Is there any treatment for diabetic neuropathy?

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Aggressive long term blood sugar control (i.e. maintaining fasting blood glucose between 70-110 mg/dL and HBA1C < 6.5%) is the best treatment for diabetic neuropathy and may slow or halt progression of the neuropathy.  Lifestyle changes including regular exercise, weight loss, quitting smoking and eating a diet low in fat and carbohydrates may also prevent worsening.

Once symptoms of numbness and pain/tingling/burning are present, they are irreversible, and so the goal is to prevent worsening through the ways described above.  Many vitamins, drugs, and treatments have been tried and are currently under investigation, however none have been shown to reverse the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy.  Medications such as gabapentin, pregabalin, amitriptyline and duloxetine are often prescribed for the painful symptoms of diabetic neuropathy; they do not treat the numbness, loss of coordination or weakness which also result from the disease. 

The goal of treating diabetic neuropathy is to prevent further tissue damage and relieve discomfort. The first step is to bring blood sugar levels under control by diet and medication. Another important part of treatment involves taking special care of the feet by wearing proper fitting shoes and routinely checking the feet for cuts and infections. Analgesics, low doses of antidepressants, and some anticonvulsant medications may be prescribed for relief from pain, burning, or tingling. Some individuals find that walking regularly, taking warm baths, or using elastic stockings may help relieve leg pain.

This answer is based on source information from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Continue Learning about Diabetic Neuropathy (Nerve Damage)

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.