If you or someone you know has diabetes, you are probably already familiar with a common complication: Diabetic Neuropathy. As many as 90% of persons with Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes will develop this condition over their lifetimes. Diabetic Neuropathy occurs when high blood sugar damages nerve endings in different areas of the body. This causes patients to experience sharp, stabbing, burning, or electrical-like pain in the feet and legs (less commonly in the hands and arms.) This pain syndrome is called Diabetic Neuropathy Pain (DNP.) The symptoms are constant throughout the day and often worsen at night. This non-stop pain can lead to depression, avoidance of social activity, and loss of sleep. Eventually, the nerve damage may promote tissue damage, ulcers, infections, and amputation.
Current treatment of DNP centers on maintaining a stable low blood sugar as higher blood sugar levels are associated with worse pain. Currently there are only three FDA approved prescription medications available to treat this painful condition: duloxetine, an antidepressant, pregabalin, an anticonvulsant, and tapentadol, an opioid that also works two ways to reduce pain in the nervous system. A variety of prescription and OTC topical agents are being used as well, such as capsaicin cream, lidocaine patches, and nitric oxide spray.
Supplements such as acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC) and alpha lipoic acid 9 ALA) have also been shown to be effective in reducing nerve pain related to Diabetes. Vitamin B supplementation is also important for normal nerve function. Sadly, pain relief is not possible for most patients.
Because non-invasive treatment options are not effective in most patients, a variety of invasive therapies have been employed to treat patients desperate to get relief from this maddening nerve pain. Nerve stimulators implanted into the brain, the spinal cord, and elsewhere have been used but these options are highly invasive and expensive with no guarantees of pain reduction or reversing the nerve damage that has already occurred.
There may be reason for renewed hope for DNP patients. Recently, a study was published showing both reduced pain and improved nerve function in patients receiving injections of concentrated platelets around the nerves that enter the feet and hands. Concentrated platelets or PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) contain growth factors that encourage growth of blood vessels and nerves and nerve regeneration. PRP injection can also disrupt scarring around nerves, which will improve blood flow and nerve function.
If you suffer from DPN, call Advanced PainCare & BioHealth Institute today to talk about your treatment options or to sign up for one of our free seminars. We offer traditional medicine therapies along with the most advanced wholistic therapies and the most innovative regenerative options such as PRP and stem cell procedures.