If you have diabetes, you may also be at risk of paralysis. Diabetic paralysis can occur as a result of a stroke due to diabetes. In the United States, statistics show that 2 out of 3 diabetics will die of either heart disease or stroke,according to AreYouDiabetic.net. The most common consequence of stroke is paralysis. Therefore, diabetics are at a large risk of developing paralysis.
The most common type of diabetic paralysis is the paralysis of the vocal cord. This caused by nerve impulses towards the larynx getting interrupted. If the vocal cords get paralyzed at closed positions, the airflow to the lungs is also affected. If the paralysis occurs with the vocal cords being open, the patient’s voice becomes weak, hoarse, or breathy. Diabetic paralysis may also affect other parts of the body, including the legs, arms, and face. Diabetic paralysis may also occur on one side of the patient’s body or on both sides.
Transient ischemic attack (TIA) may also cause diabetic paralysis. TIA is similar to a stroke, but it only lasts a few minutes and causes no permanent damage. It is known to cause temporary paralysis in the face, arm, or leg. This disorder is characterized by the narrowing of the arteries to the brain brought about by the accumulation of fat. Diabetics are at a higher-than-normal risk of this disorder.
Another reason that diabetics are at risk of paralysis is because of diabetic nerve damage (neuropathy). Neuropathy is fairly common among diabetics. One particular type of neuropathy is focal neuropathy, which leads to paralysis on one side of the face (Bell’s palsy).
Symptoms Leading to Diabetic Paralysis
To avoid diabetic paralysis caused by stroke it is important to understand how the stroke can be prevented. Cholesterol and blood pressure are the greatest contributors to diabetic stroke. It is also extremely important to keep your blood sugar levels under control. People with diabetes are more likely to have plaque buildup and clot formations which may cause a blockage in the blood vessels which lead to the brain. Therefore, diabetics should know the symptoms of a stroke. The symptoms that may indicate a stroke include:
- Impaired speech
- Inability to see in one eye or double vision
- Inability to walk
- Paralysis on one side of the body
- Numbness or tingling
TIA symptoms are similar to those of a stroke, and it is sometimes hard to tell if the symptoms will result in TIA or a full-blown stroke. Either way it should be considered an emergency. In addition, people who have had TIA are at increased risk of having a stroke.
As mentioned above focal neuropathy is another condition which may lead to diabetic paralysis. Neuropathies of diabetes are brought on by years of uncontrolled high blood sugar levels. It is important to know the signs of focal neuropathy as well, in order to avoid diabetic paralysis in the future. Symptoms of focal neuropathy are:
- Pain in a single, limited area of the body, such as the wrist or foot
- Pain in and around one of the eyes, difficulty moving the eyes, or double vision
- Pain that occurs in a band-shaped are around the chest or abdomen
- Weakness and pain in the lower back which often extends into the thigh