Although nerve damage from diabetic neuropathy cannot be reversed, there are a number of diabetic neuropathy treatments designed to keep the condition from getting worse. No matter the progression of the neuropathy, keeping one's blood glucose level within the normal range will ensure that current neuropathy stops and is prevented in the future. Those suffering from diabetic neuropathy can choose from a number of palliative treatments, starting with improving diet and exercise.
Once a doctor has confirmed the presence of diabetic neuropathy, he or she will discuss with the patient a number of lifestyle choices to prevent further destruction of nerve tissue. The first is a healthier diet fine-tuned to one's specific dietary needs yet low in processed sugar and carbohydrates. The doctor will then help the patient construct a personalized exercise plan. Regular exercise both improves overall health for the patient and promotes blood flow to the feet and legs, the limbs most vulnerable to diabetic neuropathy.
Diet and exercise are a positive step, but specific diabetic neuropathy treatments depend on the type of neuropathy the patient presents. The first type is autonomic neuropathy, a condition that affects all internal functions, including digestion, urination and blood pressure. Unfortunately, these ailments have to be treated on an individual basis. For example, if autonomic neuropathy causes high blood pressure, a doctor will prescribe blood pressure medication. Not managing one's diabetes will cause autonomic neuropathy to spread, reducing quality of life and shortening lifespan.
Peripheral neuropathy requires a different set of diabetic neuropathy treatments. As peripheral neuropathy affects one's sensation of touch, sometimes causing extreme pain, a doctor may prescribe strong painkillers or an anticonvulsant drug. These drugs are usually paired with physical therapy. Physical therapy is essential, as reduced blood flow due to diabetes can cause a number of degenerative conditions in the legs. Regular visits to a physical therapist's and doctor's office allows these professionals many chances to spot the warning signs of future problems.
No matter the combination of traditional diabetic neuropathy treatments, a patient may not find full pain relief. In these cases, other options such as electrical nerve stimulation, acupuncture or meditation exist. As diabetic neuropathy can be a lifetime condition, it is worth exploring other options if one's current treatments feel insufficient or if the pain returns on a regular basis. Also, many doctors will adjust the combination of traditional diabetic neuropathy treatments if the patient requests it.