It has been well established that diabetes, in particular, type II diabetes, is a major concern in the development of peripheral neuropathy. Symptoms of diabetic peripheral neuropathy can include pain, burning, a feeling like pins and needles, and even sensory loss, or numbness. These symptoms can come on after years of living with diabetes, or they can come more rapidly, and even times pre-date an official diagnosis of neuropathy. The best course of treatment for peripheral neuropathy symptoms includes an accurate diagnosis of the factors that led to the nerve damage. However, if you are a diabetic patient suffering with neuropathy, you may not have been thoroughly diagnosed.
The truth is your diabetes is an obvious cause of your symptoms, but it may not be the only cause. In a 2006 study in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, researchers discovered that more than 50% of patients with diabetes and peripheral neuropathy had at least one additional factor contributing to their symptoms. These included alcohol use, use of certain medications that are neurotoxic, and vitamin B1, B6 or B12 deficiency. Nearly 25% of the total patients studied had more than one additional factor in addition to their diabetes diagnosis. The study showed some of these co-factors could result in increased symptoms.
If a co-factor is contributing to your neuropathy symptoms, it should not be ignored. Simple blood tests can check for vitamin deficiencies, for example, and many over the counter and prescription remedies are available. Addressing these issues may help improve the effectiveness of treatment.
At US Neuropathy Centers, we design treatment plans aimed at more than just symptom reduction. Our physicians will work with you to help you achieve the best results. Contact one of our centers today to schedule an appointment.
The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.
@US Neuropathy Centers, 2018
References: Gorson KC, Ropper AH. Additional causes for distal sensory polyneuropathy in diabetic patients. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2006; 77:354–358.