Diabetic Nerve Pain – Should I Be Worried?

By Alpro Pharmacy

June 11, 2024

Why does my leg feel tingling? What should I do about it?

It’s completely natural to feel worried if you’re experiencing diabetic nerve pain, but rest assured that you’re not alone. Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is a type of nerve damage that affects people with diabetes. It occurs when you have elevated blood sugar for a long period. The most common type of diabetic peripheral neuropathy affects your legs and feet. Typical symptoms vary from person to person but may include numbness, pins and needles, tingling, discomfort, or weakness, which usually begin in both feet and spread symmetrically up the legs.

Diabetic peripheral neuropathy, commonly known as diabetic nerve pain, is a complication affecting 1 in 4 individuals with uncontrolled diabetes, in which patients often experience significant pain in their feet and increased sensitivity to painful stimuli (known as neuropathic pain or painful neuropathy). Nerve pain usually worsens at night and can seriously disrupt sleep patterns. These symptoms can majorly affect health and well-being because balance problems increase the risk of falls, weakness leads to deformities in the feet, like claw or hammer toes, and bunions, and numbness means damage to the feet may go unnoticed. Together, these can lead to the formation of a foot ulcer.

Does a Diabetic Patient Have a Higher Risk of Nerve Pain?

Yes, you are right. A few factors are causing it.

  1. High blood sugar levels can damage the small blood vessels that supply the nerves in our body, stopping essential nutrients. 
  2. Uncontrolled high blood sugar further damages nerves and interferes with their ability to send signals, leading to diabetic neuropathy.
  3. Folate and Vitamin B12 deficiency among diabetic patients is common, and certain medications further reduce the absorption of such nutrients. If not addressed, it may eventually lead to reduced nerve repair and blood flow to the nerves. 
  4. If one is also smoking or having abnormal fat levels, it will predispose to a higher risk of diabetic nerve pain. 

Can we manage it? Absolutely!

Living with diabetic nerve pain can be challenging. However, the goals of management aim to offer comfort and improve quality of life:

  • Slowing progression: While we can’t reverse the damage, we can take steps to slow its advancement.
  • Relieving pain: Managing pain is crucial to enhancing comfort and well-being.
  • Managing complications and restoring function: To maintain overall health, it is essential to address any complications promptly and work towards restoring function.

Slowing down the progression of diabetic neuropathy starts with effectively managing your blood sugar levels. Consistently keeping blood sugar within the target range can help prevent or delay further nerve damage. It’s essential to work closely with your healthcare providers to determine the best target range, considering factors such as age, duration of diabetes, and overall health. Here are some of the actions which your healthcare providers may work together with you : 

  1. Regular monitoring of your blood sugar levels. 
  2. Take your prescribed medicine as instructed. Your healthcare providers may adjust the medicine depending on your blood sugar control. 
  3. Practice a healthier lifestyle, including diet intake and exercise, to embrace better control of your blood sugar. 
  4. Regularly examine your feet. 
  5. Consider some supplementations which would help to improve nerve health 

Some supplements, including Benfotiamine, ALA, and Methylcobalamin, have been found to support nerve health and constantly protect nerves against damaging environmental influences. Talk to your pharmacists to understand more.  

In conclusion, while experiencing diabetic nerve pain can be alarming, understanding its causes and learning how to manage it can make a significant difference. By keeping blood sugar levels in check, leading a healthy lifestyle, and working closely with healthcare providers, you can slow the progression of nerve damage and improve your quality of life. Don’t hesitate to discuss your symptoms and concerns with your doctor or pharmacist—they’re there to help you find the best strategies for relief and support. Remember, taking proactive steps today can help ensure a healthier, more comfortable tomorrow.

Need More Information? Talk to Our Expert!

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Alpro ePharmacy or visit the nearest Alpro Pharmacy. Our team, consisting of pharmacists, doctors, physiotherapists, nutritionists, audiologists and dietitians, is ready to assist and provide support.

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