Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is the most common side effect of diabetes. The majority of people who have diabetes – between 60% and 70% – will eventually develop this condition. Diabetic peripheral neuropathy can diminish a person’s quality of life and lead to other, more dangerous health complications, so it’s important to treat it effectively and prevent it whenever possible. This article provides a brief overview of diabetic peripheral neuropathy.
Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is nerve damage that results from chronic high blood sugar. This nerve damage may cause numbness or tingling sensations in the limbs and extremities, or it may cause pain. Besides being uncomfortable, the condition makes it more difficult for the body to heal even small cuts and sores, which can lead to life-threatening infections. Diabetic peripheral neuropathy occurs most often in the legs and feet.
Diabetic peripheral neuropathy doesn’t feel the same for everyone. Some people experience it as an itching or burning sensation, while others feel a prickling pins-and-needles sensation or become extremely sensitive to touch. Others feel numb or cold in their limbs and extremities. In more extreme cases, people with this condition may feel weak or lose their coordination. If you have diabetic peripheral neuropathy, you may start out with just one of these symptoms and then go on to develop more.
Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is a progressive condition, and it can’t be cured. However, some people can avoid developing it by carefully keeping their blood sugar in check. Someone who manages their blood sugar levels appropriately may be able to maintain healthy nerves and circulation throughout their life. If someone already has diabetic peripheral neuropathy, they may be able to prevent it from progressing with the right treatment choices.
Diabetic peripheral neuropathy can be treated both with good lifestyle choices and with medication. A healthy lifestyle – eating right, exercising, avoiding tobacco and alcohol, and keeping blood sugar at healthy levels – can go a long way towards preventing diabetic peripheral neuropathy from getting worse. There are a number of medications that are used for easing the discomfort of this condition as well. These medications include antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and opioids. Pain-relieving creams, patches, and sprays, all of which are applied directly to the skin, are also available.
If you have diabetic peripheral neuropathy, don’t wait any longer to seek help. You don’t have to live in pain or discomfort. Call Jeffrey M. Epstein for a consultation today to start your journey towards relief.