One of the most common—and painful—consequences of poorly controlled blood sugar for diabetes patients is nerve damage. Known as diabetic neuropathy, this form of nerve damage can lead to chronic pain and other severe symptoms such as trouble focusing your vision or loss of bladder and bowel control. Learning to identify diabetic nerve pain is essential so that you can undergo a pain management regimen that can alleviate the symptoms of uncontrolled neuropathy.

Identifying Diabetic Neuropathy

Uncontrolled blood sugar can lead to several types of nerve damage all of which have different symptoms. These include autonomic nerve damage, which affects the heart, eyes, or other organs, proximal damage, which attacks the thighs and legs, and cause damage, which affects single nerves and may lead to numbness or weakness.

To diagnose diabetic neuropathy, your healthcare provider will typically assess your muscle strength and tone, your reflexes, and your sensitivity to touch and pain. They may also perform more in-depth tests as well. These include nerve conduction testing, which assesses how quickly the nerves in your arms and legs conduct electrical signals, and sensory testing, which determines how your nerves respond to changes in temperature and to vibrations, to name a few.

Pain Management for Diabetic Neuropathy

Because there is no known cure for diabetic neuropathy, treatment focuses mostly on slowing its progression and on pain management.  When it comes to pain management, there are several options available, ranging from simple over-the-counter painkillers like aspirin to opioids. Antiseizure drugs and antidepressants have also proven effective at treating chronic pain due to nerve damage.

Another option for pain management is ketamine therapy. Ketamine infusions have proven effective at treating chronic pain for as long as 11 months per treatment. Ketamine is a safe and effective therapy and can be a great option for people who’ve tried other treatments without finding relief in the past.

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