08 Jan Stem Cell Therapy Has The Potential To Help Patients With Diabetic Neuropathy
Diabetic neuropathy is an unfortunate complication of having diabetes. It causes nerve damage because of the uncontrolled blood sugar levels in patients with this condition. Diabetic neuropathy can occur in patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes and it develops slowly over time. Once the nerves are damaged, patients may begin to experience chronic pain because they are no longer sending normal signals to the brain. Stem cell therapy is being considered as a possible new method of controlling diabetic neuropathy and reducing patient’s pain.
What Is Diabetic Neuropathy?
Diabetic neuropathy is a serious and common complication of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. It’s a type of nerve damage caused by long-term high blood sugar levels. In cases of severe or prolonged peripheral neuropathy, you may be vulnerable to injuries or infections. In serious cases, poor wound healing or infection can lead to amputation.
There are different types of diabetic neuropathy that affect different areas of your body, causing a variety of symptoms. In many cases, the first type of nerve damage to occur involves the nerves of the feet. This can lead to the symptom of painful ‘pins and needles’ sensation in your feet and toes. Symptoms may progress and patients can lose sensation in parts of their feet. This can cause difficulties with movement and coordination.
The most common form of neuropathy is peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy usually affects the feet and legs, but it can also affect the arms or hands. Symptoms are varied and can be mild to severe. If you have peripheral neuropathy, you may not feel an injury or sore on your foot. People with diabetes often have poor circulation, which makes it more difficult for wounds to heal. This combination increases the risk of infection. If an infection progresses, the surrounding tissue may begin to die and could lead to a
total amputation of the limb.
Another form of diabetic neuropathy is called focal neuropathy, or mononeuropathy. Focal neuropathy occurs when there’s damage to one specific nerve or group of nerves, causing weakness in the affected area. This occurs most often in your hand, head, torso, or leg. It appears suddenly and is usually very painful. Like proximal neuropathy, most focal neuropathies go away in a few weeks or months and leave no lasting damage. The most common type is carpal tunnel syndrome.
There’s no cure for diabetic neuropathy, but you can slow its progression. Keeping your blood sugar levels within a healthy range is the best way to decrease the likelihood of developing diabetic neuropathy or slow its progression. It can also relieve some symptoms.
How Can Stem Cell Therapy Help Patients With Diabetic Neuropathy?
Although there is no cure for diabetic neuropathy, patients may have found new hope in stem cell therapy. Stem cells can regenerate new tissue in areas that have been damaged due to disease or injury. This method could be used to heal the damaged nerves caused by uncontrolled blood sugar levels in the blood due to diabetes. Healing the damaged nerves can decrease the pain signals they send to our brain. This therapy method for diabetic neuropathy is being studied in the clinical setting with great success.