By Michael Bryer-Ash
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Extra info for 100 questions & answers about diabetes
If the screening test is positive, it is followed by a more detailed 3-hour test for which prior fasting is necessary. QXP 10/7/09 10:52 AM Page 28 1 0 0 Q U E S T I O N S & A N S W E R S A B O U T D I A B E T E S 23. Can I “feel” my high and low blood sugars reliably? Although many people with diabetes confidently state that they can reliably detect both their high and low blood sugars without actual measurement, studies have shown that these beliefs are not usually accurate. Hypoglycemia An abnormally low level of glucose in the blood; symptoms include shakiness, sweatiness, hunger, abdominal discomfort, palpitations, and confusion.
Diabetic neuropathy is the term used to describe the usually chronic damage to nerves that occurs as a result of untreated, or inadequately treated, high blood sugar. It results from a complex sequence of events that leads to damage and destruction of the minute blood vessels that nourish nerves along their course to the region of the body they serve after leaving the spinal canal. Each such nerve is a single cell. The longest nerves, much like long chains, are the most susceptible to damage. , a nerve cell not contained in the brain or spinal column) emerging from the spinal column and traveling to the toes were the thickness of a piece of string, it would be 3 miles in length!
The most serious consequence of unperceived injury is infection. Because the blood supply to the feet may also be impaired, the healing and immune response to both the injury and the infection can be compromised, so that a chronically infected wound results. The most dangerous consequences of chronically infected wounds are spread of infection to the deeper tissues, including the bones, and entry of infectious organisms into the bloodstream, which can lead to blood poisoning (septicemia) or spread by the bloodstream of infection to other body tissues.