Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy: Diagnosis

Diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) is a progressive disease that often involves pain, loss of sensation and weakness. About 60-70% of diabetic patients are known to suffer from peripheral neuropathy. If not treated in time or managed well, it can lead to lower limb amputations. Nearly 54,000 diabetics undergo amputations—75% of which are preventable. A proper clinical examination may identify early signs and speed up diagnosis without the presence of any symptoms. Here is a list of tests used to diagnose the disease.

Have you been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy? We can help.

Blood tests for diagnosing diabetic neuropathy

Blood tests are used to indicate diabetes and abnormal immune functioning and can predict signs of peripheral neuropathy. A complete count of your blood cells can also help identify vitamin deficiencies. For example, vitamin B12 deficiency damages the insulating covering (myelin sheath) surrounding the nerves. In addition, high levels of vitamin B6 can also cause neuropathy.

Imaging techniques in diabetic peripheral neuropathy evaluation

Computed tomography (CT) scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans identify compressed nerves to help rule out other disorders and conditions. These disorders may have similar symptoms. 

Electro-diagnostic tests for neuropathy detection

Electromyograms help identify electric activity in muscles. Moreover, they pinpoint how they receive the nerve stimulations. Thin needles inserted into muscles and to record their activity help identify abnormalities.

Nerve conduction tests measure how electric impulses pass through the nerves. These tests are performed along with electromyograms. First, needles are placed at specific intervals on the nerve being tested. Next, their response to a low current stimulation is checked. Healthy nerves usually transmit signals at a greater strength.

Testing autonomic nerves in diabetic neuropathy patients

These tests help identify the proper functioning of the autonomic nervous system.

Quantitative sensory testing (QST) for neuropathy assessment

These tests help identify damage to small nerve endings that detect the change in temperature, vibrations, touch and pain. They also help determine whether the neuropathy is responding to the treatment.

Nerve and skin biopsy: Understanding neuropathy in diabetics

Biopsy is a minor surgical procedure that involves the removal of a sample of skin or nerves for examination. Nerve biopsies help identify demyelination (damage to the myelin sheath), axon degeneration (damage to the axon) and other neuropathic conditions. Skin biopsies help determine conditions affecting small nerve fibers.

Your physician can recommend various diagnostic tests depending on your condition. Consult your physician if you notice the slightest change in your symptoms. In conclusion, DPN can be challenging, but with early diagnosis and proper treatment plan, you can effectively manage your pain.

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 companyour drug and subscribe to our newsletter.

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FAQs

How is neuropathy diagnosed?

A proper clinical examination may identify early signs and speed up diagnosis without presence of any symptoms. Computed tomography (CT) scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans identify compressed nerves to help rule out other disorders and conditions. Skin biopsies helps determine conditions affecting small nerve fibers. Your physician can recommend various diagnostic tests depending on your condition.

Can you see neuropathy on MRI?

Computed tomography (CT) scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans identify compressed nerves to help rule out other disorders and conditions. These disorders may have similar symptoms. 

What does quantitative sensory testing measure?

These tests help identify damage to small nerve endings that detect the change in temperature, vibrations, touch and pain. It also helps determine whether the neuropathy is responding to the treatment.

Why would you have a nerve biopsy?

Biopsy is a minor surgical procedure that involves removal of a sample of skin or nerves for examination. Nerve biopsies help identify demyelination (damage to the myelin sheath), axon degeneration (damage to the axon) and other neuropathic conditions. Skin biopsies helps determine conditions affecting small nerve fibers.

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Have you been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy? We can help.