FAQ\’s on Diabetic and Peripheral Neuropathy 

Diabetic Neuropathy is a family of nerve disorders that is most commonly caused by diabetes. There exist different categories of Diabetic Neuropathy depending on the nerves affected.
Peripheral neuropathy, also known as symmetric neuropathy, is a damage of nerves located  in the legs and arms. This is a common condition, it affects people with diabetes and advanced age,  50 year olds and above can be affected by this condition.

What causes diabetic peripheral neuropathy?

There are several conditions that cause peripheral neuropathy. Health conditions include: –Diabetic and Peripheral Neuropathy Chronic liver disease, chronic kidney disease, HIV infection, diabetes, lymphoma (cancer of the lymphatic system), Lyme disease (bacterial infection spread by ticks).

Although it does not affect all patients, medications that can cause this condition to occur as a result of side effects are:

  • Antiretroviral: medication used to treat HIV virus infection
  • Microtubule inhibitors: chemotherapy medication used to treat different cancers like advanced breast cancer.
  • Metronidazole: it’s used to treat infection caused by parasites.
  • Thalidomide: a medication used to treat multiple myeloma.
  • Phenytoin: medication used to treat epilepsy.
  • Disulfiram: a medication used to treat people dependent on alcohol.

The symptoms of diabetic peripheral neuropathy

Diabetic and Peripheral Neuropathy Treatment Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy may include numb feeling or insensitivity to temperature or pain, a tingling, burning and pricking sensation, sharp pains and cramps, sensitive to slightest touch, loss of balance and body part coordination, the symptoms are usually worse at night.

The affected nerves are located in the toes, legs, feet, arms and hands. Peripheral neuropathy may cause foot deformities such as hammertoes and the collapse of the midfoot. Blisters may also appear on the numb areas of the feet due to injuries going unnoticed when the foot is put under pressure for long hours. Some of these injuries, if left untreated, will lead to amputation because such infections can spread to the bone and this is definitely preventable if action is taken in time to treat the injuries.

How is diabetic peripheral neuropathy diagnosed?

There is no cure for diabetic neuropathy; there are treatments to manage the symptomsDiabetic and Peripheral Neuropathy experienced by patients. Prevent diabetic neuropathy or slow down its development with very strict blood sugar control and healthy lifestyle. The nerve pain can be controlled by duloxetine, tricyclic antidepressants or antiseizure medications. Patients can manage the pain and protect the feet. Many opt to seek depression medication as well as counseling. Alpha-lipoic acid is a latest development that is effective to relieve symptoms of peripheral neuropathy. Lidocaine and capsaicin are topical agents that help relieve nerve pain in many patients.
Patients need to give up smoking, cut down on their alcohol consumption, and maintain a physically healthy body weight and should do plenty of exercise.

Treatment options for diabetic peripheral neuropathy

Diabetic and Peripheral Neuropathy TreatmenNeurotic pain does not respond well to treatment with the widely used pain killers, they cause various side effects and one needs to try out several medications to know which the right one is.
Pregabalin is used to treat neuropathic pain, common side effects include: – dizziness and tiredness.
Duloxetine a medication to treat severe depression also associated in treating diabetic polyneuropathy. Reports show that patients that used this drag suddenly have thoughts of hurting themselves or even committing suicide, common side effects include: – nausea, dry mouth, tiredness and constipation.

Reports and results from previous patients prove that these medications have worked well either to minimize complication or prevent this condition from occurring. Diabetes is a condition that cannot be cured it can just be controlled by managing sugar intake. The key to treating this condition is to catch it early, when the root causes can best be addressed. Careful monitoring of the patient to watch for an appearance of neuropathy symptoms can help to prevent the condition from worsening.