Treatment of diabetic neuropathy consists of preventing further progression of the disease and controlling its symptoms and complications. There is no complete cure for diabetic neuropathy.

Diabetic neuropathy is one of the complications of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. It’s a type of nerve disorder caused by uncontrolled long-term high blood sugar levels. It develops slowly over time, sometimes over the course of several decades.

Treatment aims to control diabetes, which is the causative factor of this neuropathy. However, symptomatic treatment is given to reduce the suffering of the patient.

Secondly, your doctor will also prescribe medication for relieving pain and managing the complications.

Proper foot care should be taken to prevent any cuts or wounds. Peripheral neuropathy can cause loss of feeling in the feet and the pain of an injury may go unnoticed. The wound then can go on becoming worse and deeper. The infection can travel to the bones and amputation may become necessary. This complication of diabetic neuropathy is called the diabetic foot.

Diabetic neuropathy treatment

Diabetic neuropathy has no known cure. The aim of treatment is to relieve nerve pain, manage any complications that may have set in, and slow the progression of the disease,

Treatment to relieve diabetic neuropathy pain

Topical creams such as capsaicin cream, physical therapy, which includes stretching exercises and massage, and acupuncture are used in conjunction with medical treatment for relieving the pain of diabetic neuropathy.

  • Antidepressants. Antidepressants are prescribed for pain even though you may not be suffering from depression. Tricyclic antidepressant medications, such as amitriptyline, desipramine (Norpramin), and imipramine (Tofranil), may provide relief for mild to moderate pain symptoms. They act centrally on the brain and you do not feel the pain. Side effects include dry mouth, sweating, weight gain, constipation, and dizziness. Some people may be prescribed antidepressants called serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), such as duloxetine (Cymbalta), which cause fewer side effects.
  • Anti-seizure medications. Drugs such as gabapentin (Gralise, Neurontin), pregabalin (Lyrica), and carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Tegretol) that are prescribed to control seizures are used here to relieve the nerve pain.

Treatment of diabetic neuropathy complications

  • Treatment of diabetic nephropathy. Loss of bladder control is treated with medications, regular timed urination methods, and insertion of pessaries in the vagina in women to prevent leakage. Medications include antispasmodic drugs( anticholinergics). This combination of therapy can be most effective.
  • Treatment of digestive complications. To relieve the symptoms of gastroparesis, follow certain dietary habits. Eat less but more frequent meals containing less fiber and fat and preferably pureed foods. Your doctor will prescribe medication for constipation or diarrhea.
  • Erectile dysfunction. Sildenafil (Revatio, Viagra), tadalafil (Adcirca, Cialis), and vardenafil (Levitra) may be effective treatments for erectile dysfunction in men. Women are advised to use vaginal lubricants.
  • Postural hypotension. To prevent episodes of postural hypotension,
    • Avoid alcohol
    • Drink an adequate quantity ( 3 to 4 liters) of water every day
    • Always sit or stand slowly. Avoid sudden movements.
    • Use an abdominal binder and compression stockings.

Slowing the progression of the diabetes neuropathy

Diabetic neuropathy is a progressive disease, and symptoms get worse over time if blood sugar levels are not kept under control. The nerve damage that can result from diabetic neuropathy can worsen over time if measures to control the damage are not taken.

It is important to maintain blood sugar levels within normal limits at all times. The American Diabetes Association recommends the following blood sugar levels for people with diabetes:

  • Between 80 and 130 mg/dL, before meals
  • Less than 180 mg/dL two hours after meals

Your doctor will prescribe you medication for your type 1 diabetes or management guidelines for type 2. Your doctor may also advise some effective natural remedies to keep your sugar levels under control. This acts as an effective adjuvant to treatment. All these measures are part of diabetic neuropathy treatment.

Besides religiously following your doctor’s orders, you should follow healthy lifestyle habits such as quitting smoking, limiting alcohol intake, exercising well, and sticking to the prescribed diabetic diet

Obesity increases your diabetes risk and worsens your blood sugar levels. You should maintain a healthy weight at all times. This will help to slow down the progression of the disease.