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Can You Die From Diabetic Neuropathy?

The prognosis of diabetic neuropathy is indeed scary. There was an article published in the UK newspaper; about a 41-year-old woman who died of diabetes while sleeping. She was living with a condition called autonomic neuropathy. Her family stated that she neither had a cardiac arrest nor low blood sugar level so it was quite astonishing what really stopped her heart. The autopsy report confirmed that autonomic neuropathy has traversed through the blood vessels and halted her heartbeat.

Cardiovascular autonomic neuropathy often goes unrecognized but a frequent complication of diabetes mellitus leading to sudden cardiac death. It has a potential impact on several cardiac diseases such as myocardial ischemia and infarction, hypertension, orthostatic hypotonia, heart failure, and arrhythmias.

Can You Die From Diabetic Neuropathy?

Can You Die From Diabetic Neuropathy?

Perhaps, yes. However, before that, you should know how the heart-beats and the kinds of diabetic neuropathy. Most people with diabetes live with neuropathy in their feet and toes and this condition is often referred to as diabetic peripheral neuropathy (a complication that affects the peripheral nerves)

It occurs due to an uncontrollable sugar level over an extended period resulting in jabbing pain from something mild to absolutely terrific.

When Do Nerves Get Damaged?

Diabetic neuropathy is a condition when the nerves in the body’s extremities get damaged. Medical studies show that around 1 in 55 people in the UK suffer from this condition if they have a history of diabetes mellitus. Nevertheless, the symptoms vary depending on the nerve damaged. There are different types of nerves and each has its specific functions

Sensory Nerves- Also called as afferent nerves that are involved with sensation and perception. It sends signals to collect information from the sensory receptors that monitor the body’s internal and external conditions.

Motor Nerves – It carries signals from the central nervous system to the outer parts of the body.

Autonomic Nerves- It regulates certain body processes and involuntary body functions such as blood pressure, digestion, and the rate of breathing.

We would have experienced numbness in feet and hands when we are sitting or standing in one position for long however it disappears after a while. This is due to the compression of the blood vessels that transmit oxygen and nutrients to the nerves causing loss of sensation or tingling feel, a temporary condition that comes back to normal after the pressure is released.

However, for individuals with diabetic-related neuropathy, the tingling, numbness, and uncomfortable feelings don’t go away immediately because this is a condition of injury or irritation to the nerves. If the damaged nerves are autonomic, the complications are more severe because it influences the basic functions such as bladder and bowel controls are impaired.

One of the main threats to this chronic condition is due to aging. The aging process accelerates the early onset of autonomic neuropathy. 1. 2.

Complications Of Peripheral Neuropathy

The complications of diabetic peripheral neuropathy depend on the underlying cause in which the nerves are damaged. The most possible complications are
Undetected hypoglycemia (very low level of blood sugar)

Gastroparesis (a digestive disorder that affects the normal spontaneous movement of the muscles in which the stomach cannot empty itself of food in a normal fashion) Foot ulcer (an open sore that occurs in approximately 15 percent of patients with diabetes)

Patients with diabetes have an increased risk of developing gangrene in the foot resulting in the death of body tissue. When this condition is not diagnosed and treated early, it can lead to amputation of the foot.

If diabetes neuropathy left untreated, it can raise the blood sugar levels and affect various cells and organs in the body. This eventually results in severe complications such as kidney failure, vision problems and increased risk of heart diseases. Cardiovascular diabetic neuropathy is often associated with a higher risk of sudden cardiac death. Lifestyle and home remedies can help you feel better and reduce the risk of this condition. 3.


Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:November 26, 2021

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