Diabetes is classified as juvenile diabetes or diabetes mellitus. Diabetic mellitus is a metabolic disorder caused by decreased or defective insulin secretions.
Effects of Diabetes
Long-term hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) causes moderate to severe damage of eyes, heart, nerves, kidneys and blood vessels. Symptoms of high blood sugar are blurred vision, polyuria (increase urine), polydipsia (excessive thirst), polyphagia (increase appetite) and weight loss. Uncontrolled high blood sugar may cause life-threatening ketoacidosis or the non-ketotic hyperosmolar syndrome.
Prolonged poorly controlled diabetes can cause complications like peripheral neuropathy, retinopathy, nephropathy and peripheral vascular disease. Risk of complication increases with age and duration of diabetes.
Diabetes affects 60 to 70 percent of patients causing somatic and autonomic nerve damage called neuropathy. Diabetic neuropathy is either symptomatic or asymptomatic. Symptoms caused by somatic nerve damage are numbness, tingling, weakness, muscle wasting and severe pain. Autonomic nerve damage can cause symptoms related to heart, gastrointestinal system and sex organs. Autonomic symptoms are diarrhea, constipation, urinary incontinence, dizziness and erectile problems.
Diabetic neuropathy is common among patients suffering with uncontrolled diabetes. Nerve damage or neuropathy is caused by high level of serum carbohydrate, nerve ischemia caused by damage blood vessel and autoimmune injuries caused by increased blood sugar. Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is extremely painful.
Exercise Therapy for Diabetic Neuropathy Pain- Animal Lab Study
Recent animal lab study suggests regular exercise can reduce the symptoms of pain in animal model of diabetic rat suffering with painful neuropathy caused by diabetes. Scientific paper was published in recent Anesthesia and Analgesia journal of International Anesthesia research society. Symptoms of pain were observed in diabetic rats that did not exercise, while symptoms of pain were not observed in diabetic rats performing regular exercises. Exercising diabetic rats had increased expression of Hsp 72 in nerve tissues. Hsp 72 is a protein molecule, Hsp72 protects the nerves from cellular and tissue damage.
Findings of study also indicate exercise improves blood circulation of central and peripheral nervous system and maintains low glucose level. Low blood sugar level prevents nerve damage triggered by autoimmune mechanism. Patients and therapist had experienced improvements of neuropathy symptoms after yoga therapy and regular exercises in the past. The article gives the scientific explanation of causes behind symptomatic improvement of neuropathy after regular exercise.