Diabetic Neuropathy: Learn About Our Cutting-Edge Solutions

It’s common for diabetics, both type 1 and type 2, to experience pain or sensation loss in their feet, particularly if they’ve had long periods of uncontrolled blood glucose levels. High concentrations of sugars in your blood can damage nerves anywhere in your body, but this damage is often first encountered in the feet and legs.

One of the most common problems associated with diabetic neuropathy is the disruption of sensations in your feet. You may feel burning or tingling sensations and sometimes this pain can be sharp and severe. However, loss of sensation may be a bigger problem long-term. Combined with impaired circulation, injuries to the feet may go unnoticed until ulcers form, leading to foot and leg amputations in the most severe cases.

Controlling diabetic neuropathy

The first line of defense against the advance of neuropathy is controlling blood glucose levels. Maintaining these within acceptable limits can halt the progress of nerve damage, though it may not reverse damage that’s already occurred. Since there’s no cure for neuropathy, treatment concentrates on slowing progression through controlled blood sugar levels, relieving and managing any neuropathy pain, and restoring lost function.

There are, however, some new treatment approaches to diabetic neuropathy that may present exciting new opportunities for diabetic patients. Some of these are regenerative, meaning that there’s potential not only to reduce symptoms but to regain nerve function and reconstruction as well as insulin sensitivity.

Stem cell therapy

Stem cells augment the natural raw materials your body uses to repair itself, ready to convert to the types of cells the body needs to generate new tissue, whether it’s skin or nerve tissue, as an example. These already exist in your body around the areas of natural regeneration, but they may not be present in sufficient quantities for repairs to progress faster than deterioration.

The theory behind stem cell therapy is that injecting additional cells at the site of nerve damage may help your body create new tissue and repair itself at a faster rate.

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy

Often used in conjunction with stem cell treatments, PRP therapy delivers additional growth-factor hormones to the healing site. Hormones are your body’s messenger system, with different types of hormones used to transmit various messages. In the case of diabetic neuropathy damage, growth-factor hormones signal to stem cells that it’s time to activate.

PRP therapy is quite low-risk, since it’s derived from your own blood. About a tablespoon of blood is drawn by the same method used for a blood test. This sample is then centrifuged to concentrate platelets, best known for clotting, but also the carriers of the growth-factor hormones. The PRP solution is then injected into the treatment site to give natural tissue regeneration an additional boost.

 

Stem cells and PRP are two treatments of the future that are available already to help you sidestep the complications of diabetic neuropathy. If you’re suffering from neuropathy pain, contact us at Reid Physicians Group to be part of your diabetes management team. Call the office today or use the convenient online booking tool.

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