About Diabetic Neuropathy
Neuropathy refers to damage to the nerves in the peripheral nervous system. While it can be caused by some other illnesses, most cases of neuropathy are caused by diabetes. Diabetic neuropathy has been known to affect up to 50% of diabetic patients in the course of their illness, there is no clear route of treatment for this condition.
What Causes Diabetic Neuropathy
Diabetic neuropathy is caused by high blood sugar (glucose) in the body which damages the nerves. There are four main types of diabetic neuropathy.
Peripheral Symmetric Neuropathy
Thoracic and lumbar root/Proximal Neuropathy
Mononeuropathies/ Focal Neuropathy
Symptoms Of Diabetic Neuropathy
Diagnosing Diabetic Neuropathy
Determining the source of the pain is essential to recommend the right method of treatment and rehabilitation. Here at Singapore Paincare, our team of experienced primary care and specialist pain care doctors will conduct a thorough diagnosis. This includes a physical exam, questions about your symptoms and an evaluation of your medical history. An X-ray or MRI scan and a nerve conduction test may be needed to evaluate or confirm the degree of diabetic neuropathy.
A Message About Foot Pain
The numbness in the feet can extend from the toes up to the ankles, including the entire foot. This numbness is persistent throughout the day regardless of movement or activity. This unpleasant numbness can affect activities of daily living such as standing and walking – giving a sense of poor proprioception and unsteadiness as well as sleep. The discomfort in the feet can affect sleep or interrupt the quality of sleep. It is often associated with a sense of coldness in the feet, not responding to heat or wearing socks. This is a nerve type pain due to nerve injury from high blood sugar exposure.
This neuropathy can be treated with a nerve stabilizer such as anti-convulsants to reduce the sensitivity of the feet. It may need long-term management to titrate the effects of the nerve stabilizer accordingly. Contrary to beliefs, once neuropathy sets in, control of blood sugar levels will not reverse the numbness in the feet. While it is good to keep an eye on the hypocount (glucose meter) number, we will need to add on other specific treatments for this nerve injury type pain.
What Treatments Are Available for Diabetic Neuropathy
Diabetic neuropathy treatment focuses primarily on lowering blood sugar levels and treating pain. At Singapore Paincare, we strive to treat your pain with the least invasive option possible after accurately identifying the cause. Combined with pharmacological treatments and cognitive and physical rehabilitative therapies, we help patients improve functions and prevent pain from recurring.
Non-Surgical Treatment for Diabetic Neuropathy
Electrotherapy Treatments (TENS)
Surgical Treatments for Diabetic Neuropathy
Diabetic Neuropathy can only be managed by a few methods. When weakness appears and treatments are ineffective, surgery may be needed. As surgery always comes with associated risks, complications and downtime – it may not be suitable for everyone.
How Can I Prevent Diabetic Neuropathy?
You can reduce your risk of diabetes complications and diabetic nerve pain by:
- Limiting alcohol intake
- Eating a healthy and balanced meal
- Regular exercises
- Quitting smoking
- Regular health check-ups with your doctor
On the other hand, if you have diabetes, it’s important to manage your:
- Blood pressure
- Blood sugar
Get Your Pain Resolved
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