Everything You Need to Know about Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

Neuropathy is one of the leading complications of diabetes. It's a type of nerve damage that's caused by chronically high glucose levels. The pain can be dull or severe. Some people experience numbness while others feel shooting pain. More than half of all people with diabetes suffer from neuropathy.

Over 100 million adults have diabetes. And that number is only growing. As the rate of diabetes increases worldwide, so does the rate of neuropathy. Do you or a loved one suffer from diabetes? Make sure you're educated on diabetic neuropathy and how to treat it.

What is diabetic peripheral neuropathy?

The peripheral nerves are in the fingers and toes. When nerve damage occurs, you lose sensation in these body parts. Which causes several painful symptoms:

Diabetic peripheral neuropathy can be dangerous. Not only do you lose the ability to feel parts of your body. But the symptoms can increase rapidly. You might not know anything is wrong until you try to stand up and realize you can't feel your feet. The damage can grow very quickly.

Some people with diabetic peripheral neuropathy have their toes or feet amputated. For this reason, doctors recommend diabetics schedule regular examinations.

What are the risk factors of diabetic peripheral neuropathy?

High glucose levels are the most common cause of peripheral neuropathy. But other factors can play a part. Here are a few:

Are there other types of neuropathy?

Diabetes can cause other types of neuropathy as well. Depending on the type, nerve damage can impact more than your hands and feet. Here are the other specific types of diabetic neuropathy:

How is diabetic peripheral neuropathy treated?

You can treat diabetic peripheral neuropathy by maintaining control of your blood sugar. Keeping blood glucose levels low can reduce or stop symptoms.

You should try to keep glucose levels between 70 and 130 mg/dL before meals and below 180 mg/dL two hours after meals. Blood sugar guidelines may be different for older adults. Or those who have other health conditions. Work with your doctor to address your specific blood sugar guidelines.

You should also have an HbA1C test at least twice a year to measure your blood sugar over a three-month period. Medications such as anti-seizure drugs or certain antidepressants can help relieve nerve pain. It's also important to live a healthy lifestyle. Smoking, heavy drinking, and overeating can increase symptoms.

Dr. Mohamed Youssef, at the Neuropathy Treatment Clinics of Texas, can help manage your diabetes and keep you as healthy as possible. Call our office at 972-920-6968 or schedule an appointment online.

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