Diabetic neuropathy

Diabetic neuropathy is damage to nerves that occurs as a result of diabetes. Diabetes is thought to damage nerves as a result of prolonged elevated levels of blood glucose, Peripheral neuropathy most commonly causes pain, burning, tingling, and numbness of the feet and lower legs, while autonomic neuropathy causes symptoms related to dysfunction of an organ system, such as urinary incontinence, diarrhea or constipation, or sexual dysfunction.

Diagnosis of diabetic neuropathy is usually done by a clinical exam. There is no cure for diabetic neuropathy, but treatments are available to manage the symptoms.

Signs & symptoms may include:
Burning pain.

Sharp, jabbing or electric-like pain.

Gradual onset of numbness and tingling in your feet or hands,
which may spread upward into your legs and arms.

Extreme sensitivity to touch, even light touch.

Skin, hair or nail changes.

Lack of coordination.

Muscle weakness or paralysis if motor nerves are affected.

Heat intolerance if autonomic nerves are affected.

Bowel, bladder or digestive problems if autonomic nerves are affected.

Changes in blood pressure, causing dizziness or lightheadedness, if autonomic nerves are affected.

The pain of diabetic neuropathy can sometimes be managed with certain medications. Certain prescription antidepressants and anti-seizure medications have been shown to be effective in relieving pain that originates in the nerves.
For example, duloxetine is an antidepressant that can relieve the pain of diabetic neuropathy in some people. The tricyclic antidepressant drugs, including nortriptyline and desipramine have also been used for this purpose.
Anti-seizure drugs such as gabapentin, carbamazepine and pregabalin are drugs that can also work to relieve pain in people with diabetic neuropathy.
Keeping tight control of blood sugar levels is the best way to prevent diabetic neuropathy and other complications of diabetes.
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