Diabetic neuropathy is a condition caused by nerve damage from chronically elevated blood sugar levels. Once your doctor has diagnosed the condition, it may leave you wondering: What are some treatments for the disease?
Diabetic neuropathy can’t be cured. However medication, lifestyle changes, and therapy can all help. An EXACT treatment will depend on your exact symptoms.
Let’s go over some of the things you can do to help manage your neuropathy.
Treatments For Diabetic Neuropathy
Depending on your specific symptoms, your doctor may prescribe a few things to help manage your symptoms.
Exercise and diet can help manage your blood sugar levels, preventing further nerve damage from neuropathy. Medication can also help.
To begin, let’s look at some lifestyle changes.
Diet and Exercise For Neuropathy
Maintaining a healthy weight and healthy blood sugar levels will prevent your neuropathy from developing any further. Neuropathy develops from ELEVATED blood sugar levels REMAINING elevated.
Specifically, the ADA recommends a blood sugar level of between 80 and 130 mg/dL before meals and under 180 mg/dL for two hours after eating.
Maintaining a healthy weight through both diet and exercise is the first step in managing your neuropathy. There are other lifestyle changes you can use too.
Blood Pressure and Smoking
Another thing you can do to help manage your neuropathy is keeping your blood pressure levels within a healthy range and, if you smoke or use tobacco, kick the habit.
Having diabetes AND high blood pressure puts you at a greater risk of developing complications, specifically strokes and heart attacks. Maintaining healthy blood pressure is important, but even more so for a diabetic with neuropathy.
Along with blood pressure, smoking is something else that can complicate your neuropathy. Smoking, or just general tobacco use, weakens your cardiovascular system. This leads to worse circulation, exacerbating your neuropathy.
Maintaining a healthy blood pressure and avoiding tobacco can also help you manage your neuropathy. A healthy blood pressure prevents further complications and avoiding tobacco stops any circulatory complications.
Along with lifestyle changes, your doctor may prescribe some different medications to treat your neuropathy. Let’s go over some different medications used in treatment of the condition.
Diabetic Neuropathy Medications
There are a few different drugs for diabetic neuropathy. The exact drugs you may get prescribed depends on the exact symptom you’re trying to manage.
Antidepressants and anti seizure medication may be used, along with painkillers for neuropathy. Blood pressure medication, opioids, and topical treatments are also used.
Let’s go more in-depth on some of the different diabetic neuropathy medications.
Antidepressants and Anti Seizure Drugs
The first class of drugs used to help treat diabetic neuropathy are antidepressants and anti seizures.
Both of these drug types can help to treat any pain you may have from your neuropathy. Along with both antidepressants and anti seizure drugs, regular painkillers may be used.
Some examples include:
Blood Pressure Medication, Opioids, and Topical Treatments
Different drugs for blood pressure, different opioids, and topical drugs that contain lidocaine can be used to treat some different complications from neuropathy.
Blood pressure medications keep your blood pressure in check, opioids can help manage pain, and lidocaine helps to numb your skin, preventing pain.
Some examples of these drugs include:
There isn’t any SINGLE treatment that can totally reverse the effects of diabetic neuropathy. However, there are a few different things you and your doctor can do to help manage your symptoms.
Lifestyle changes and alternative medicines can all help you manage your diabetic neuropathy. Your doctor may also prescribe different medications to help you treat your condition.
If you have neuropathy from your diabetes, work with your doctor to figure out the BEST treatment plan for you.