Diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) is a progressive disease that often involves pain, loss of sensation and weakness. Moreover, 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 and most importantly, 75% of which are preventable. A proper clinical examination may identify early signs and speed up diagnosis without presence of any symptoms. Here is a list of tests used to diagnose the disease.
Blood tests are used to indicate diabetes and abnormal immune functioning. Hence it 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.
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.
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 for instance measure how electric impulses pass through the nerves. These tests are performed along with electromyograms. Firstly, needles are placed at specific intervals on the nerve being tested and secondly, their response to a low current stimulation is checked. To summarize healthy nerves usually transmit signals at a greater strength.
Autonomic nerve testing
These tests help identify the proper functioning of the autonomic nervous system.
Quantitative sensory testing (QST)
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.
Nerve and skin 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.
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 company, our drug and subscribe to our newsletter.
- “Types of Peripheral Neuropathy & Risk Factors”. The Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy
- “Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy | Symptoms & Treatments”. The Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy
- “Peripheral neuropathy – Diagnosis and treatment”. Mayo Clinic
- “Blood Tests To Identify Medical Causes of Neuropathy”. Neuropathy Commons
- “Nutritional Causes of Peripheral Neuropathy | Vitamin Deficiency”. The Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy
- “Electrodiagnostic Testing | EMG & NCV Tests”. The Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy
- “Computerized Axial Tomography | CAT Scan”. The Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy
- “Medical Imaging | MRIs & CAT Scans”. The Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy
- “Peripheral Nerve Biopsy Procedure”. The Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy
- “Quantitative Sensory Tests | QST”. The Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy
- “Neurological Examinations | How to Diagnose Peripheral Neuropathy”. The Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy