Diabetic Nerve Pain Causes and Symptoms

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Twenty-nine million Americans have diabetes. Diabetic nerve pain, also known as peripheral neuropathy, is a complication that frequently occurs when blood sugar stays elevated over time. One in five people with diabetes suffers from diabetic nerve pain. 

For additional information about diabetes visit http://www.diabetes.org

Causes of Diabetic Nerve Pain

Diabetes causes diabetic nerve pain because elevated blood sugar damages nerves. In the beginning, it may have no symptoms.

Prolonged exposure to high glucose damages the delicate fibers that nerves use to send signals. It also weakens capillary walls, cutting off the supply of oxygen and other nutrients nerves need.

Lifestyle factors such as smoking, alcohol use, and a poor diet can increase the damage and make diabetic nerve pain worse.

Nerve Pain Symptoms

Pain is the body’s way of telling you something’s wrong. Muscle pain results when you have an injury or overwork an area. Muscles signal the brain so you know to give them a break. With proper care, the muscle heals.

Nerve pain is different.

When diabetes damages your nerves, they send signals to the brain even when you’re doing things that aren’t painful. If your nerves send pain signals that it hurts to put on your shoes, avoiding shoes for a while won’t solve the problem. The issue isn’t in your feet, it’s in your damaged nerves.

Symptoms include:

·         Shooting, burning pain

·         A feeling of pins and needles or electric shock

·         Sensitivity to touch

·         Numbness

·         Tingling or stinging

·         Pain that radiates out from one spot

Click for additional symptoms of peripheral neuropathy.

Treatment for Diabetic Nerve Pain

The best treatment is prevention. If you have diabetes, reduce your risk for diabetic nerve pain by controlling blood sugar, maintaining a healthy body weight, avoiding cigarettes and excessive drinking, and managing your cholesterol and blood pressure.

There’s no cure for nerve damage, but there is treatment. Here are some options that may help you manage your pain.

Eat Healthy Foods. Avoiding blood sugar spikes minimizes pain for some people with peripheral neuropathy. Stay away from processed foods and refined sugars. Replace them with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.

Exercise. It’s hard to start when moving hurts, but exercise helps lower blood glucose and reduce pain.

Talk to your doctor. Your doctor can help you slow nerve damage and develop a healthy eating plan. He or she also might prescribe medicine that helps you manage your pain.

At Fairwood Health and Body Transition, we provide customized treatment for neuropathic pain. Our patients typically report relief in less than three treatments. Contact us to start feeling better today.

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