Diabetic Neuropathy Essay Sample

Diabetic Neuropathy Essay Sample

Diabetic neuropathy is a disorder caused by diabetes. Patient with diabetes can develop nerve damage throughout the body. There are cases wherein the symptoms are not evident. Sometimes there are disturbing symptoms such as pain, tingling or numbness in the hands, arms, feet and legs. Our case study is about an African patient with diabetic neuropathy on both feet. She drinks occasionally, ex-smoker and smoked for 35 years. As we go along with the paper we will show how smoking and drinking affects the condition.

            Neuropathy is present in 60 to 70 percent of patient with diabetes. Risk of having neuropathy rises depending on the age and the longer duration of diabetes. In the literature review studies and researches about diabetic neuropathy are presented to understand and learn the nature of the condition.

Literature Review

            It is estimated from a comprehensive collection of epidemiologic studies that the prevalence of neuropathy in diabetes patients is approximately 30% in hospital patients and 20% in community patients. (Shaw, Zimmet, 1999). Hyperglycemia is the primary risk factor of diabetic neuropathy. Cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, hypertension, height, and hypercholesterolemia are all considered independent risk factors for diabetic neuropathy. (Adler, Boyko, et. al., 1997).

There are different types of diabetic neuropathy; each affects different parts of the body in several ways. Peripheral, autonomic, proximal, or focal are the classification of diabetic neuropathy. (National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse – NDIC, Feb., 2008). Peripheral neuropathy is the most common type of diabetic neuropathy; it causes pain or loss of feeling in the toes, feet, legs, hands and arms. Autonomic neuropathy causes changes in digestion, bowel and bladder function, sexual response, and perspiration