Diabetic neuropathy treatments: Laser treatment, pills, blood sugar control and addressing Vitamin B deficiency. Laser treatment is the safest and one of the most effective ways to treat diabetic neuropathy.
What Causes Neuropathy
Diabetes is the number one cause of diabetic neuropathy in the U.S. other common causes include chemotherapy, trauma, autoimmune disorders and alcoholism. Nerves are fragile and can be damaged by diabetes, uncontrolled blood sugar, trauma, autoimmune disorders and more. These injuries to the nerves can stop signals to and from the brain causing muscles NOT to work properly and cause loss of feeling in the feet and legs. If nerve damage from neuropathy goes untreated you may be at risk of developing potentially serious complications such as foot ulcers that become infected. This can lead to gangrene (tissue death) if untreated in severe cases may mean the affected foot has to be amputated.
Diabetic Neuropathy Symptoms in the Feet
The most common symptoms experienced by people with neuropathy are:
- Burning pain radiating in the legs and feet
- Pins and needles feeling in the feet
- Numbness and tingling
- Weakness in the legs and feet
- Difficulty walking
- Balance problems
- Cramping in the legs and feet
- Night pain and difficulty sleeping
- Restless legs and feet
- Difficulty feeling the gas pedal when driving
- Pain from the slightest touches
Approximately 60%-70% of all people with diabetes will eventually develop peripheral neuropathy, although not all suffer pain.
How is Diabetic Neuropathy Diagnosed?
Diagnosis of neuropathy is based on history, clinical examination and supporting laboratory tests. Blood tests can detect vitamin deficiencies, diabetes, abnormal immune function and other conditions. A Nerve Conduction velocity (NCV) test may be utilized in some cases. The nerve damage with neuropathy can in many cases be slowed or reversed if treated early enough stopping the cascade of events that can lead to more serious complications from neuropathy.
What is the Best Treatment for Diabetic Neuropathy
The most common treatments for diabetic neuropathy are:
- Controlled blood sugar- If a patient’s blood sugar is often high (A1C>7) controlling blood sugar ad bringing the A1C below 7 can help symptoms of peripheral neuropathy.
- Pills- Most often used medications to treat neuropathy are- Gabapentin (Neurontin), Lyrica (Pregabalin) and Cymbalta (Duloxetine). These medications have been shown to help some patients but are often “hit or miss” and can come with some negative effects such as dizziness, drowsiness and insomnia.
- Lasers: The MLS laser is an FDA approved laser that helps to reduce the numbness, pain and poor circulations associated with neuropathy. The MLS laser stimulates microcirculation around the nerve fibers, which increases blood flow to the nerves and helps to HEAL and REDUCE neuropathy pain.
- Vitamin B12- Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to peripheral neuropathy. Taking B12 supplements can treat diabetic neuropathy only if you are deficient in B12.
Can Diabetic Neuropathy be Reversed with MLS Laser Therapy
MLS Laser Therapy may be able to reverse diabetic neuropathy. The MLS Laser increases blood flow and oxygen to injured or painful areas of the feet. Increasing blood flow to the nerves by stimulating microcirculation around the nerves can help HEAL and REDUCE neuropathy pain. Increased blood flow to the nerves helps treat and slow the cascade of events that leads to more nerve damage. Nerve damage or diabetic peripheral neuropathy is one of the long-term complications of diabetes. If left untreated, the damage caused by peripheral neuropathy can potentially lead to infection and limb amputation.