Neuropathy: Dealing with Dreaded Diabetes Nerve Pain

Neuropathy: Dealing with Dreaded Diabetes Nerve Pain

Neuropathy is one of the most common of diabetes complications, with estimates that 60 to 70 percent of PWDs experience it to some degree.

In a nutshell, neuropathy is damage to the peripheral nervous system, the vast communication network that sends signals between the central nervous system and all other parts of the body, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Proximal Neuropathy: which means "Origin" and causes pain in the thighs, hips, or butt and leads to weakness in the legs.

Focal Neuropathy: which causes sudden weakness or pain of one nerve or a group of nerves anywhere in the body.

For most of us with diabetes, the most common type we're likely to experience is diabetic peripheral neuropathy.

Over time, higher glucose levels are a main factor in diabetes that can lead to nerve damage and neuropathy.

For me, the drumbeat grew louder in my teens and early 20s, when I was most neglectful of my diabetes management - and eventually began experiencing neuropathy for the first time.

The NIH's National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke specifically states: "Correcting underlying causes can result in the neuropathy resolving on its own as the nerves recover or regenerate. Nerve health and resistance can be improved by healthy lifestyle habits."

Keep in mind, you're treating the symptoms and not the root cause of the neuropathy itself.

Generally medical professionals look to anti-seizure drugs like Pregabalin and Gabapentin to treat neuropathy pain.

In 2017, the American Diabetes Association issued a position statement and new guidelines discouraging the use of opioids to treat nerve pain, while recommending two specific medications - Lyrica and duloxetine - as the most effective treatments for neuropathy, despite the potential side effects like weight gain.

One of the first devices ever developed specifically for diabetes neuropathy is a drug-free, TENS-based product known as Quell.

More accurately: socks marketed to PWDs most often address circulation and blood flow - a main issue related to neuropathy.

They're not guaranteed to prevent or halt neuropathy, but they definitely can help with comfort and protection against small, unnoticed foot injuries, which often become huge infections in people with neuropathy.

As mentioned, I've been living with diabetes peripheral neuropathy for almost two decades now.

Any diabetes complication can be scary, but I have learned to manage neuropathy effectively and even use it as a guidepost in moving forward.

Read the original article "Dealing with Diabetes Nerve Pain (Neuropathy)" at https://www.healthline.com/diabetesmine/neuropathy-and-type1-diabetes

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