Hope For Neuropathy Sufferers
Our local newspaper recently had a four-page full-color advertising insert titled “Encouraging News for Neuropathy Patients.” As neuropathy is a common and frustrating complication of diabetes, I was intrigued, and read the entire insert. According to the insert, “Local Doctor’s Drug-Free, Neuropathy Treatment Relieves Poor Balance and Numbness in Feet and Legs.” And the local doctor (a chiropractor) indicates that he has developed his own way to treat neuropathy His ad states: "This successful protocol is a pain-free treatment available only at the [name deleted] Chiropractic Pain Relief Center. It is noninvasive and drug-free so there are no concerns about drug interactions. It is completely safe and effective in the treatment of neuropathy pain. Many patients have been able to get off medications that can affect them both mentally and physically. Each patient’s care is tailored to his or her own specific condition." That seems almost too good to be true – a local chiropractor here in South Carolina has an exclusive treatment for a complication about which it is said “there are no miracle cures or treatments for neuropathy.” Let’s be specific. Although neuropathy has many causes, it’s very common in diabetes, with about half of all people with diabetes having some form of nerve damage. Probably the most common diabetic “neuropathy” is what’s medically called distal (that is, at the far ends of the body such as the feet), symmetric (both left and right sides approximately equally affected), sensory (pertaining to feeling rather than control of muscle movement) polyneuropathy (affecting multiple nerves). It’s sometimes abbreviated DSPN (Distal Symmetric Peripheral Neuropathy or Distal Sensory Peripheral Neuropathy: take your choice). It can Continue reading >>
What Is Diabetic Neuropathy?
Too often I see patients, and based on the symptoms they are experiencing, it is clear that it is diabetic neuropathy. However, in many cases they have never heard of the condition. Diabetic neuropathy is damage to nerves, that occurs as a result of diabetes. Diabetes is thought to damage nerves due to prolonged elevated levels of blood glucose. The three main types of neuropathy include sensory, autonomic and motor. • Sensory neuropathy or peripheral neuropathy (usually just called neuropathy), affects the nerves that carry information to the brain, about sensations from various parts of the body. For example, how hot or cold something is; what the texture of something feels like; the pain caused by a sharp object or heat, etc. This is the most common form of diabetic neuropathy. • Autonomic neuropathy affects the nerves that control involuntary activities of the body, such as the action of the stomach, intestine, bladder and even the heart. • Motor neuropathy affects the nerves that carry signals to muscles, to allow motions like walking and moving fingers. This form of neuropathy is very rare in diabetes. Sensory neuropathy can lead to pain, numbness or tingling in the extremities, and ultimately, an inability to feel heat, cold, pain or any other sensation in affected areas. Autonomic neuropathy can lead to impotence in men; bladder neuropathy (which means the bladder is unable to empty completely); diabetic diarrhoea; or bloated stomach. Motor neuropathy can lead to muscle weakness. If you are diagnosed with neuropathy, your physician or podiatrist may use terms to describe the type that you have based on whether only one side of your body is affected (asymmetric), or both sides (symmetric). If only one kind of nerve is affected, your doctor may say you have Continue reading >>
Highly Beneficial Treatment For Neuropathy And Wound Healing
According to the Neuropathy Association, approximately 20 million Americans suffer from neuropathy. Here is some information about the disease from their website. ABOUT peripheral NEUROPATHY: FACTS Peripheral neuropathy is a disorder of the peripheral nerves—the motor, sensory and autonomic nerves that connect the spinal cord to muscles, skin and internal organs. It usually affects the hands and feet, causing weakness, numbness, tingling and pain. Peripheral neuropathy’s course is variable; it can come and go, slowly progressing over many years, or it can become severe and debilitating. However, if diagnosed early, peripheral neuropathy can often be controlled. Why Have We Heard So Little About Peripheral Neuropathy? Is It A New Disease? Peripheral neuropathy is common. It is estimated that upwards of 20 million Americans suffer from this illness. It can occur at any age, but is more common among older adults. A l999 survey found that 8-9% of Medicare recipients have peripheral neuropathy as their primary or secondary diagnosis. The annual cost to Medicare exceeds $3.5 billion. Peripheral neuropathy has always been present, but has not received much attention. Its extent and importance have not yet been adequately recognized. It is apt to be misdiagnosed, or thought to be merely a side effect of another disease like diabetes or cancer or kidney failure. The development of new therapies has unfortunately been slow and under funded. What Causes Peripheral Neuropathy? There are many causes of neuropathy. Approximately 30% of neuropathies are “idiopathic,” or of an unknown cause. In another 30% of cases, the cause is diabetes. Other neuropathy causes include autoimmune disorders, tumors, heredity, nutritional imbalances, infections or toxins. Can Peripheral Neuropat Continue reading >>
Discovery Shows The Way To Reverse Diabetic Nerve Pain
New information on one of diabetes’ most debilitating complications…. Diabetic neuropathy affects approximately 60-70% of people with diabetes. For such a common problem that affects patients with diabetes, little is known about peripheral neuropathy. Patients with diabetes who are suffering from peripheral neuropathy talk of how terrible it is to live with the condition: how a gentle touch can be agonizing and how a warm shower can be torturous. But, at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, new research has shed some more light on peripheral neuropathy’s causes and may eventually suggest a way to reverse it. “Normally pain is useful information because it alerts us that there is a damaging effect – something happening to tissues. But this pain is typically without any obvious reason,” UVA researcher and anesthesiologist Dr. Slobodan M. Todorovic explains. “It’s because nerves are being affected by high levels of glucose in the blood. So nerves start working on their own and start sending pain signals to the brain. It can be a debilitating condition that severely affects quality of life.” Dr. Slobodan Todorovic and Dr. Vesna Jevtoviv-Todorovic, Harold Carron Professor of Anethesiology and Neuroscience at UVA, have demonstrated the reversal of peripheral diabetic neuropathy in mice through the use of a substance that is naturally present in both humans and animals. The researchers and their colleagues discovered that the high levels of blood sugar cause a change to the structure of channels that allow for the release of calcium into the nerve cells. This in effect forces them open and the overload of calcium into the cells causes them to become hyperactive. This high level of activity can lead to various effects, such as a slight tingling in th Continue reading >>
Diabetes Affects Fracture Healing At Cellular Level
Patients with diabetes are at increased risk for delayed union or nonunion following skeletal trauma or elective orthopedic surgery, due to impaired osseous regeneration. Researchers are investigating the underlying etiologies in an effort to find therapeutic solutions. By David N. Paglia MS, Siddhant K. Mehta BS, Kristen Mason BS, Eric A. Breitbart MD, Aaron Wey BS, Andrew Park MS, Swaroopa Vaidya MS, Ravi Verma BS, Dana Graves PhD, J. Patrick O’Connor PhD, and Sheldon S. Lin MD In the United States, more than 21 million people suffer from diabetes mellitus (DM), a systemic disease resulting in impaired glucose homeostasis. With a better understanding of its underlying pathophysiology, additional therapeutic regimens have been developed that optimize blood glucose control, resulting in a longer life span in the diabetic patient. As such, other secondary issues linked to DM are now surfacing, including the association between DM and impaired osseous healing. Several retrospective studies have evaluated complications following elective arthrodesis in DM patients.1-3 Although the patients in these studies represented a sub-population with diabetic neuropathy, the noted increase in incidence of delayed union, nonunion, and pseudoarthrosis was significant in DM patients.1-3 Perlman and Thordarson4 compared the results of ankle fusion in several nonunion risk groups. They found a higher incidence of nonunion after attempted arthrodesis in DM patients compared to non-DM patients, with three of eight attempted arthrodeses in non-neuropathic DM patients resulting in nonunion compared to a 28% nonunion rate in the overall study population. Another study analyzed the predisposing factors contributing to nonunion after ankle arthrodesis. Non-neuropathic patients with major medic Continue reading >>
Curing Painful Diabetic Neuropathy
More from the neuropathy list below: Alpha-Lipoic Acid Clinical Studies 1. Oral Treatment with R-Alpha Lipoic Acid Improves Diabetic Polyneuropathy SelectShow Ziegler D, Ametov A, Barinov A, et al. The SYDNEY 2 trial. Diabetes Care. 2006;29:2365-70] OBJECTIVE: The aim of this trial was to evaluate the effects of alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) on positive sensory symptoms and neuropathic deficits in diabetic patients with distal symmetric polyneuropathy (DSP). RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: In this multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 181 diabetic patients in Russia and Israel received once-daily oral doses of 600 mg (n = 45) (ALA600), 1,200 mg (n = 47) (ALA1200), and 1,800 mg (ALA1800) of ALA (n = 46) or placebo (n = 43) for 5 weeks after a 1-week placebo run-in period. The primary outcome measure was the change from baseline of the Total Symptom Score (TSS), including stabbing pain, burning pain, paresthesia, and asleep numbness of the feet. Secondary end points included individual symptoms of TSS, Neuropathy Symptoms and Change (NSC) score, Neuropathy Impairment Score (NIS), and patients’ global assessment of RESULTS: Mean TSS did not differ significantly at baseline among the treatment groups and on average decreased by 4.9 points (51%) in ALA600, 4.5 (48%) in ALA1200, and 4.7 (52%) in ALA1800 compared with 2.9 points (32%) in the placebo group (all P /=50% reduction in TSS) were 62, 50, 56, and 26%, respectively. Significant improvements favoring all three ALA groups were also noted for stabbing and burning pain, the NSC score, and the patients’ global assessment of efficacy. The NIS was numerically reduced. Safety analysis showed a dose-dependent increase in nausea, vomiting, and vertigo. CONCLUSIONS: Oral treatment with Alpha-Lipoic Acid for Continue reading >>
Wound Healing Process In Diabetic Neuropathy And Diabetic Neuroischemia (geko)
Diabetes mellitus is one of the leading causes of illness worldwide. Diabetes can affect nerves, skin and blood vessels. Diabetics with problems in their nerves can lose the sense of touch in their feet (called neuropathy) and so may unknowingly cause damage to the skin resulting in skin loss or an 'ulcer'. Diabetics also have difficulty healing any damaged tissues especially if the patients have diseased blood vessels causing a lack of blood to areas of the body including the feet (called ischaemia). Diabetes mellitus is one of the leading causes of illness worldwide. Diabetes can affect nerves, skin and blood vessels. Diabetics with problems in the patients nerves can lose the sense of touch in the patient's feet (called neuropathy) and so may unknowingly cause damage to the skin resulting in skin loss or an 'ulcer'. Diabetics also have difficulty healing any damaged tissues especially if the patient have diseased blood vessels causing a lack of blood to areas of the body including the feet (called ischaemia). Therefore diabetics have a greater chance of having an ulcer and a higher chance that it does not heal up. The loss of a protective skin barrier means that bacteria can enter the foot causing infections which can spread to bone and beyond. Ultimately this can result in gangrene, amputation or even death. Stem or progenitor cells help repair and replace damage in the body. Blood vessels are key to this repair. Recent research has suggested that special progenitor cells found in the blood may be responsible. They are called Endothelial Progenitor Cells (EPCs) and seem to be in fewer numbers and are less effective at repair in diabetics. Current treatments for diabetic wounds are not always successful and so the investigators need more research to look at new treat Continue reading >>
7 Natural Diabetic Neuropathy Treatments That Work
Diabetes itself is extremely common, affecting about one in every three adults in the U.S., and diabetic neuropathy is one of the most likely complications to develop as a side effect because high blood sugar levels affect nerve fibers throughout the body. Neuropathy is a pathological condition that encompasses more than 100 different forms and manifestations of nerve damage, both in people with diabetes and those without. (1) Diabetic neuropathy (also sometimes called peripheral neuropathy) is the term for nerve damage caused by diabetes, a chronic condition that occurs when the body doesn’t use the hormone insulin properly. Neuropathy can form anywhere but is most likely to affect nerves running through the limbs, hands and feet. Not every person with diabetes symptoms develops complications such as neuropathy, but many do. In fact, up to 60 percent to 70 percent of all diabetics experience some form of neuropathy. For some people, only mild symptoms develop from nerve damage, such as tingling or numbness in the limbs. But for others, neuropathy causes a good amount of pain, digestive issues, problems with the heart and blood vessels, the inability to go about life normally, and even death if major organs are affected badly enough. Diabetic neuropathy can trigger a cascade of events that lead to even more serious complications. Just like with diabetes itself, there is no known “cure” for peripheral neuropathy, only ways to manage it and stop progression, similarly to the natural treatments for diabetes. It’s a dangerous problem to have, but fortunately most people are able to keep it under control by regulating their blood sugar levels, changing their diets and adopting healthier lifestyles overall, all of which help control their diabetes. 7 Natural Remedies Continue reading >>
What Are The Treatments For Non-diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy?
Peripheral neuropathy is a condition that causes numbness, tingling, pain, weakness, and other aggravating sensations in the hands and feet, according to Mayoclinic.com. Peripheral neuropathy occurs because of nerve damage, whether it be from systemic diseases, injuries, vitamin level abnormalities, infections or exposure to toxins. While these risk factors may cause peripheral neuropathy, diabetes is the most common cause. Treatment requires a thorough assessment of the patient's risk factors so the proper treatment plan can be constructed. Video of the Day According to MedlinePlus, treatment of the underlying disease which is causing peripheral neuropathy should be the first step in the treatment plan. Treatment of diseases such as diabetes, Guillain-Barre syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, sarcarcoidosis, or other underlying diseases will prevent further nerve damage and in some cases heal damaged nerves. If a patient is unaware of underlying diseases that are causing peripheral neuropathy, he should be sure to let his doctor know of other abnormal symptoms he is experiencing. In this case, a physician may run blood tests, or perform other diagnostic tests, to determine if an underlying disease is causing peripheral neuropathy. If a test becomes positive, then the physician will treat the underlying disease to relieve the peripheral neuropathy symptoms. According to MayoClinic.com, peripheral neuropathy can be treated with different medications. The first type of medication used to treat mild symptoms include over-the-counter pain medications. In more severe cases, the doctor may prescribe opiates, or other narcotic medications. Other options include anti-seizure medications which may also help treat peripheral neuropathy symptoms. Although effective, physicians do not Continue reading >>
Diabetic Neuropathy And Foot Care
What is Diabetic Neuropathy? When going to see a medical professional, such as a primary care physician or physical therapist, you may hear them ask, “Do you have any numbness and tingling?” Although there is an array of causes of numbness and tingling, one of the most prevalent causes in our society is diabetic neuropathy. So, what exactly is diabetic neuropathy and how do I get it? Diabetic neuropathy occurs when there is excess sugar in the blood, which is a staple of uncontrolled diabetes. Prolonged exposure of elevated blood sugar can cause significant damage to the nerve and the blood vessels that supply the nerve with oxygen. When this nerve is damaged, it is unable to send signals or sends impaired signals back to the brain about that body part. This will eventually result in numbness or tingling. What else does this effect? These impaired signals or lack thereof may also result in loss of balance and coordination from decreased proprioception (awareness of one’s body in space). In some cases, it can eventually effect the motor component of the muscle resulting in muscle weakness. Where Does Diabetic Neuropathy Occur? Diabetic neuropathy can occur anywhere in the body. Even though diabetic neuropathy may occur anywhere, it mostly affects the extremities (limbs). Most commonly it will affect the sensation of the feet. The course of diabetic neuropathy is that it will typically start distally, or furthest away from the body. For example, initially this numbness may start in the toes and overtime if blood sugar levels continue to be uncontrolled it will work its way up the leg to the ankle, then calf, etc. How is Diabetic Neuropathy Diagnosed? Diabetic neuropathy is typically diagnosed according to someone’s symptoms, medical history, and a physical exam. T Continue reading >>
Healing Numb Feet
Overview of treatment approaches: • Nondrug therapies • Relaxation and biofeedback • Anodyne therapy • Exercise • Massage • Daily foot care Diabetes is hard on feet. Because the feet are farthest from the heart, any problems with blood flow can leave feet without enough circulation. Results can include numbness, loss of foot strength, and worse. Fortunately, there are some good ways to heal and protect your feet. As Birgitta I. Rice, MS, RPh, CHES, wrote here, much of the pain and numbness people with diabetes experience comes from nerve damage. The nerves are injured both by poor circulation and by high glucose levels. We really need healthy nerves. (As a person with a nerve disease, I know about this.) According to Rice, “Loss of nerve fibers can result in muscle weakness, numbness, loss of reflexes, foot deformities, change in gait, and impaired balance and coordination. Loss of sensitivity to pain or temperature can also occur, leading in turn to blisters and sores from foot injuries that go unfelt.” Numbness is dangerous. Sometimes, people can have a pebble in their shoe and not notice it. Others may get in a hot bath and not realize their feet are being scalded. These kinds of seemingly minor things can lead to infections, which don’t heal because of having poor circulation. This is the major pathway to losing a leg to amputation. People with diabetes are eight times more likely than other people to have a lower leg amputated. If you just woke up one day with numb feet, you would notice a big difference and ask about ways to treat it. It doesn’t work that way, though. Numbness comes on slowly over years, so you don’t notice day-to-day changes. Also, severe pain often comes before numbness, so that the numbness is perceived as a relief rather Continue reading >>
Can Diabetic Neuropathy Be Reversed?
Diabetic neuropathy refers to nerve damage caused by diabetes. Neuropathy is a common condition impacting 60 to 70 percent of adults with diabetes. However, it mainly concerns those with uncontrolled blood sugar levels or those who have had diabetes for more than 25 years. The nerve damage caused by diabetic neuropathy is irreversible but there are ways to lessen symptoms and prevent further harm. Contents of this article: What is diabetic neuropathy? Diabetic neuropathy is a family of progressive nerve disorders related to type 1 and 2 diabetes. Although research is still taking place on this type of nerve damage, doctors think that blood sugars may damage nerve cells by impairing nerve fibers and reducing or confusing signaling. However, nerve damage is likely to be caused by a combination of factors, such as how the immune system functions, genetics, smoking, or alcohol use. Neuropathy can cause a range of symptoms, including pain, loss of sensation, numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness. Although neuropathy can occur wherever there are nerves, it tends to affect the legs and feet. Those with diabetic neuropathy tend to: have poor blood sugar control be over the age of 40 be overweight or obese have had diabetes for at least 10 to 25 years, depending on the severity Types Diabetic neuropathy is typically divided into four categories depending on which nerves are affected. Peripheral neuropathy Nerve damage that impacts the ability of the peripheral nerves to sense things, such as temperature and touch. Peripheral neuropathy most commonly affects the arms, hands, legs, feet, and toes, often causing pain or loss of feeling. It is the most common form of diabetic neuropathy. Proximal neuropathy Nerve damage resulting in pain in the hips, thighs, pelvis, and buttocks. Continue reading >>
Nerve Damage (diabetic Neuropathies)
What are diabetic neuropathies? Diabetic neuropathies are a family of nerve disorders caused by diabetes. People with diabetes can, over time, develop nerve damage throughout the body. Some people with nerve damage have no symptoms. Others may have symptoms such as pain, tingling, or numbness—loss of feeling—in the hands, arms, feet, and legs. Nerve problems can occur in every organ system, including the digestive tract, heart, and sex organs. About 60 to 70 percent of people with diabetes have some form of neuropathy. People with diabetes can develop nerve problems at any time, but risk rises with age and longer duration of diabetes. The highest rates of neuropathy are among people who have had diabetes for at least 25 years. Diabetic neuropathies also appear to be more common in people who have problems controlling their blood glucose, also called blood sugar, as well as those with high levels of blood fat and blood pressure and those who are overweight. What causes diabetic neuropathies? The causes are probably different for different types of diabetic neuropathy. Researchers are studying how prolonged exposure to high blood glucose causes nerve damage. Nerve damage is likely due to a combination of factors: metabolic factors, such as high blood glucose, long duration of diabetes, abnormal blood fat levels, and possibly low levels of insulin neurovascular factors, leading to damage to the blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients to nerves autoimmune factors that cause inflammation in nerves mechanical injury to nerves, such as carpal tunnel syndrome inherited traits that increase susceptibility to nerve disease lifestyle factors, such as smoking or alcohol use What are the symptoms of diabetic neuropathies? Symptoms depend on the type of neuropathy and which Continue reading >>
How Diabetes Affects Wound Healing
Diabetes is a condition in which the body does not effectively use sugar. It is estimated that there are nearly 18 million Americans with diabetes, and approximately 15 percent of diabetics will develop a foot ulcer at some point. Foot ulcers are the most common wounds for this patient population. Wound healing can be slowed when the patient is diabetic. An important point to remember about a diabetic patient wound is that it heals slowly and can worsen rapidly, so requires close monitoring. There are several factors that influence wound healing in a diabetic patient, and may include: Blood Glucose Levels It all starts here. An elevated blood sugar level stiffens the arteries and causes narrowing of the blood vessels. The effects of this are far-reaching and include the origin of wounds as well as risk factors to proper wound healing. Poor Circulation Narrowed blood vessels lead to decreased blood flow and oxygen to a wound. An elevated blood sugar level decreases the function of red blood cells that carry nutrients to the tissue. This lowers the efficiency of the white blood cells that fight infection. Without sufficient nutrients and oxygen, a wound heals slowly. Diabetic Neuropathy When blood glucose levels are uncontrolled, nerves in the body are affected and patients can develop a loss of sensation. This is called diabetic neuropathy. When there is a loss of sensation, patients cannot feel a developing blister, infection or surgical wound problem. Because a diabetic patient may not be able to feel a change in the status of a wound or the actual wound, the severity can progress and there may be complications with healing. Immune System Deficiency Diabetes lowers the efficiency of the immune system, the body's defense system against infection. A high glucose level ca Continue reading >>
Diabetic Neuropathy: Can It Be Reversed?
Neuropathy refers to any condition that damages nerve cells. These cells play a critical role in touch, sensation, and movement. Diabetic neuropathy refers to damage of nerves that’s caused by diabetes. Scientists believe that the high content of blood sugar in the blood of a person with diabetes damages nerves over time. There are several different types of neuropathies. They include: Peripheral: Pain and numbness in the extremities including arms, feet, legs, hands, and toes Proximal: Pain and numbness in the upper legs, specifically the buttocks, thighs, and hips Autonomic: Damage to nerves of the autonomic nervous system which control sexual response, sweating, urinary and digestive function Focal: Sudden loss of function in nerves causing pain and weakness of the muscles Neuropathy is one of the common effects of diabetes. It’s estimated that 60-70 percent of people with diabetes will develop some sort of neuropathy throughout their lives. By 2050, it’s estimated that over 48 million people in the United States will be diagnosed with diabetes. That means in the future, anywhere from 28-33 million Americans could be affected by diabetic neuropathy. Nerve damage from diabetes cannot be reversed. This is because the body can’t naturally repair nerve tissues that have been damaged. However, researchers are investigating methods to treat nerve damage caused by diabetes. While you cannot reverse the damage from neuropathy, there are ways to help manage the condition, including: lowering your blood sugar treating nerve pain regularly checking your feet to make sure they are free of injury, wounds, or infection Controlling your blood glucose is important because it can help prevent additional damage to your nerves. You can better control your blood glucose through Continue reading >>