Over the time diabetes can often lead to diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage) throughout the body. The risk of diabetic neuropathy increases with age, obesity, longer duration of diabetes and poor control of blood sugar.
Diabetes can lead to nerve damage (diabetic neuropathy) throughout the body over time. The risk of diabetic neuropathy increases with age, obesity, longer duration of diabetes and poor control of blood sugar.
The exact cause of diabetic neuropathy is not known. Nerve damage probably occurs due to a combination of factors such as:
Diabetic neuropathy most commonly affects the feet and legs. Symptoms of diabetic peripheral neuropathy are:
Pain and other symptoms are usually worsened at night. Nerve damage in the feet can result in loss of foot sensation, which can cause injuries to go unnoticed. Hence it is important that you practice proper skin and foot care. In patients with early symptoms of diabetic peripheral neuropathy optimal control of blood sugar can reduce the symptoms.
Tests and diagnosis
According to experts all people with diabetes should have a comprehensive foot exam each year to check for peripheral neuropathy.
Your may perform following tests as part of your diagnosis:
Doctors usually treat pain in diabetic neuropathy with oral drugs. No particular drug has been found to be effective in all patients. Alternative therapies have been noted to help some people. Most people usually need a combination of medications or treatments for relieving pain in diabetic neuropathy.
Alternative therapies that have found to beneficial in relieving pain include acupuncture, biofeedback, physical therapy, electrical nerve stimulation, magnetic therapy, and laser or light therapy. No particular therapy is beneficial in all patients. You will have to try and assess if a particular therapy can relieve your pain. Bed cradle is a device that can prevent sheets and blankets from touching sensitive feet and legs.
There are no home remedies that can effectively relieve pain. But home care can prevent further tissue damage and provide pain relief to an extent.
The most effective way to prevent neuropathy is to keep your blood glucose levels in the normal range if possible with medications and diet.
Measures to prevent the complications of peripheral neuropathy are:
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