What is diabetic neuropathy?
Neuropathy is a term that refers to nerve damage or diseases that affect your nerve function.
Your nerves are specialized cells that transmit messages from your brain to other parts of your body, known as nerve impulses. These impulses control muscle movements, relay sensory information back to your brain, and much more.
Nerves play an indispensable role in nearly every body function, from helping you move major limbs to contracting tiny muscles in your heart. When your nerves malfunction, it affects a wide range of body functions.
Diabetic neuropathy is a type of nerve damage that happens if you have diabetes as high blood sugar can affect nerves throughout your body.
When your neuropathic condition affects nerves outside of your brain and spinal cord, it’s known as peripheral neuropathy. This is the most common type of diabetic neuropathy.
How do you diagnose diabetic neuropathy?
The team at US Neuropathy Centers starts with a comprehensive physical examination and carefully reviews personal and family medical history when they suspect diabetic neuropathy.
Your doctor asks detailed questions related to your symptoms and assesses your overall muscle strength, reflexes, and sensitivity to touch. They also check your feet for sores, blisters, and bone or joint problems.
Your doctor may also order additional blood, imaging, or nerve tests to assess the extent of your neuropathic condition.
How do you treat diabetic neuropathy?
Once your US Neuropathy Centers doctor determines you have diabetic neuropathy, they can suggest over-the-counter medication to treat mild symptoms. They also address any complications that may result from your condition.
If you have diabetic neuropathy, you’re at a higher risk of injuries and resulting infections that you may not notice due to the numbness that can result from the condition. In some cases, poor wound treatment can lead to amputation of the limb.
At US Neuropathy Centers, your doctor checks your feet for ulcers and wounds, in order to prevent or treat serious foot complications that can result from diabetic neuropathy.
For more severe cases, they can prescribe medication to reduce your pain. These medications work by blocking some chemical processes in your brain that control your sensations of pain.
If your condition doesn’t respond to medication, the practice provides peripheral nerve stimulators that your doctor places under your skin next to a peripheral nerve. The device modifies the pain signals that go to your brain and reduces the amount of pain that you feel.
If you don’t respond to medication or other conservative treatments, the team at US Neuropathy Centers can perform peripheral nerve decompression surgery to restore function and alleviate your symptoms.
To learn more about the various treatments for diabetic neuropathy, call US Neuropathy Centers or use the online booking tool to make an appointment today.