Friday, October 22, 2010
Diabetic neuropathy is a common complication experienced by most diabetics. It is a painful pins and needles sensation with a feeling of numbness. Diabetic neuropathy is a detrimental complication of diabetes, which is not easily treated. Patients with neuropathy are left with a loss of peripheral awareness causing ulcers and other complications that may lead to limb loss. Microangiopathy is the cause of diabetic neuropathy, which is due to excess blood sugar and high blood pressure.
Patient controlled blood pressure and sugar are the only real treatment of diabetic neuropathy; however, doctors most often treat the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy through topical and oral medications. Low average fasting blood sugars below 125mg/dl and low H1AC below 6% are the only proven treatment to stop and control diabetic neuropathy. Most other treatments are just band-aids to the problem.
Capsaicin is a topical medication commonly prescribed to treat diabetic neuropathy. Capsaicin is derived from the active ingredient in chill power and works by interfering with pain impulses to the brain. It can be purchased over the counter, but a stronger dosage can be prescribed. Capsaicin is not effective in diabetics with blood sugars levels higher than 200 mg/dl. Other topical NSAID such as Voltaren gel and other topical anesthetics are used for diabetic neuropathy, however none of them treat the underlying cause just the symptoms.
Neurotin and Lyrica are common oral medications prescribed by doctors to treat diabetic neuropathy. There medications are GABA analogue that are used to treat epilsely but also used for diabetic neuropathy. These oral medication block pain impulse centrally. Neurotin and Lyrica oral are effective method of treating the symptoms of neuropathy but not the cause.
If you are experience numbness, tingling, and pain in your feet see a podiatrist.