STEPS TO DELAY OR PREVENT DIABETIC NERVE PAIN
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STEPS TO DELAY OR PREVENT DIABETIC NERVE PAIN

PREVENT DIABETIC NERVE PAIN

INTRODUCTION


Let’s talk about Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy (DPN) and the pain it causes. We will touch on aspects like What exactly is DPN? How does it happen? What are the warning signs? How can we delay or prevent it from happening? 
We will also talk a little bit about the available treatment options and alternative interventions such as diabetic peripheral neuropathy clinical trials that are known to have helped diabetics find some semblance of relief. 

WHAT IS DIABETIC NERVE PAIN?


Diabetic Nerve Pain is one of the most common consequences of diabetes. Due to elevated blood sugar levels, this illness destroys your nerves. Depending on its severity, this ailment can impact your extremities as well as other organ systems like digestion, urine, heart, and blood vessels. The symptoms range from nerve pain to ulcers that can even lead to amputation.

  
Diabetic neuropathy affects about half of those who have diabetes. Consistent blood sugar management and a healthy lifestyle, on the other hand, can help prevent or, at least, reduce the progression of DPN. We must understand the pathophysiology of this painful complication.

HOW DOES NERVE DAMAGE HAPPEN?

Diabetes is a disease that affects the pancreas, an organ that produces insulin. Insulin is in charge of transferring glucose/sugar to your body’s cells in the form of energy. Diabetes is caused by either a lack of insulin responsiveness or a lack of insulin synthesis.

Uncontrolled high blood sugar levels are thought to cause nerve damage and interfere with the nerves’ capacity to transmit information in the form of impulses. Furthermore, high blood sugar weakens the walls of the tiny blood vessels (capillaries) that provide oxygen and nutrients to the nerves. Diabetic neuropathy is the result of all of these variables which are characterized by Diabetic Nerve Pain.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS TO LOOK OUT FOR IF YOU ARE A DIABETIC


Diabetic neuropathy symptoms vary depending on the type of DPN and which nerves are affected. These signs and symptoms appear gradually, and you may not realize them until the damage is done. There are four basic forms of DPN, and the symptoms to be aware of and watch for differing based on which type you have:

Distal Symmetric Peripheral Neuropathy:


Commonly known as Peripheral Neuropathy is the most common type of diabetic neuropathy. This condition first affects your lower extremities and then jumps to the upper extremities. The symptoms one might experience in this type along with Nerve pain include:

  • Numbness or a loss of sensation for pain or temperature changes.
  • Feeling of being burnt or tickled.
  • Intense aches or cramps.
  • Increased sensitivity to touch – even the weight of a blanket can be uncomfortable for some people.
  • Serious foot problems, such as ulcers, and infections, along with bone & joint discomfort.


The nerves that control your autonomic nervous system are destroyed in Autonomic Neuropathy. Your eyes, heart, digestive system, bladder, and sexual organs are all controlled by your autonomic nervous system. The symptoms to look for include:

STEPS TO DELAY OR PREVENT DIABETIC NERVE PAIN
STEPS TO DELAY OR PREVENT DIABETIC NERVE PAIN
  • Hypoglycemia unawareness (A lack of awareness of low blood sugar levels).
  • Bowel and bladder problems.
  • Gastroparesis (slow stomach emptying), resulting in nausea, vomiting, and a loss of appetite.
  • The inability of your eyes to adjust from light to dark.
  • Reduced libido and sexual responsiveness.


Proximal Neuropathy (Diabetic Polyradiculopathy):


This kind of neuropathy affects the lower extremities, abdomen, and chest. Symptoms that can appear on one or both sides of the body include the following:

  • Pain in the hips, thighs, or buttocks.
  • Thigh muscles become weak and shrink.
  • Difficulty standing from a seated position.
  • Extreme stomach pain.


Mononeuropathy (Focal Neuropathy):


Focal or Mononeuropathy can be either Cranial or Peripheral, depending on which nerve it affects. This sort of neuropathy can lead to a variety of problems such as:

  • Double vision or difficulty focusing.
  • Pain in the backside of anyone’s eye
  • Bell’s palsy causes paralysis on one side of the face.
  • Tingling or numbness in your hand or fingers (except for the little finger).
  • Hand weakness that makes holding things difficult.


Nerve compressions (entrapment syndrome), the most prevalent of which is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, are another difficulty that diabetic patients confront.

STEPS TO PREVENT OR DELAY NERVE DAMAGE


You can do a lot to prevent or delay nerve damage. Furthermore, if you already have diabetic neuropathy or Diabetic Nerve Pain, these steps can help you control your blood sugar levels which, in turn, would help avoid or delay future damage while also alleviating your symptoms.

  • Meal planning, physical activity, and, if necessary, medications can all help you attain your target BP range. You can monitor your blood sugar levels in two ways:
  • Use a blood glucose meter to assist you in making day-to-day care decisions.
  • Have an A1C test (a lab test) at least twice a year to find out your average blood sugar for the previous 2 to 3 months.
  • Keeping a track of your blood sugar levels will tell you if your diabetes care plan is working or if you need to change it. Here is what you can do to prevent Diabetic Nerve Pain or neuropathy from getting out of your hands:
  • Report immediately if you encounter any symptoms of diabetic neuropathy. Early therapy can help you avoid further difficulties in the future. Early treatment of a foot infection, for example, can help you avoid amputation.
  • Examine your feet several times a day to make sure that they are in perfect shape. You will be unable to diagnose a foot injury if you can no longer feel pain in your feet. Rather, use your eyes to look for irregularities. Use a mirror to reflect and check the plantar surface of your feet. Feeling for hot or cold spots, pimples, or dry skin with your hands is a good idea. Look for sores, wounds, and cracks in the skin. Corns, calluses, blisters, redness, swelling, ingrown toenails, and toenail infections are just a few of the things to look for. Seek assistance from a family member or a foot doctor if you’re having problems seeing or reaching your feet.  
  • Make sure your feet are moist. Use a lotion on your skin, to avoid dryness, but not between your toes. Wear shoes and socks that are comfortable and that you can wear all day. Wash your feet with warm water and dry them thoroughly afterwards.
  • If necessary, obtain specific footwear. Medicare may cover the cost of shoes if you have foot problems. Inquire with your medical staff about it.
  • When it comes to exercise, be cautious. For patients with neuropathy, certain physical activities are not recommended. Consult a diabetes clinical exercise professional for advice.

TREATMENT OPTIONS


DPN does not have a definite cure. What you can do is:

  • Slow the disease progression by checking and controlling your blood sugar levels. The American Association of Diabetes recommends the following blood sugar range for diabetics:
  • Before meals: between 80 and 130 mg/dL, or 4.4 and 7.2 millimoles per litre (mmol/L),
  • Two hours after meals: less than 180 mg/dL (10.0 mmol/L)
  • Pain relief with different medicines in oral or other forms. These prescriptions may include:
  • Antiseizure drugs.
  • Antidepressants.
  • Local anaesthesia injections.
  • Implantation of a pain-relieving device.
  • Nerve stimulation by electric current.
  • Managing complications and restoring functions. The best way to do so is by consulting a specialist depending on the neuropathy-related complication you are suffering from.

LIFE BEYOND DIABETIC NERVE PAIN


Diabetic Neuropathy can be very depressing to go through. It not only affects your physical health but also your mental health. But this is not the end of the world, there are many symptomatic treatment options available in the market that you can benefit from.

Another alternative is the clinical research being conducted in hopes of finding a definitive cure for this painful and limiting condition. You can always participate in clinical research studies near you to help yourself and other people who are going through the same.

THE TAKEAWAY


Diabetic neuropathy is a significant diabetes consequence that affects up to 50% of those who have the disease. However, continuous blood sugar management and a healthy lifestyle can typically avoid or slow the progression of diabetic neuropathy. There are several ways to fight this disease and help others who are dealing with this alone. Many resources and support groups can help you understand this disease and give moral support to fight it. Another way is by volunteering in clinical trials and helping researchers to find a cure for this disease. You can look for Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy Clinical Trials near you” to find the one that suits you the best.

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