What Are Some Common Treatments for Diabetic Neuropathy?


Quick Answer

Common treatments for diabetic neuropathy include anti-seizure drugs, antidepressants, antispasmodic remedies, dietary and lifestyle changes, foot care and sexual dysfunction medications. As of 2015, a definitive cure for diabetic neuropathy remains unidentified, notes Mayo Clinic.

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Full Answer

Diabetic neuropathy is a serious medical condition that causes systemic neural damage as a result of diabetes, states the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse. Although some patients may not manifest signs of the disease, others may experience physical discomfort, tingling sensation and numbness in the body's extremities, such as the legs, feet, arms and hands. Due to the lack of cure for this illness, medications and treatment programs for diabetic neuropathy are designed to delay its progression, control complications, restore function and alleviate pain associated with symptoms of neural damage.

A primary treatment for diabetic neuropathy is to maintain healthy levels of glucose in the blood through proper nourishment, regular physical workout, limited alcohol consumption and carefully-monitored administration of diabetes medications and insulin. Specialists may also prescribe anti-seizure medications for pain relief, such as gabapentin, carbamazepin and pregabalin. Antidepressants, such as desipramine, imipramine and amitriptyline, are effective in inhibiting chemical reactions in the brain that can trigger pain. Alternative remedies, such as acupuncture and capsaicin topical creams, may also prove beneficial in easing neural pain.

Certain complications, such as urinary and gastrointestinal problems, sexual disorders and low blood pressure, may arise due to diabetic neuropathy. Anticholinergics, timed urination and devices that prevent accidental leakages are used in treating urinary-related difficulties. For digestive problems, patients are advised to reduce intake of fibrous and fatty foods. Physicians may prescribe erythromycin and metoclopramide for faster digestion and tetracycline for loose bowel movements. Hypotension can be treated by using devices, such as stomach binders and compression stockings. Vaginal lubricants, sildenafil and tadalafil are given to improve and restore sexual function.

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