1. What is diabetic peripheral neuropathy?
Diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) is a progressive disease that involves pain, loss of sensation and weakness. However, a proper clinical examination may identify early signs without the presence of any symptoms. About 60% to 70% of diabetic patients suffer from peripheral neuropathy. If not treated in time or managed well, it can lead to lower limb amputations. Each year, nearly 54,000 diabetics undergo amputations, 75% of which are preventable.
2. What are the symptoms of diabetic peripheral neuropathy?
Symptoms develop gradually and can go unnoticed until they cause serious damage. If you notice any slight change in your symptoms or condition, consult your physician. Some common symptoms of DPN include:
- Numbness in your hands or feet
- Tingling sensation
- Loss of touch
- Loss of sensation (pain or pressure)
- Muscle weakness
- Burning sensation
Nerve damage in diabetic neuropathy occurs because of high glucose levels. Diabetics are often recommended to maintain their blood glucose levels within a healthy range to prevent any further health complications.
3. How is diabetic peripheral neuropathy diagnosed?
Your doctor might conduct a physical examination and some nerve tests, which may include:
- Filament test
- Sensory testing
- Nerve conduction testing
- Muscle response testing
- Autonomic testing
Most importantly, these nerve tests check out reflexes and sensitivity to pain and pressure.
4. What is the treatment for diabetic peripheral neuropathy?
Currently, there is no cure for DPN. Treatment targets pain reduction and management:
- Pain relievers
- Physical therapy
Besides keeping your blood glucose level in control, these changes can help you manage both your diabetes and your neuropathy.
5. What are some ways to manage diabetic peripheral neuropathy?
Ways to take care of yourself include:
- Dietary changes
- Proper intake of vitamins
- Reducing smoking and alcohol intake
Many patients experience numbness, a tingling sensation in their extremities and a loss of sensation that may make it difficult for them to realize when they are hurt. Smaller cuts can go unnoticed and later develop into a serious problem. Try having a foot care routine and use a mirror to examine smaller cuts or bruises at the end of each day.
Regular follow-ups with your physician is the most important step to take care of yourself. Make sure to go to all your appointments and your scheduled tests. Check in with your physician as soon as you see the slightest change in your symptoms.
We understand that living with diabetic peripheral neuropathy can be painful and frustrating, but small steps can go a long way.
WinSanTor is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of treatments for peripheral neuropathies. We believe in creating a solution that works and brings relief to millions that are struggling with this disease. Learn more about our company, our drug and subscribe to our newsletter.
- “Peripheral Neuropathies”. WinSanTor
- “Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy: A Beginner’s Guide”. WinSanTor
- “Five Ways to Take Care of Your Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy”. WinSanTor