What is Painful Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy?
Painful Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy is one of the frequent complications of diabetes mellitus (type 1 and type 2 diabetes) and occurs as a consequence of peripheral nerve dysfunction; It is manifested, in most cases, by the appearance of a specific type of neuropathic pain that causes great suffering, high degrees of disability and significant deterioration in the quality of life.
In cases of severe or prolonged peripheral neuropathy, you may be vulnerable to injuries or infections. In serious cases, poor wound healing or infection can lead to amputation.
Fact: Approximately 25% of diabetic patients are affected by this problem.
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Symptoms vary depending on the areas affected. Common signs and symptoms of the different types of diabetic neuropathy include:
- Sensitivity to touch
- Loss of sense of touch
- Difficulty with coordination when walking
- Numbness or pain in your hands or feet
- Burning sensation in feet, especially at night
- Muscle weakness or wasting
- Bloating or fullness
- Nausea, indigestion, or vomiting
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Dizziness when you stand up
- Excessive or decreased sweating
- Bladder problems, such as incomplete bladder emptying
- Vaginal dryness
- erectile dysfunction
- Inability to sense low blood glucose
- Vision trouble, such as double vision
- Increased heart rate
Why is Diabetic Neuropathy so painful?
Painful diabetic neuropathy manifests as burning, excruciating, stabbing or intractable type of pain or presents with tingling or numbness. The pathophysiology of this condition is due to primarily metabolic and vascular factors.
There is increase in sorbitol and fructose, glycated endproducts, reactive oxygen species and activation of protein kinase C in the diabetic state. All these factors lead to direct damage to the nerves. source
Can diabetic nerve pain be stopped?
Unfortunately the nerve damage caused by diabetes cannot be reversed. This is because the body cannot naturally repair nerve tissues that have been damaged.
Painful Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy Treatment
There’s no cure for Diabetic Neuropathy, but you can slow its progression. Keeping your blood sugar levels within a healthy range is the best way to decrease the likelihood of developing diabetic neuropathy or slow its progression. It can also relieve some symptoms.
What can be done for severe peripheral neuropathy?
Therapies and procedures might help ease the signs and symptoms of peripheral neuropathy.
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS): involves the use of low-voltage electric currents to treat pain. A small device delivers the current at or near nerves. TENS therapy blocks or changes your perception of pain.
- Plasma exchange and intravenous immune globulin: these procedures, which help suppress immune system activity, might benefit people with certain inflammatory conditions.
- Physical therapy: if you have muscle weakness, physical therapy can help improve your movements. You may also need hand or foot braces, a cane, a walker, or a wheelchair.
- Surgery: if you have neuropathies caused by pressure on nerves, such as pressure from tumors, you might need surgery to reduce the pressure.
Explore RiNeuD clinical research study designed to find out if a potential new medication can help people with painful DPN.