Table of content

The most important facts about diabetic neuropathy

Can diabetes cause nerve damage?

  • Diabetes can cause nerve damage if your blood sugar is high for a long time. The medical term for this condition is “diabetic neuropathy.”

What are the symptoms of nerve damage caused by diabetes?

Nerve damage usually affects the toes and feet first. Some people do not feel any symptoms, but other people can have symptoms that include:

  • Numbness or loss of feeling
  • Burning or pain, which is often worse at rest or at night
  • Tingling
  • Feeling light touches as bothersome or painful

As nerve damage gets worse, symptoms can move from the feet up the legs. Some people might also start to feel symptoms in their hands.

Is there a test for nerve damage caused by diabetes?

  • Your doctor can usually tell if you have nerve damage by talking with you and doing an exam. Sometimes, a doctor will do tests to check how well your nerves are working. These might include a “nerve conduction study” or “electromyography” (“EMG”).

Can nerve damage be prevented?

  • Some studies suggest that you can reduce your risk of getting nerve damage by:
    • Keeping your blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible
    • Not smoking, or quitting smoking if you do smoke
    • Eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of physical activity
    • Losing weight, if you are overweight
    • Making sure that your high blood pressure and heart disease are treated (if you have these conditions)
    • Taking sufficient amount of group B vitamins, especially vitamins B1, B12 and B6
    • Taking sufficient amount of magnesium

What supplements and medications has beneficial effects in can diabetic neuropathy?

  • Group B Vitamins of, especially vitamins B1, B6 and B12, showed effectiveness both in preventing and improving pain caused by diabetic neuropathy. In some products, such as Neurobion ampoules, these three important vitamins are included together in one product. Oral forms of Neurobion have also introduced to the market. In Iran, oral “Neurapad” tablets contain a combination of these three vitamins. In the majority of patients, oral forms can produce equal beneficial effects without suffering the pain and possible side effects of injection.
  • Magnesium, especially in combination with vitamin B6, has positive effects in improving diabetic neuropathy. Combined products of magnesium + vitamin B6 are also available in the pharmaceutical market of Iran. (for example, Nutripad Magnesium + Vitamin B6 tablets)
  • If the above supplements are not effective, medications such as pregabalin, gabapentin, carbamazepine, duloxetine and amitriptyline can be used. These drugs have more potential side effects and drug interactions compared to the above mentioned supplements and should be used under the supervision of a doctor.

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