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Diabetic Neuropathy

Treating Diabetic Neuropathy

The first step is to bring blood glucose levels within the normal range to prevent further nerve damage. Controlling blood glucose levels involves:
  • Blood glucose monitoring
  • Meal planning
  • Exercise
  • Oral drugs or insulin injections.
Although symptoms may get worse when blood glucose is first brought under control, over time, maintaining lower blood glucose levels helps lessen symptoms of diabetic neuropathy. Most importantly, good blood glucose control may also help prevent or delay the onset of further problems.
Additional diabetic neuropathy treatment depends on the type of nerve problem and symptoms. Possible problems include:
  • Diabetic feet
  • Pain
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Dizziness and weakness
  • Urinary and sexual problems.
(Click Diabetic Neuropathy Treatment for more information about treatments for these problems.) 

Preventing Diabetic Neuropathy

The best way to prevent diabetic neuropathy is to keep your blood glucose levels as close to the normal range as possible. Maintaining safe blood glucose levels protects nerves throughout your body.
(Click Diabetic Neuropathy Prevention to learn more.)

Final Thoughts

The following points are important to keep in mind regarding diabetic neuropathy:
  • Diabetic neuropathy is a group of nerve disorders caused by many of the abnormalities common to diabetes, such as high blood glucose.
  • The condition can affect nerves throughout the body, causing numbness and sometimes pain in the hands, arms, feet, or legs, and problems with the digestive tract, heart, and sex organs.
  • Treatment for diabetic neuropathy first involves bringing blood glucose levels within the normal range. Good blood glucose control may help prevent or delay the onset of further problems.
  • Foot care is another important part of treatment. People with diabetic neuropathy need to inspect their feet daily for any injuries. Untreated injuries increase the risk of infected foot sores and amputation.
  • Treatment also includes pain relief and other medications as needed, depending on the type of diabetic neuropathy.
  • Smoking significantly increases the risk of foot problems and amputation. If you smoke, ask your healthcare provider for help in quitting.
Steps to Prevent or Delay Diabetic Nerve Damage

Diabetic Neuropathy Information

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