Diabetic neuropathy is a nerve condition that may affect people with diabetes. It can take several forms:
Peripheral neuropathy is the most common kind of diabetic neuropathy. It typically affects your feet and legs first, then your hands and arms. Symptoms of diabetic peripheral neuropathy may include:
Diabetic peripheral neuropathy also increases your risk of developing ulcers (raw, nonhealing wounds) and infections.
Your autonomic nervous system controls your eyes, heart, bladder, digestive system, and sex organs. Diabetic autonomic neuropathy can cause problems with these organs and severe pain in the thighs, hips, buttocks, legs, abdomen, and chest area. You may also have weakened muscles. Symptoms often only affect one side of your body.
Mononeuropathy involves damage to a specific nerve. It can occur in your head, causing pain, paralysis, and problems like double vision. Or, it can develop in your body, causing pain, weakness, and loss of function. Carpal tunnel syndrome (a type of wrist and hand condition) is a common kind of mononeuropathy.
When you have diabetes, your body is unable to regulate sugar levels in your blood. If you have Type 1 diabetes, it’s because your pancreas doesn’t make any insulin (the hormone that controls blood sugar levels). With Type 2 diabetes, your body produces insufficient quantities of insulin or has become resistant to its effects.
The result is excess sugar circulating in your blood. With Type 2 diabetes, in particular, you can have high blood sugar levels for years without realizing it. During that time, the excess sugar damages nerves and blood vessels around your body.
It’s essential to manage your diabetes well to reduce the nerve damage it can cause. A healthy diet, plenty of exercise, and watching your weight can all help manage your condition. However, be sure to attend regular checkups and measure your blood sugar regularly as well.
The experienced Centennial Spine and Pain team offers a variety of treatments for existing nerve damage. Anti-seizure medications like gabapentin calm nerve activity, which reduces pain. Antidepressants like amitriptyline and duloxetine can also ease mild to moderate nerve pain.
If you have nerve pain that makes you sensitive to touch, capsaicin cream may help reduce the sensations. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) also helps some patients with neuropathy.
In addition, Centennial Spine and Pain offers advanced treatments for more severe or persistent diabetic neuropathy symptoms. These include nerve block injections, radiofrequency ablation, and spinal cord stimulation.
To find a solution to your diabetic neuropathy pain, call the office nearest you today or book a consultation online.