Diabetic Neuropathy

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Editor: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy Slideshow

Quick GuideDiabetic Peripheral Neuropathy Slideshow: Exercises to Improve Diabetes Nerve Pain

Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy Slideshow: Exercises to Improve Diabetes Nerve Pain

What are self-care measures to help relieve diabetic neuropathy?

There are a number of self- and home care measures that you can take to relieve the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy. Examples are:

  • Using a device known as a bed cradle to keep bedcovers off of sensitive feet and lower legs
  • Using heat or cold patches, but since diabetic neuropathy can damage sensory nerves, care should be taken to avoid burns or freezing
  • Eating small, frequent meals and avoiding fatty foods may help those with digestive symptoms
  • Standing up slowly or wearing elastic compression stockings can improve orthostatic hypotension
  • Exercises, stretching, or massage may help relieve pain

Can diabetic neuropathy be prevented?

Keeping diabetes under control is the best way to prevent or stop the progression of diabetic neuropathy. Your doctor can advise you about the best target range for your blood glucose levels, and keeping tight control of blood sugar within this range can help prevent neuropathy and other complications of diabetes. Avoiding smoking, getting exercise, and eating a healthy diet are other measures that can help people with diabetes have the best long-term outcomes.

Medically reviewed by Joseph Carcione, DO; American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology

REFERENCES:

MedscapeReference.com. Diabetic Neuropathy. National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse. Diabetic Neuropathies: The Nerve Damage of Diabetes.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/22/2016

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