Helping Those With Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

Helping Those With Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is a condition that affects many people living with diabetes.  It is a form of nerve damage that affects nerves throughout the body, but mostly in the legs and feet.  While sometimes symptoms may be mild, oftentimes, symptoms can include a feeling of numbness and pain in the extremities.  This can be disabling, causing people to miss work, miss plans with friends, and overall reduce a person’s quality of life.  While the progression of diabetic peripheral neuropathy can be slowed with lifestyle changes, there are not many methods currently available to treat diabetic peripheral neuropathy.

Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is the most common kind of diabetic-related neuropathy.  It tends to affect the feet and legs before the arms and hands are affected.  The most common symptoms include numbness, tingling and burning, cramping and sharp pains, increased sensitivity to touch, and problems with the feet such as ulcers, infection, and joint pain.  For some people, the symptoms are so severe that a blanket touching their feet may be perceived as painful.  Most people suffering from diabetic peripheral neuropathy tend to notice the symptoms worsening at night.

It can be difficult to determine when the right time is to see a doctor.  However, if you feel like something is grossly wrong, do not delay a doctor’s visit.  Other times you should see the help of a physician include an injury to the foot that is taking an abnormally long time to heal, a feeling of burning or tingling that interferes with day to day activities, or dizziness and fainting.  For people who are diagnosed with diabetes, it is important to visit a doctor annually to screen for signs of diabetic peripheral neuropathy.

One of the reasons peripheral neuropathy is difficult to treat is because the ailment is not fully understood.  There is no known cure for the disease, only ways to help slow the progression.  This includes lifestyle changes such as making sure blood sugar levels stay in check, using various prescription drugs to help manage pain, and working on treating any secondary ailments.  In recent years, stem cell therapy has shown promise as a potential treatment for those suffering from diabetic peripheral neuropathy.  The thought is that stem cells can help regenerate and heal the damaged nerves that lead to feelings of pain and numbness.  This could be the first treatment that is aimed at addressing the underlying problems and not just treating the painful symptoms.

Diabetes can cause a lot of secondary problems in those affected by it.  One of these problems is diabetic peripheral neuropathy.  Diabetic peripheral neuropathy can greatly affect a person’s quality of life.  First off, these patients suffer from a significant amount of pain and numbness in their extremities.  This can lead to them missing work, missing out on quality time with friends, and suffering from secondary mental health issues because of it.  In addition, diabetic peripheral neuropathy can greatly affect a person’s quality of life.  Fortunately, stem cell therapy is showing promising results for easing the symptoms of diabetic peripheral neuropathy.

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