful doctor can find evidence of peripheral neuropathy even before you are aware of the symptoms. This neurological exam followed up by proper laboratory tests can identify the underlying metabolic causes of your neuropathy. Armed with this knowledge a doctor trained in in Functional Medicine can start the process of reversing your neuropathy naturally with diet, nutraceuticals, acupuncture and various therapies.
Diabetes Is the Most Common Cause
This neuropathy develops over time from elevated blood sugars and insulin causing inflammation, reduced blood flow, decreased oxygen levels and nutritional deficiencies in the peripheral nerves. However, many individuals not yet diagnosed with diabetes are in fact developing early neuropathy from metabolic syndrome with its insulin resistance, elevated blood sugars and nutritional deficiencies.
Prediabetes and Neuropathy
New research now shows that you do not have to wait to be diabetic to get diabetic neuropathy! Research has now established that the risk to neuropathy correlates with your blood sugar levels after eating, not your fasting glucose. If you are relying on your yearly physical of a fasting blood glucose you may be being led astray.
Even with normal fasting blood glucose, it is quite common to have undetected glucose and insulin spikes after eating - high enough to damage nerve tissue. As soon as your post meal blood sugar goes over 140 mg/dl your risk for neuropathy starts to rise - even if you are not diabetic. If this happens often enough you will eventually damage your nerves and begin to have symptoms.
Because prediabetes has already damaged the nerves in nearly half of those newly diagnosed with diabetes, it is vital for anyone over the age of 35 to be properly tested for pre-diabetes and early signs of nerve damage. I can’t emphasize enough, if you think you may have prediabetes, or have been diagnosed with diabetes, you need to see a doctor who will look carefully for the early signs of peripheral neuropathy.
The Signs of Prediabetes
One of the most common signs of pre-diabetes is easy weight gain and difficult weight loss because of the elevated levels of insulin in pre-diabetes. Insulin has one primary command. “you shall store fat.” With this it seems that no matter what you eat you gain weight.
Along with this is the very common symptom of fatigue. Many individuals are confused because their thyroid checks out normal, but they’re gaining weight and are always fatigued with brain fog. This is a dead giveaway that you probably have prediabetes.
There are also signs such as slow wound healing, vision changes and even patches of darkened skin. Then there is the odd numbness and tingling in the toes or fingers in prediabetes, potentially peripheral neuropathy. To catch this and properly treat it without drugs, you need a knowledgeable doctor to test your HA1c, insulin levels and a one hour post meal glucose level.
What Will Not Fix This
The pharmaceutical industry would have you believe that controlling your blood sugar with drugs or insulin will protect you from organ and nerve damage and early death. And that type II diabetes is not reversible. Don’t you believe it! A new study published by Mayo Researchers found that the use of drugs to control your blood glucose levels showed no significant benefit in reducing the risk of dialysis, kidney transplant, renal death, blindness, or neuropathy.
Act Now and Save Your Brain
If you know you are diabetic or prediabetic or even starting to notice some of the early signs of prediabetes, you need to act now before it’s too late. Remember, if you’re destroying the nerves in your hands and feet, likely you are damaging them in your brain. An early sign of this is brain fog, mood and memory issues. One of the leading causes of Alzheimer’s is elevated blood sugar levels, they are now calling Alzheimer’s Type III diabetes.
Eventually peripheral neuropathy will lead to greater disability, that of muscle weakness, loss of balance and coordination. An individualized personal lifestyle medicine approach is vital in healing peripheral neuropathy.
Want to know more?
Join me, Dr. Greg Fors, for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation or better yet make an appointment for an in-office personal 15-minute consultation with me. To set up your consultation call my clinic at 763-862-7100.