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The Treatment Of Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is a condition that causes damage to the peripheral nervous system, that is, in the feet and hands (although it is less common in the hands). Its cause is one form or another of diabetes due to prolonged elevated levels of blood glucose. It is a type of disorder that requires peripheral neuropathy treatment to address the symptoms, but, just as with diabetes in general, diabetic peripheral neuropathy has no cure.

The symptoms of diabetic peripheral neuropathy exhibit first as numbness in the feet and toes, and it may extend to the lower legs. As the condition persists without treatment, the numbness will gradually progress from tingling to mild pain, like hundreds of pin pricks, to sever pain throughout the foot and legs.

Additional symptoms which may exhibit (some, but all may not necessarily be experienced) include:

–    Inability to distinguish temperature changes in feet and toes.

–    Sharp, stinging pain, particularly at night.

–    Standing and walking pain and difficulty standing and walking.

–    Other foot disorders, including infections and ulcers.

Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is diagnosed by review of a patient’s clinical history, including observation of the above symptoms, and by clinical testing by measurement of peripheral nerve function. Peripheral neuropathy is one of the most common complications of a diabetic diagnosis. If a patient already has a diabetic diagnosis and does not yet express the symptoms as noted of peripheral neuropathy, chances are these symptoms will ultimately develop and be diagnosed.

As noted, while the symptoms of diabetic peripheral neuropathy can be successfully treated, there is, at present, no cure for the condition. However, it should also be noted that once diagnosed, or if the condition presents, but is not diagnosed, either situation will ultimately result in very serious consequences if not treated, up to and including peripheral amputation and death.

One of the primary treatments that should be applied, as with the regular diagnosis of diabetes, is to control blood glucose levels within an acceptable range so that the neuropathic condition does not exacerbate. If a pre-diabetic diagnosis is captured and addressed early in the progress of diabetes, it is possible to prevent the onset of diabetes, and, ultimately, diabetic peripheral neuropathy just by careful diet selections alone, with no further treatment by medication necessary.

However, if the diabetic condition progresses to the point of diagnosis of diabetic peripheral neuropathy, there are still medicinal treatments available to hold the progress of neuropathy in check.

One over-the-counter medication that is available and has been shown to be effective in some early-stage cases is treatment with a topical cream, lidocaine. If the lidocaine cream also contains capsaicin, this is even more effective as an over-the-counter medication that is topically applied according to instructions given on packaging. There are also patches containing these medications.

Other prescription medications, primarily antidepressants and anti-seizure drugs have been successful to keep the pain of peripheral neuropathy under control.

Source by Mac Addison

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