Living with neuropathy can be very difficult. The damage to the nerves and the resulting pain can at times be unbearable. While there is no definitive treatment that will prevent or cure the discomfort, there are several neuropathy treatment options that can at least make the condition more bearable. In many cases, the key to effectively treating the pain stems from identifying the problem early on and establishing a course of action before the condition becomes well established.
Types Of Neuropathy:
There are several types of neuropathy: peripheral, autonomic, and proximal. Different approaches are required for treating each of them.
The most common form of the disease affects the nerves leading to the extremities. Symptoms will occur in the feet, legs, hands and arms. More commonly, the symptoms will occur in the feet leading to deformities, infections, ulcers, and in extreme cases, amputations.
Treatment options could include the use anticonvulsant medications or drugs to fight off bacterial infections. Some high blood pressure or cancer medications may also prove effective in easing the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy.
Here, the autonomic nerves are affected. These are the nerves responsible for the automatic functions the body performs, such as the beating of the heart, breathing, and digestive activities. Because of these nerves, you don’t have to think or decide to do these things. The autonomic nerves make sure that the body performs them without any need for you to be aware of them. With this type of neuropathy the symptoms can be many since it can affect a larger portion of the body. The symptoms, however, will reflect which nerves are damaged. For example, if you suddenly have trouble seeing – the neuropathy has affected your optic nerves. Autonomic neuropathy treatment options can include modifying your diet to increase dietary fiber, medication to help empty the stomach or to ease digestive issues, or antidepressants, to treat nerve related pain.
Also called diabetic amyotrophy, this is a form of neuropathy that affects the muscles, thus, causing weakness. It is most commonly found in the upper part of the legs, buttocks, or the hips. It occasionally involves nerve pain that shoots down from the lower back into the legs (or sciatica). This is the second most common from of neuropathy and usually affects those who are elderly or those with diabetes.
Medications to treat the weakness will often be prescribed. The length of time it may take to recover will depend on how extensive the nerve damage is, and the type of medication the doctor may prescribe.
With any type of neuropathy, the first step in the treatment will be to bring blood glucose levels back to normal. This will help to prevent more damage to the nerves. Neuropathy treatment options may also include meal planning, an exercise routine, along with medications. In many cases, once a treatment plan is outlined symptoms will still continue to worsen for a while. However, once the blood glucose level in within acceptable limits, the symptoms should gradually begin to improve. There is hope though, as scientists continue to study the neuropathies further. New treatments that can slow down progression and perhaps even stop the disease do not seem to be far off.