If you are one of the 25.8 million people in the United States who is a diabetic patient, Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy (“DPN”) is a real possibility. 60 to 70 percent of people with long-standing diabetes can suffer from DPN. But what is it? DPN is a type of nerve damage that occurs because of diabetes. It is thought that the high blood sugar injures nerve fibers, most often in the legs and feet. It is the leading cause of lower limb amputations. DPN can lead to some severe consequences. They are loss of toes, fingers, hands, feet or limbs due to gangrene. Cuts or sores become infected or ulcerated.
Diabetes reduces the blood flow to feet and hands, meaning that should those cuts or sores become infected, your immune system is less able to effectively deal with the infection. These infections can spread to the bone and cause tissue death (gangrene). If the gangrenous tissue is not excised it can cause death.
Symptoms can begin with numbness or a reduced ability to feel pain or changes in temperature in the feet or toes, sometimes in the hands and fingers. There can also be a burning sensation that can become a sharp jabbing pain that can be worse at night. If the symptoms occur in the legs and feet, there can be pain when walking. Extremities can also become very sensitive. Muscle weakness and then ulcers, infections and bone or joint pain. They symptoms can be mild, for others disabling. The symptoms develop gradually, and many times aren’t even noticed until there is serious damage to the body.
Advanced Healthcare Clinic is conducting an innovative Research on this condition & is now enrolling new patients. If you are in Sarasota, Bradenton, Tampa or Orlando and would like to find out how to participate, give us a call today to see if you qualify to participate! 941.351.4949
“It is the first time in 3 years I have sensation in my toes.” – A.S., North Port
People with type 2 diabetes can develop DPN before they are ever diagnosed with diabetes. If you experience any of the symptoms above, see your doctor because even if they aren’t DPN, they may be symptoms of other problems that need to be addressed.
There is no cure for DPN. Treatment to date focuses on slowing the progression, relieving pain and managing the complications. In order to slow the progression, blood sugar levels need to be strictly controlled through a healthy lifestyle.
Pain can be regulated through the use of drugs (which have their own side effects), or alternative therapies like capsaicin cream which is made from chili peppers. Some of the drug therapies are use of serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (Cymbalta), gamma-aminobutyric acid (Lyrica or Neurontin), anti-seizure medications (Tegretol or Dilantin), antidepressants (Pamelor, Norpramin or Tofranil), Lidocane patches or opioids like tramadol or oxycodone.
Complications can best be managed by paying close attention to the areas that are affected. Get cuts and ulcers treated by a doctor as soon as possible. Take good care of your hands and feet and take any symptoms, however small, seriously.
No related posts.