If you or someone you know suffers from diabetic neuropathy pain, then a trip to Best Healthcare of Arizona is in order. At this top-of-the-line family practice based in Phoenix, Arizona, you’ll receive compassionate, one-on-one care to help treat and manage any diabetic neuropathy pain you’re experiencing. With a variety of treatment options available thanks to an array of FDA-approved medications, our skilled healthcare professionals are dedicated to helping patients in Phoenix go on to live pain-free, happier lives.
What Does Diabetic Neuropathy Mean?
For those who don’t know, diabetic neuropathy refers to a grouping of nerve disorders that result from diabetes. For diabetic individuals, neuropathy pain develops over time as nerves throughout the body become damaged. Unfortunately, the condition doesn’t always present symptoms. Those that do experience symptoms, however, often complain of tingling, pain, and numbness in their arms, hands, legs, and feet. The condition extends beyond the extremities, though. In fact, diabetic neuropathy pain can occur in every major organ system, such as the heart and digestive tract. Even the sex organs can become affected.
To date, an estimated 70 percent of diabetic patients live with some sort of neuropathy pain. Although neuropathy pain can show up anytime, typically patients who are older in age have a greater likelihood of developing the condition. Those who have had diabetes for 20 years or longer and those who struggle to control their blood sugar levels are also at an increased risk of developing the condition.
What Causes Neuropathy Pain?
Causes for this uncomfortable condition vary from person to person. Researchers have found there to be a wide variety of causes, including but not limited to:
- High Blood Glucose
- High Blood Fat Levels
- Neurovascular Factors
- Nerve Inflammation
- Mechanical Injuries to Nerves, Like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Alcohol Use
What Do Symptoms Look Like?
Neuropathy pain symptoms usually vary depending on what nerves and what part of the body is being affected. While some patients experience minor discomfort, such as tingling in the hands or feet, others may suffer from decreased muscle mass, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, weakness, difficulty urinating, and other symptoms. It’s also common for weight loss or depression to accompany diabetic neuropathy symptoms.
There Is More Than One Type of Diabetic Neuropathy
Many may not be aware that there is more than one type of diabetic neuropathy. In fact, there are four different types, including autonomic, peripheral, focal, and proximal.
- Autonomic Neuropathy: This can result in digestive changes, and it can even impact bladder and bowel function, perspiration, and the way the sex organs function. Additionally, it can also affect the nerves that play a role in helping control blood pressure, along with the nerves in the eyes and lungs.
- Peripheral Neuropathy: This is the most common of the diabetic neuropathy conditions. Typically, it results in a loss of feeling, tingling, or pain in the extremities.
- Focal Neuropathy: This causes the sudden weakness of a nerve or nerve family anywhere in the body, resulting in pain or muscle weakness.
- Proximal Neuropathy: This usually results in pain or discomfort in the hips, thighs, or buttocks and can even lead to muscle weakness in the legs.
Can Diabetic Neuropathy Be Prevented? How Is It Diagnosed?
Although there is not a cure for diabetic neuropathy, there are measures individuals can take to prevent the condition. One such way is to keep blood glucose levels under control. As for how it is diagnosed, typically, our Phoenix, AZ, healthcare professionals are able to make a diagnosis based on a physical exam and any symptoms an individual may be experiencing. By checking vitals, like the heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, and reflexes, we can usually get a good idea of whether one of our patients has the condition. If by chance we’re unsure, ultrasounds or electromyography tests can be conducted to determine the presence of nerve damage.
Once an individual has been diagnosed with diabetic neuropathy, there are a number of treatment options available to him or her. The first step, however, is to get blood sugar levels within a normal range to prevent extensive nerve damage. Once that is successfully under control, our Phoenix, Arizona, team will suggest options designed to offer pain relief. Some of these options might include medications like the following:
- Antidepressants, specifically tricyclic antidepressants, such as imipramine.
- Anticonvulsants, such as Lyrica, Neurontin, or Gaborone.
- Opioids and similar medications, such as oxycodone or tramadol.
No matter what type of diabetic neuropathy condition you or a loved one is suffering from, you can count on our caring, professional team of healthcare professionals to get the pain and discomfort under control. What are you waiting for? Schedule a consultation at our Phoenix, Arizona, office today.