Islets of Hope for persons newly diagnosed with diabetes

islets of hope home buttonabout type 1 diabetes buttonabout type 2 diabetes buttondiabetes care tips from othersdiabetes treatmentdiabetes education rightsdiabetes resources

Article disclaimer

Article by Lahle Wolfe. For reprint information e-mail:

diabetes forums
diabetes support lists
diabetes blog

Links to more comprehensive information on complications of diabetes

Diabetic Ketoacidosis
Diabetic Neuropathy
Diabetic Retinopathy
Eating Disorders
Erectile Dysfunctions
Foot & Skin Problems
Frozen Shoulder
Gum Disease
Heart Problems
High Blood Pressure
Insulin Shock
Kidney Problems
Lactic Acidosis
Seizures & Coma
Peripheral Artery Disease
Sexual Problems
Urologic Problems
Weight Gain
Weight Loss
Wound Care

 John A. Seneff
Numb Toes and Aching Souls:  This is, in a nutshell, the best current work on the subject of neuropathy for lay people. It explains the problem, goes through the rational for treatment, and discusses the treatments one by one. In addition to the use of  PO medication, it covers vitamin therapy, physical therapies, psychotherapy and for patients who fail standard treatments, it covers alternative therapies such as plasmapheresis and hyperbaric oxygen. Seneff also covers experimental treatments still in clinical studies. His treatment of the subject is comprehensive and empathetic. He  devotes a chapter to coping skills, which will benefit all diabetes patients. The sections on physical modalities are also very valuable. Many of these patients are on multiple medications already and are reluctant to take additional medicines.. Senneff found that many patients have gotten considerable relief from non-medical treatments.   Alan Sherman, DPM


Newly Diagnosed Diabetes Information
Information for those Newly Diagnosed with Diabetes                             Print Full Diabetes Complications Article

Complications of diabetes
Diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage)

This section:    Diabetic Neuropathy  *  Gastroparesis

Other complications:

Amputation  *  Blindness  *  Diabetic Ketoacidosis  *  Diabetic Neuropathy  *  Diabetic Retinopathy  *
Eating Disorders  *   Erectile Dysfunctions  *  Foot & Skin Problems  *  Gastroparesis
 *  Gum Disease *    Heart Problems  *
High Blood Pressure
 *  Infections  *   Infertility  *  Insulin Shock  *  Kidney Problems  *  Seizures & Coma  *
Peripheral Artery Disease  * Sexual Problems  *  Urologic Problems  *  Weight Gain  *  Weight Loss
 *  Wound Care

Click on any link to read more in-depth information about each topic.  

Diabetic Neuropathy

When blood glucose levels are too high, delicate nerves throughout the body can be destroyed.  Diabetic neuropathy can lead to blindness, loss of sensation in extremities, amputation, and impotence.  Neuropathy can also slow down the digestive process, delaying exit of food from the stomach.  This condition, called gastroparesis, can cause hyperglycemia (elevated blood glucose levels).  

Diabetic neuropathies are a family of nerve disorders caused by diabetes. People with diabetes can, over time, have damage to nerves throughout the body. Neuropathies lead to numbness and sometimes pain and weakness in the hands, arms, feet, and legs. Problems may also occur in every organ system, including the digestive tract, heart, and sex organs. People with diabetes can develop nerve problems at any time, but the longer a person has diabetes, the greater the risk.

An estimated 50 percent of those with diabetes have some form of neuropathy, but not all with neuropathy have symptoms. The highest rates of neuropathy are among people who have had the disease for at least 25 years.

Diabetic neuropathy also appears to be more common in people who have had problems controlling their blood glucose levels, in those with high levels of blood fat and blood pressure, in overweight people, and in people over the age of 40. The most common type is peripheral neuropathy, also called distal symmetric neuropathy, which affects the arms and legs.

Nerve damage can cause other problems with diabetes:

Diabetic Retinopathy - High blood glucose levels damage delicate nerves in the eye.  The retina is slowly destroyed and impaired vision or blindness may result. 

Erectile Dysfunctions - Erectile dysfunctions affects up to half of all men with diabetes.  It strikes more often in those with type 2, but also affects persons with type 1.  Also, see Sexual Problems and Urologic Problems

Foot & Skin Problems - Elevated glucose levels damage nerves throughout the body, including the feet.  Careful, daily examination of your feet is vital.  Small cuts and wounds can become severely infected due to poor circulation resulting from diabetic neuropathy.  Wounds not properly cared for can even lead to infections, gangrene and amputation.  Read excerpts from  NIH's publication on Foot and Skin Care, or IOH's special section on foot problems and care tips.

Kidney Problems  - Damage to nerves in the kidneys may cause life-long problems with this vital organ.

Peripheral Artery Disease  (PAD) - Damage to nerves can lead to poor circulation in the legs.


Contact Us  |  About IOH  |  Our Mission  |  Elizabeth's Story  |  About the Founder  |  Join IOH  |  How To Help  |  Advertise  |  Privacy Statement  |  Site Index  |

Page Updated 03/23/2006