Peripheral Neuropathy and Diabetes

Peripheral Neuropathy and Diabetes

Diagnosing and Treating Diabetic Nerve Pain

What is Peripheral Neuropathy?

Peripheral neuropathy is a disorder that occurs as a result of damage to the peripheral nerves. Symptoms and characteristics can include the following:

  • Burning, tingling or weakness primarily in the hands and feet
  • Pain

The most common cause of peripheral neuropathy is Type 2 diabetes. As the number of diabetes diagnoses continues to grow, the amount of peripheral neuropathy cases increases.  In fact, peripheral nerve is only one type of nerve damage associated with diabetes. Others include damage to the thoracic, cranial, motor and autonomic nerves.

  • Autonomic Neuropathy – Nerve damage to systems that manage body functions such as digestion, bowels and bladder, blood pressure, and heart rate.
  • Proximal Neuropathy – Symptoms can include pain in hips and thighs, as well as weakness in legs.
  • Focal Neuropathy – Affects a single nerve, most often causing sudden pain in feet, wrist, or thigh. It can also cause pain in nerves of the eye.

Diagnosis of diabetic neuropathy

Diagnosis begins with an exam, most likely performed by your primary care physician. Diabetic neuropathy testing can include one or more of the following tests:

  • Blood pressure
  • Heart rate
  • Muscle strength
  • Check of the reflexes
  • Electromyography
  • Ultrasound

Foot exams are especially important in the diagnosis, treatment, and progression of peripheral neuropathy.

Treating Peripheral Neuropathy

Treating peripheral neuropathy as a result of diabetes varies by individual, but can include the following:

  • Medications such as insulin, pain medication to manage nerve pain, and anesthetics
  • Exercise and weight loss
  • Anti-seizure medications
  • Pain management

Peripheral Neurosurgery

If the above treatments do not provide relief from the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy, neurosurgery may be offered to relieve nerve pain. Peripheral neurosurgery varies by patient, but it is often performed as an outpatient operation to relieve pressure on the nerves that are causing you pain.

Diabetic neuropathy treatment in Naples, Florida

If you are experiencing the symptoms of, or are seeking a treatment plan for diabetic neuropathy in south west Florida, we invite you to schedule an appointment with one of our physicians. The neurosurgeons of Neuroscience and Spine Associates specialize in a variety of conditions, and will work with you to discover the best options for your individualized diagnosis and treatment plan. We are devoted to providing quality medical services performed by caring medical professionals.



Hopkins Medicine

National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Disease

Endocrine Web

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