Diabetic Neuropathy Treatment Options
Diabetic neuropathy occurs in people with high blood sugar (diabetes). In diabetic neuropathy, the blood vessels that supply oxygen to the nerves may become damaged or the covering of the nerves can become damaged. The damaged nerves may lead to numbness. This is particularly troublesome for diabetics who have a harder time healing than the general population. They can get lesions or sustain injuries to the foot, and not feel it because of neuropathy in the feet. The resulting complication is infection, which, in severe cases, can lead to amputation. This damage can also lead to debilitating neuropathy pain. The problems of diabetic neuropathy are not limited to the feet. Other problems caused by diabetic peripheral neuropathy include urinary problems; dizziness on changing positions quickly; feet, hands, or feet becoming numb; pains that are shooting, tingling or burning; digestive upsets like constipation, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation; and sexual dysfunction. About half the people with diabetes can expect to have some degree of neuropathy. Foot swelling is not a symptom of diabetic neuropathy, but can be related to diabetes. Diabetes can affect the kidneys and blood pressure, both of which can cause swelling in the feet.
The most important treatment for diabetic neuropathy is to get blood sugar under control. In cases of mild Type II diabetes, diet and exercise may do the trick. For more difficult cases of Type II diabetes and also for Type I diabetes, medication may be required. Diabetics should examine their feet daily or have their care giver examine their feet. Wounds and lesions should be treated promptly. Well fitting shoes are essential for preventing foot complications from diabetes. Over the counter pain killers, antidepressants at low doses, and some medication used to control convulsions may help relieve neuropathy symptoms. Some people get relief from their pain by taking warm baths, wearing elastic stockings, or taking walks.