7

 Jun

What is Diabetic Nerve Pain?



Posted in  hidenews

Has your favorite television program been interrupted by “informative” prescription medication commercials?  In this new era of medicine, prescription drugs are being marketed directly to the consumer.  Sadly, this inspires us to self-diagnosis, which leads to more anxiety and confusion.  With this in mind, diabetics should have a baseline understanding of diabetic neuropathy in order to see the full picture and not just what is seen on TV.

It is widely accepted that having an increased amount of glucose (sugar) in your blood can cause nerve damage.  One theory is that excessive blood sugar can be converted to sorbitol (sugar-alcohol).  The sorbitol can easily enter the outer layer of our nerves and increase the pressure within the nerve.  The increased pressure can slow down nerve conduction and produce burning, tingling and numbness.
  
Diabetic neuropathy is distributed in a stocking and glove pattern, meaning that it will start in the fingers and toes.  As it progresses, it will expand up the extremity.  Those diabetics with chronically high blood sugars will experience neuropathy earlier with more pain and numbness.

The war against diabetic nerve pain has three fronts:  preventing nerve pain, cancelling nerve pain and restoration of damaged nerves.


Prevention of diabetic nerve pain consists of controlling the diabetes.  Adhering to a diabetic diet, exercise plan and compliance with medication will prevent the progression of diabetes and prolong the symptoms of diabetic nerve pain.  This is the most effective treatment.

Medications that cancel nerve pain have been available for over 25 years.  These non-narcotic medications aim to reduce your body’s ability perceive nerve pain.  They must be taken daily to control nerve pain. This is a long term, continuous treatment and does not reverse the damage to the nerves.  Although these medications can be effective in limiting the intensity and frequency of nerve pain, many users complain of drowsiness, forgetfulness and depression.

Nerve restoration is the latest effort to reverse diabetic neuropathy.  This method consists of vitamins and supplements that nourish and regenerate nerve fibers.  These supplements are available as prescriptions and over the counter medications.

The take home message is that anyone suffering from either diabetic nerve pain or neuropathy should be evaluated by a medical professional. When experiencing diabetic nerve pain in your feet, a podiatrist is your best option to remedy your situation. Podiatrists have superior medical training with diabetics, nerve complications and latest treatments of neuropathy. There are clinical and laboratory tests that can be done to confirm the presence of neuropathy and quantify the severity of the disease.  Once a comprehensive evaluation is complete, the treatment options can be discussed. Don’t let diabetic nerve pain interrupt your life like the prescription commercials on TV, your health is prime time. 

If you or a family member experience diabetic nerve pain, please call InStride Gaston Foot and Ankle Associates to make an appointment with one of our experienced podiatrists today.


Get in touch.

InStride - Gaston Foot & Ankle Associates

251 Wilmot Drive
Gastonia, NC 28054
704-861-0425