There is no diabetic neuropathy cure, but this condition can be managed to prevent it from getting worse and help patients cope with the symptoms. Appropriate management of diabetes as soon as it is identified can help stave off complications like diabetic neuropathy, and once these complications develop, patients need to get aggressive and focused about their diabetes treatment. This can involve changing medications, making lifestyle modifications, and working with specialists who will help patients assess and manage their diabetic neuropathy.
In diabetic neuropathy, damage occurs within the nervous system. There are several forms, including peripheral neuropathy, where the peripheral nervous system is involved and patients experience symptoms like pain, numbness, and tingling in the extremities. Another version is autonomic neuropathy, involving the autonomic nervous system in the gut. This form can lead to digestive problems. The damage is progressive and irreversible. Patients should not be disheartened by the fact that there is no diabetic neuropathy cure; giving up on treatment will result in a worsening of symptoms and can hasten the development of other complications.
Patients looking for a diabetic neuropathy cure will not be able to repair the damage already caused, but they can prevent it from progressing further. Adjusting diabetes medications to control blood sugar more effectively, in addition to dieting and exercising for health, can help prevent additional damage. These measures are recommended as the first line of treatment, because controlling the patient's diabetes is a very important aspect of treating diabetic neuropathy and preventing other complications.
Management of the condition can include both prescription and over-the-counter drugs for pain, physical therapy, and the use of nerve stimulation devices to block or confuse pain signals to keep the patient more comfortable. Some patients benefit from complementary medicine like acupuncture at key sites, and massage to stimulate bloodflow. While these do not offer a diabetic neuropathy cure, they can keep pain at manageable levels and will prevent further damage.
The lack of a diabetic neuropathy cure makes the patient's feet a significant concern. Foot problems like deep sores and ulcerations are associated with advanced uncontrolled diabetes. Patients may not notice the damage to their feet because their nerves are not functioning correctly. Because of this, it is important to inspect the feet regularly, wear properly fitted shoes, and keep the feet clean and dry. Patients who have trouble with their foot care may ask a family member or health care provider to assist them with regular foot checks. Patients with diabetes heal from injuries more slowly and once sores set in on the feet, they can be very difficult to address.