You are likely to get diabetes if you don’t observe a healthy lifestyle. Poor behaviors such as physical inactivity and poor diet over time can negatively affect your health. Diabetic muscle wasting is a feature of chronic high blood sugar.
Diabetes is a metabolic syndrome associated with a persistent increase in your blood sugar levels. You get heart disease, kidney disease, eye disease, and neuropathy when you fail to control your blood sugars.
Diabetic Muscle Wasting
Muscle loss is a rare symptom of diabetes mellitus. It mainly occurs in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Proximal neuropathy, a complication of diabetes mellitus, can weaken and reduce the function of your hips, thighs and the muscles of your legs.
The occurrence of muscle wasting varies among individuals. It is not obvious that you will lose your muscles once you get diabetes. But, in a situation where you do get it and severely lose your muscle bulk, you suffer Quadriparesis(extreme lower and upper limb weakness.
How do You get Diabetic Muscle Wasting?
There are many ways in which diabetic can predispose you to muscle loss. Read on to find out the most common causes of diabetic muscle wasting.
Disuse of Muscle
Diabetes can cause the soft tissues of your digits and limbs to thicken. You then develop contractures as the time goes by which then limit the range of movement of your muscles-hence disuse.
Induration of the Arteries
Diabetes is a risk factor for atherosclerosis, hardening of arteries. The space for the passage of blood in your blood vessels become narrow limiting the supply of blood, nutrients, and oxygen to your muscles. As a result, you lose your muscle bulk.
Hardening of your arteries also causes muscle cramps and pain. Your muscle cells may die due to infarction when the muscle cramps get worse.
High blood sugars can damage your nerves. Diabetes reduces the nerve supply to your limbs making them not to function well. You then lose muscle as a result of immobility and muscle twitches.
Diabetes may cause your immune system to damage your small blood vessel that supplies your nerves. This eventually reduces the nerve supply to your muscles.
Studies suggest that high blood glucose levels can increase myostatin levels. Myostatin is a molecule in your body that regulates muscle loss. Higher levels of myostatin bind to your muscle cells and initiate the destruction of your mitochondria, “the powerhouse of the cell.” Your muscles then fail to get enough energy and get atrophied.
Treatment of Diabetic Muscle Wasting
Unfortunately, there is no cure for proximal neuropathy. But, you can prevent it from happening by ensuring that your sugars stay controlled. In the event where you do have diabetic muscle loss, here are methods that can help prevent its severity.
- Neuropathic pain painkillers.
- Anticonvulsants like gabapentin.
- Anti-inflammatory drugs such as corticosteroids.
- Surgery in severe cases.
Prevention of Diabetic Muscle Wasting
Tight control of your blood sugars together with adherence to the following measures can keep you away from muscle loss.
Regular physical exercise helps the function of your muscles. It also decreases your hemoglobin A1C which is usually elevated in diabetes mellitus.
In addition, exercise increases maximal oxygen consumption of your muscle and endurance. This improves the growth of your nerve and muscle strength.
Maintain Your Diabetic Diet
Proteins with minimal calories and saturated fat can help improve your muscle tone without elevating your blood glucose. Here is a list of such proteins.
- Lean beef and pork.
- Fish, such as salmon and tuna.
- Chicken nuggets.
- Beans such as pinto and lima beans.
Smoking is addictive. Quitting is certainly difficult but, not far impossible. Smoking hardens your arteries. This impairs blood supply to your muscles and damages your nerves.
Diabetes may make you feel anxious. You may worry about your glucose control, diet, and complication of diabetes. Depression can cause weakness, trembling and twitching of your muscles. Avoiding depression can improve your nerve function and keep you free of nerve pain.
You can fight back diabetic muscle wasting. Adhere to your doctor’s recommendations and follow the above measures and your muscles will ever stay healthy.