Diabetic Neuropathy – Can it be Reversed?

Diabetic neuropathy occurs when nerves become damaged as a result of diabetes. An individual with diabetes may develop diabetic neuropathy as a result of high blood sugar levels, which can adversely affect the nervous system over time. When nerves are damaged it can affect one’s touch, sensation, and movement. The symptoms and levels of pain caused by diabetic neuropathy can vary depending on the patient and the affected nerves. Treatment can range from conservative therapy to more invasive treatment. However, patients’ most common question about diabetic neuropathy is whether it can be reversed. 

At BEST, the first step to a patient’s journey to pain relief must be patient education. We strongly believe that when a patient is made aware of the condition they have they can make the best choice for themselves regarding their condition. Whether that be considering your treatment options or deciding on surgery, being informed of your condition is vital. 

What Is Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetic neuropathy occurs when nerves are damaged due to diabetes. Four major types of diabetic neuropathy vary in symptoms. The following is a summary of each of the four types that can occur due to diabetes: 

Peripheral Neuropathy

The feet and legs are usually affected by this type. A few cases affect the back, arms, and abdomen. There may be tingling, numbness, and pain in those areas as a result. 

Autonomic Neuropathy

In form of neuropathy, the digestive system is affected, especially the stomach. In addition to the blood vessels and urinary system, it can also affect the sex organs.

Proximal Neuropathy

It can affect the thighs, hips, or buttocks (usually only on one side). Leg weakness can also result from it. The symptoms of this condition are usually treated with medication and physical therapy.

Focal Neuropathy

Most often, focal neuropathy affects specific nerves in the head, torso, or legs. Pain or weakness can be caused by it.

These types of neuropathy can have a range of symptoms and treatments depending on the nerve damage and the type of lifestyle you lead. BEST Health System can help you in developing a treatment plan suited to your needs. We are dedicated to helping patients find the relief necessary to get back to the activities and people they love. 

Can It Be Reversed?

The most common question of patients who have diabetic neuropathy is whether can it be reversed. Unfortunately, nerve damage can not be undone. However, this does not mean that you will have to live in pain for the rest of your life. Diabetic neuropathy is becoming a more common occurrence which means more and more treatment options are becoming available for treating this condition. 

Developing a treatment for diabetic neuropathy is a very personal process that takes into account your lifestyle. However, there are a number of treatment options that are generally always recommended regardless of the type of diabetic neuropathy you have. They include the following:

Controlling Your Blood Sugar Levels

Maintaining control of your blood sugar levels is one of the most important treatments for diabetic neuropathy. An improvement in blood glucose levels usually results in an improvement in pain and burning symptoms. If you are not adequately controlling your blood sugar levels, your treatment regimen may need to be changed. 

Changes in Lifestyle 

To combat your symptoms, your doctor may recommend changes to your lifestyle. A change in diet and exercise can be part of this process. You can maintain a healthy weight by eating nutrient-dense foods such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and lean meats. Exercise should be performed at least three times a week for at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity. Standing, walking, or light stretching should be done to break up sedentary activities that last more than 30 minutes. 

Take Care of Your Feet 

When you have diabetic neuropathy, you may not feel pain when there is an injury or wound. This is why you should monitor changes in the skin on your foot as they can increase the risk of infection. Diabetics should have comprehensive foot examinations and visual examinations of their feet every year. 

Control of pain caused by neuropathy

Diabetic neuropathy can cause severe pain that can be difficult to manage. This can have an adverse effect on your quality of life and your ability to sleep well at night. Pain can resolve without treatment over a period of weeks to months, especially after a sudden change in health. There are many medications that can be used to treat diabetic neuropathy. Pain medication should be taken according to your doctor’s instructions. 

What BEST Can Do

At BEST Health System, we now offer imaging and diagnostic services. With our newly installed MRI, we are able to better diagnose our patient’s conditions on-site. Furthermore, we offer a number of treatment options that can benefit you in your patient journey to pain relief. BEST is proud to offer a variety of physical therapy such as orthotics and blood flow restriction training

If you have thoroughly explored any and all conservative treatment options and have not found the relief necessary for a good quality of life, then surgery will become an option for you. At BEST, we offer a more beneficial alternative to traditional surgery. Our minimally invasive procedures use less than one-inch incisions and muscle-sparing techniques. This eliminated the need for an overnight hospital stay and lowers the risk of complications and infection. BEST Health System’s surgeries are performed by our board-certified surgeons, Dr. Girton and Dr. Abbott

If you have any questions about diabetic neuropathy or our minimally invasive procedures, contact us today!