Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy
Over 50% of people who suffer from type 2 diabetes develop peripheral neuropathy. Over 37 million people in the United States have Diabetes and nearly 35.5 million have type 2 diabetes. That means over 17 million people have peripheral neuropathy caused by their diabetes.
Diabetic Neuropathy Symptoms
Diabetic Neuropathy is a condition where the nerves in the extremities, typically the feet, degenerate and can cause loss of feeling and a number of strange sensations. As the nerves degrade in the feet, someone may experience:
Tingling - Neuropathy can start by feeling like there are ants crawling on the skin of your feet. You may notice this is happening on a few parts of your feet, like your toes, or the whole foot depending on which nerves are affected.
Pins and Needles - If you have ever sat on your foot for too long, you know what it feels like when your foot "falls asleep" and, more importantly, what it feels like when it starts to wake up again. It can feel like your feet are being stabbed by pins and needles and can be painful. Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy can cause the same sensation.
Numbness - If the nerves in the feet degenerate enough, they stop working all together and the feet will be numb. This is the most dangerous condition as it can affect your balance and ability to walk. You might also be at risk of infection if you accidentally cut your feet as you may not be aware of the injury.
Increased Pain/Sensitivity - As the nerves degenerate, they may become over-active, leading to a normal sensation, like walking on carpet, to become painful, even though it is a normal level of stimulation.
Weakness - In the case of peripheral neuropathy, the nerves that are affected can include sensory nerves but they can also include motor nerves. When motor nerves degenerate, it can lead to muscle weakness.
To learn more about Peripheral Neuropathy Symptoms, read our blog post HERE.
Medical Treatment For Diabetic Neuropathy
The current treatment for diabetic neuropathy is a system of drug therapies designed to manage the pain and mobility issues arising from the degeneration of the nerves in the hands and feet.
Medications - As a first line of defense, many neuropathy doctors prescribe Gabapentin or Lyrica as a pain medication to manage the pain from the nerve degeneration in the hands and feet. These pain medications usually have limited effectiveness and, as with all medications, there are side effects, some of which are very serious. Eventually, when the initial dose stops effectively reducing the nerve pain, your doctor will increase the dose.
Injections - If the pain in your hands and feet is bad enough and the medications aren't working effectively your doctor will likely prescribe an injection. This injection is most likely designed to block the pain signals from your feet or hands as they enter your spinal cord. Nearly every patient we work with says that the first injection was effective for a few months, the second was effective for a few weeks, and the third or fourth was barely effective at all.
Limit Mobility - When the drugs and injections stop working, there is not much the doctors can do except tell you to avoid the activities that cause the symptoms. They may suggest using a wheelchair or simply not moving very much during your day.
Amputation - When is it Necessary and Why?
In cases of diabetic neuropathy, the primary problem is a lack of blood flow to the feet and hands. If you would like to understand why this happens, visit our site on peripheral neuropathy. In the later stages of peripheral neuropathy, the blood flow to the hands and feet is significantly reduced. At the same time, the feet have lost nearly all ability to feel pain. When the patient is walking barefoot, they accidentally cut their foot in the driveway or in the grass etc and don't even know they injured themselves until they notice a bit of blood. They didn't even feel it.
The lack of blood flow in the feet makes healing this injury particularly difficult. Without the blood flow, there just aren't enough nutrients or white blood cells to prevent infection, clot the blood, create a scab, or close a wound. Inevitably, this wound will become infected. It is only with extensive time, hygiene practices, and care that the wound will finally heal. For many cases, however, the infection becomes so severe that it will reach the bone. A bone infection is a serious medical condition and can eventually lead to much more severe consequences. It is at this point that the medical doctors are justified in amputating the infected part of the foot.
Diabetic Neuropathy Treatments
At Evolve Wellness Center, we utilize a protocol of healing diabetic neuropathy without drugs, injections, or surgery. Our non-invasive approach has a 97% success rate for people who qualify for our program. We use a four pronged approach to address not just the pain of peripheral neuropathy, but to actually help heal the underlying causes of the neuropathy.
When you actually heal your neuropathy, you will find more:
Freedom from Pain
Freedom of mobility
Freedom from continual doctors visits
As I have explained, diabetic peripheral neuropathy is really a blood flow issue in the feet. Because the underlying cause of the nerve pain is degeneration of blood vessels, the primary goal of our unique treatment protocol is to help your body naturally increase blood flow to the feet. Only after Many protocols focus on stimulating the nerves in the feet without increasing blood flow. Without proper blood flow, any progress will not last and results will be limited. It is for this simple reason that many doctors believe that healing diabetic peripheral neuropathy is impossible.
Evolve's Diabetic Neuropathy Treatment
At Evolve, we treat diabetic neuropathy from every angle to ensure the best results. By addressing condition from the root of the problem and increasing blood flow to the feet, we can help your body regrow nerves and heal the pain and symptoms, not just mask them with medications. Check out our Peripheral Neuropathy Treatment page for a more in-depth look at our protocol.