How Does Neuropathic Pain Affect People With Diabetes
Diabetic nerve pain unfortunately can be very dangerous for people with diabetes.
At an early stage it can impact on day to day activities such as walking, exercising or working with the hands.
At a later stage diabetic nerve pain can make even standing difficult.
One of the dangers of diabetic neuropathy is if it leads to a foot ulcer developing as high blood sugars and poor circulation can both mean the wound may take longer to heal and be more susceptible to infection getting in, which can sometime result in amputation.
Caring For Your Hands And Feet
Diabetic nerve damage causes pain and can also affect your ability to feel pain, so its important to maintain your foot health.
To take better care of your feet, check your feet every day for cuts, sores, swelling, and other problems, even if you dont feel any pain there. They can get infected, and untreated infections can lead to serious complications, including amputation.
Wash your feet daily with warm water, and dry them completely afterward. Then apply a lotion to keep them moisturized. Avoid getting lotion in between your toes.
Wear comfortable, flexible shoes that give your feet room to move. Break in new shoes slowly so that they dont hurt your feet. Ask your doctor about customized shoes if regular shoes dont fit well.
Always cover your feet with shoes, slippers, or thick socks to cushion them and prevent injuries.
Medications For Foot Nerve Pain Associated With Diabetic Neuropathy
One of the most common reasons for foot nerve pain is a condition known as diabetic neuropathy. This results in tingling, numbness and weakness in the extremities, but also extremely sharp pain. It often starts out mild, but then gradually worsens to the point to where its excruciating.
As many as 20 percent of people with diabetes will eventually experience neuropathy, which can have a profound effect on quality of life. Patients can try to reduce nerve damage by closely watching their blood sugar, eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly. But sometimes, these measures arent enough, and they need medications to help control the problem.3 These are some of the more common medicines used to help reduce foot nerve pain caused by diabetic neuropathy.
If you are experiencing foot nerve pain, talk to your doctor to find out why its happening and to put together a treatment plan. But dont forget to take steps on your own to reduce your discomfort, because they can also be very effective.
For more health tips, keep reading:
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What Does Foot Pain From Diabetes Feel Like
The most common symptoms of diabetes-related foot pain include:
Tingling. This is a pins and needles kind of sensation.
Pain or increased sensitivity. This is pain or sensitivity to what are normally not painful things. It could be pain from bed sheets brushing against your feet or feeling like certain socks are uncomfortable or painful to wear.
Numbness or weakness. Nerves help you feel, and they tell your muscles to work. When people tell me, I dont feel when I step on things or cut my feet, or they bring up that their legs often feel weak when they stand up, I begin to suspect nerve damage.
Cut and wounds heal slower. Healthy blood vessels carry immune cells to wounds to help fight infections and repair the damaged tissue. If blood circulation is poor, which can happen in diabetes, those wounds take longer to heal.
Causes Of A Pinched Nerve
There are many examples of how a pinched nerve can occur and also lead to other conditions that affect the nervous system and the musculoskeletal system, from more mild causes such as chronic poor posture to nerve damage from a car accident injury. A nerve can be compressed by nearby bone, muscle, joint, or other soft tissues.
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Diabetic Neuropathy: A Nervy Situation
January 21, 2020 by Diabetes Care
Diabetes can damage the nerves throughout your body leading to a condition called diabetic neuropathy. Left untreated, diabetic neuropathy can be painful, and can also pave the way to some serious health complications. Heres an overview of why neuropathy happens, and what you can do to prevent complications.
What Causes Nerve Damage
It is not yet known exactly what causes the nerve damage that occurs in diabetes. However, neuropathy is more likely to affect people who have had diabetes for a long time or whose blood glucose levels have been high over a long period of time. But we don’t know how high glucose levels must be and for how long before nerve damage happens.
Neuropathy can be caused by a number of other things as well as diabetes:
- drinking too much alcohol over a long period of time
- a severe vitamin B deficiency or overdose
- an injury
- some medicines.
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Can Diabetic Neuropathy Be Prevented
Keeping blood sugar levels at target can help prevent diabetic neuropathy. In addition, there are things you can do to help prevent future complications:
- Wear shoes that fit properly
- Check your feet and legs daily for sores, cuts or blisters and treat them accordingly
- Test your bath water to ensure its not too hot before you step in
- Dont soak your feet
- Be sure to apply lotion to dry feet, avoiding the area between the toes
- Manage your blood sugar levels to prevent further nerve damage
- Keep your blood pressure in check
- Talk to your healthcare advisor about any sudden changes in vision or digestion
- Avoid smoking.
Medications Approved By The Fda For Diabetic Nerve Pain
Lyrica and Cymbalta have been approved for off-prescription use. One is an antidepressant and the other is an anticonvulsant.
The National Institutes of Health page specifically recommends agains the use of common non-prescription NSAIDS for relieving diabetic neuropathy pain.
Go to this page to learn about an inexpensive herb that may help relieve Diabetic Nerve Pain.
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How To Safely Treat Nerve Pain While Managing Diabetes
If you or a loved one is living with diabetes, you know its a daily routine of closely monitoring what you eat, trying to fit in regular exercise, taking medications and testing your blood sugar. The added stress and discomfort brought on by nerve pain can be exhausting and even unbearable a struggle that up to 50 percent of people with diabetes face every day.
Diabetes can cause diabetic neuropathy if blood sugar levels arent monitored and controlled. This causes damage to the nerves that send signals throughout the body.
Some of the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy can include numbness and tingling of the extremities, sharp and aching pain, and discomfort doing daily activities such as walking or getting dressed.
Here are some safe ways to relieve some of the pain caused by diabetes.
How Is Nerve Pain Diagnosed
Nerve pain affects a growing number of individuals undergoing chemotherapy treatment, living with diabetes or having suffered an injury. An estimated 20 million Americans suffer from peripheral nerve damage, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
Nerve damage can cause a tingling, burning sensation in the arms, hands, legs and feet, making it impossible to function on a daily basis.
The causes as to why and how certain patients are susceptible to nerve pain can vary. Even the pain levels or difficulty standing and walking may also differ.
Have you experienced any of the common signs of nerve pain?
- Muscle weakness
If so, its critical to know if this is nerve damage.
Early diagnosis by your physician can improve your functionality and reduce discomfort you feel.
The following are a few exams your physician may conduct to properly diagnosis the symptoms, cause and appropriate treatment for nerve pain.
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Natural Home Remedies For Diabetic Foot Pain
The most common complication of diabetes is diabetic neuropathy, or diabetic nerve pain, which is often experienced as a variety of forms of pain in the feet.
If you have diabetes and have experienced numbness, tingling, burning, shooting pains, or a lack of normal sensation in your toes or feet, you are likely experiencing symptoms of peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy is very common in diabetes patients, with 50% developing this conditions over 25 years.
Typically, the pain will start out mild or intermittent, slowly increasing until pain is continuous and severe, a condition known as chronic neuropathic pain. Chronic neuropathic pain is notoriously hard to treat, however there are many natural remedies available that can help.
Can I Prevent Diabetic Neuropathy
Diabetic neuropathy can often be avoided if you manage your blood glucose vigilantly. To do this, be consistent in:
If you do develop diabetic neuropathy, work closely with your doctor and follow their recommendations for slowing its progression. With proper care, you can reduce the damage to your nerves and avoid complications.
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Improving Other Risk Factors
Although getting blood glucose under control is important, it might not be enough. It is also important to control other risk factors such as high triglycerides or cholesterol, treat high blood pressure and quit smoking. Daily aerobic exercises are shown to protect the nerves and improve neuropathy outcomes. Losing weight is also important if a patient is obese or overweight.
Can I Prevent Diabetes
The best way you can prevent diabetes-related foot pain is by managing your diabetes as best as you can. Remember, high sugar levels is what causes the nerve pain. By managing your blood sugar levels through diet, exercise, and medications, youre taking steps to prevent the various complications of diabetes.
If youre already experiencing diabetes-related foot pain, its still important to manage your sugar levels. As we discussed, lowering your blood sugar can actually improve your symptoms. Talk to your doctor to discuss proper foot care and the best treatment options for you.
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Symptoms Of Neuropathy That May Lead To Diabetic Nerve Pain
Symptoms depend on which type of nerves are affected – the sensory, motor, and autonomic-or involuntary-nervous systems. In some people, mainly those with focal neuropathy, the onset of pain may be sudden and severe.Diabetic neuropathy is grouped by the various nerve systems in the body: peripheral, focal, proximal, and autonomic. Of these, most diabetic neuropathy pain is associated with the peripheral, focal, and proximal.
The symptoms of pain usually start in the toes, feet, and legs and are felt as burning, tingling, prickling, and numbing. In some people, there is a heightened sensitivity to touch, causing great discomfort.The keys to eliminating the threat of diabetic nerve pain are to increase the antioxidant consumption, increase circulatory health, and remove damaging elements from our system, such as smoking or other tobacco use, alcohol abuse, and excess oils, fats, and especially sugars in our diet.According to the NIH, controlling blood glucose and keeping it in the normal range is the goal of treatment plans for diabetic neuropathy. This can be best done without the use of drugs by making changes in one’s diet and adding some moderate exercise, plus using a comprehensive nutritional supplement programResolving to reverse diabetes symptoms at the first sign of their appearance is the wisest course of action to prevent diabetic nerve pain.
Increase Your Vitamin D Intake
Research has shown that vitamin D, which your skin naturally produces in response to sunlight, may help relieve symptoms of neuropathy and diabetic foot pain. Its difficult to get enough of the essential nutrient from sun exposure and diet, however, so doctors recommend taking a daily dose of a vitamin D supplement , which studies have shown can significantly reduce peripheral neuropathy symptoms in as little as two months.
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How To Test If You Have Sciatica
Sciatica is a group of distinct symptoms causing intense, sometimes debilitating pain down the sciatic nerve.nearly 40 percent of people experience sciatic pain at some point, and while the pain
Sciatica is a group of distinct symptoms causing intense, sometimes debilitating pain down the sciatic nerve.According to Harvard Health,Verified SourceHarvard HealthBlog run by Harvard Medical School offering in-depth guides to better health and articles on medical breakthroughs.View sourcenearly 40 percent of people experience sciatic pain at some point, and while the pain is severe, the symptoms typically pass on their own.
Sciatica is rather common as its a result of different diseases or conditions pinching the sciatic nerve. With the correct diagnosis, the condition can be treated and the pain will eventually subside.
To diagnose sciatica, doctors complete two physical exams to measure the pressure on your sciatic nerve. We share how you can complete these same tests at home and discuss more what sciatica is. If you believe you have sciatica, speak to your doctor about diagnosis and treatment options.
Causes Of Peripheral Neuropathy
Neuropathy is one of the long-termcomplicationsof diabetes.
Over time, highblood glucose levelscan damage the small blood vessels that supply the nerves in your body. This stops essential nutrients reaching the nerves. As a result, the nerve fibres can become damaged, and they may disappear.
This can cause problems in many different parts of your body, depending on the type of nerve affected.
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Why You Should Avoid Back Surgery
One of the primary reasons why back surgery should be avoided is the risk. All surgeries carry the risk of infection, excessive bleeding, and nerve injury. Not to mention many people dont like being put under general anesthesia or that they may have to use potentially addictive pills to manage the pain after surgery.29 2020 .
What Are The Treatments For Neuropathy
Since neuropathy once started cannot be cured totally, most treatments focus on neuropathy management and relieve symptoms, mainly pain. In most cases where no underlying causes are involved, the neuropathy may improve over time with lifestyle and alternative medicinal practices.
Even then, pain relievers are mostly prescribed to relieve symptoms. There are different treatment options available today which are highly interdependent and may help in reducing symptoms or improving the condition temporarily or permanently. The different treatment options include medications, therapies, alternative medicine, lifestyle changes, and home remedies.
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Treating Painful Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy: An Update
MATTHEW J. SNYDER, DO, and LAWRENCE M. GIBBS, MD, Saint Louis University Family Medicine Residency, Belleville, Illinois
TAMMY J. LINDSAY, MD, Saint Louis University Family Medicine Residency, St. Louis, Missouri
Am Fam Physician. 2016 Aug 1 94:227-234.
Patient information: See related handout on nerve pain in diabetes, written by the authors of this article.
Painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy occurs in approximately 30% of patients with diabetes mellitus who are hospitalized and in 25% of patients with diabetes who are treated in the office setting.1 It develops as a late manifestation of uncontrolled or long-standing diabetes.1 As many as 12% of patients with painful DPN do not report symptoms, and 39% of patients with the disorder do not receive any treatment.2
A = consistent, good-quality patient-oriented evidence B = inconsistent or limited-quality patient-oriented evidence C = consensus, disease-oriented evidence, usual practice, expert opinion, or case series. For information about the SORT evidence rating system, go to .
Distal symmetric polyneuropathy, which is characterized by burning pain, paresthesias, and numbness that follows a stocking-glove pattern and progresses proximally, occurs in approximately 26% of patients with DPN. Less than 20% of patients with diabetes experience dynamic mechanical allodynia , thermal hyperalgesia , or pain attacks.
What Does The Licensure Process Entail
After completion of the residency program, a future neurologists journey is still not done. They now must take and pass licensure and certification tests which have both oral and written components. These rigorous exams assess a students ability to put what theyve learned into practice.
Once a student passes the written examination, administered by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology , they are granted board-certified status in neurology.
Sounds demanding, right? It should be! These professionals are gaining permission to work with some of the most sensitive systems in our bodies: the brain and nervous system. Thanks to their thorough training, a patient can feel confident that their doctor will be extremely knowledgeable about the condition of neuropathy.
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Use A Capsaicin Cream
Hot peppers may leave your mouth on fire, but their active ingredient — capsaicin — might relieve some of the burning and pain of nerve damage. A study published in the journal Pain showed that wearing an 8% capsaicin patch reduced pain levels by 30% after 2 weeks.
Only your doctor can give you a higher-dose patch. But research shows that lower-dose, over-the-counter cream — about 0.1% capsaicin — may also help. It could reduce pain intensity by 11% more than a placebo cream.
Start Slow To Overcome Fear
For many people with diabetes and peripheral neuropathy, a regular exercise program is something they haven’t done in a while. You need to begin to exercise, but begin slowly and gradually over days and weeks. You can slowly improve so you can exercise about 30 minutes a day, five times a week. The key for beginning an exercise program is to go slowly and improve by making small advances over long periods of time.
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