Peripheral neuropathy — Comprehensive overview covers diagnosis, causes and treatment of this often painful disorder. The disorder is uncomfortable, but treatments can be very helpful. The most important thing to determine is whether peripheral neuropathy is. Some cases of neuropathy, those that are hormonal or nutrition-related, for example, can be easily treated and sometimes cured. In most cases, however.
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Treating diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain. This content is owned by the AAFP. A person viewing it online may make one printout of the material and may use that printout only for his or her personal, non-commercial reference.
This material may not otherwise be downloaded, copied, printed, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any medium, whether now known or later invented, except as authorized in writing by the AAFP. Want to use this article elsewhere? According to the makers, NeuroMetrix, "the device is worn on the calf, works at the press of a single button, and is equipped with a rechargeable battery that should last about two weeks based on the recommended once-daily, hour-long treatment sessions.
A study showed that patients with painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy who received electroacupuncture treatments twice a week for eight weeks had significantly greater improvements in pain and improved sleep interference.
Talk to your doctor about treatments for diabetic peripheral neuropathy. You will probably need medications to help deal with the nerve pain, but there are other treatments available.
Join the patient community. Find a Specialist Search our comprehensive list of medical professionals who treat chronic pain. The Nerve Damage of Diabetes page. National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse Web site. Accessed July 31, You May Also Like Doctors can also prescribe skin patches, such as Lidoderm, for temporary, localized pain relief.
This contains the local anesthetic lidocaine. The patches are like bandages, and they can be cut to size. The choice of drug should take into account medications for other conditions, to avoid unwanted interactions.
These are available over the counter. Topical ointments and creams, such as capsaicin 0. Patches are also available. When neuropathy is caused by compression of a single nerve, treatment is similar whichever nerve is involved. The approach depends on whether the compression is fixed or transient. A palsy of the ulnar, radial, or peroneal nerve may be transient and reversible, simply by avoiding the cause of the nerve compression. For example, a person with ulnar nerve palsy should not lean on the affected elbow.
The patient may be advised to rest and to use heat and a limited course of drugs to reduce inflammation. In carpal tunnel syndrome , conservative therapy includes splinting the wrist, oral or injected corticosteroid drugs, and ultrasound. If a single-nerve neuropathy does not respond to these measures, surgery may be an option.
Surgery may also be necessary if the nerve compression is fixed, for example when caused by a tumor. Referral to specialist pain services or a relevant clinical specialty should be considered at any stage if:. It can also lead to foot and leg ulcers, infection, and gangrene. If the autonomic nerves are affected, there may be problems with sweating, heat intolerance, bowel or bladder problems, and changes in blood pressure , leading to dizziness.
Many types of neuropathy are "idiopathic," or of unknown cause, but a number of conditions can trigger it. Diabetes is the most common cause of chronic peripheral neuropathy. It happens when high blood sugar levels damage the nerves. Disorders of the small blood vessels can reduce blood supply to the nerves, resulting in nerve tissue damage. The most common cause of peripheral neuropathy is diabetes. Around 60 to 70 percent of people with diabetes have some degree of neuropathy.
High blood sugar levels cause damage to the walls of the tiny blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrients to the nerves in the ends of the hands and feet, and the essential organs in the body, such as the eyes, kidneys, and heart.
As a result, not only does the skin becomes damaged, but the loss of sensation further increases the risk of damage. Around half of all people with diabetes are believed to have diabetic neuropathy. The nervous system is a complex web of communications in which different types of nerves interact. Peripheral neuropathy refers specifically to a malfunction of the peripheral nerves. Over types of neuropathy have been identified, each with its own causes and symptoms.
Stress-relief and other complementary therapies include meditation, relaxation techniques, massage, and acupuncture. Some people find that using a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation TENS machine helps. This device interrupts nerve messages by delivering a small electric current. Its effectiveness has not been confirmed by research. The outlook for peripheral neuropathy varies, depending on the underlying cause, and which nerves have been damaged.
Some cases may improve with time if the underlying cause is treated, but in others, the damage may be permanent or gradually worse with time.
Peripheral Neuropathy Fact Sheet
WebMD's guide to the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of peripheral neuropathy. Treatment for peripheral neuropathy may include treating any underlying cause or any symptoms you're experiencing. Treatment may be more successful for. Just like neuropathy (also called peripheral neuropathy) isn't just one condition, neither is there a single treatment option that's best for all forms.