Unveiling the mysteries of Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy 

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By robert


Diabetes is a chronic condition that occurs when your body is unable to maintain the blood sugar level in your body. This can result from inadequate insulin production or ineffective utilization of the insulin produced. In either scenario, individuals with diabetes experience a multitude of physiological changes. 

Elevated blood glucose levels, often referred to as “Hyperglycemia”, harm various systems of the body particularly nerves and blood vessels. Nerves serve as a communication point, transmitting vital messages between the brain and various parts of the body. When the nerves are damaged due to high blood glucose, they are unable to transmit messages effectively between the brain and other parts of the body. This damage to nerves because of high blood glucose is termed Diabetic Neuropathy. Multiple leading clinical research organizations in Texas are committed to advancing diabetic care by investigating novel treatment and management options for this debilitating condition. 

Diabetics can suffer from different types of Diabetic Neuropathy some of which are: 

  • Peripheral Neuropathy 
  • Autonomic Neuropathy 
  • Proximal Neuropathy 
  • Focal Neuropathy 

Let’s dive into the details of Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy, the most common type of neuropathy.  

Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy 

Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy (DPN) is the most common type of neuropathy that occurs when a person is suffering from diabetes. The “peripheral” in DPN represents the nerves that are away from the central nervous system that is feet, hand and legs.  

To understand diabetic peripheral neuropathy, it is important to understand the structure and working mechanism of neurons. 

The neurons that are involved in carrying all the information are made up of cell body, axon, dendrites and myelin sheath.  

  • The cell body is the main component of neurons, and it consists of nucleus. 
  • Axon is the extension from cell body that communicates with nearby cells. 
  • Dendrites are branching coming from cell body that make synapses. 
  • Myelin sheath is a protective layer wrapped around axons. Through myelin sheath the signal travels at a faster pace. 

Normally neurons communicate with each other by releasing chemicals termed as neurotransmitters that travel through axon, reaches synapse and then is picked up by the dendrite of another nerve signal. Through this pathway the message is sent from one part of the body to another.  

Types of Damage 

During diabetic peripheral neuropathy, the nerves are damaged and as a result the individual does not feel any sensation even if it is of pain. The nerves can get damaged in 2 different ways: 

  • Demyelinating Neuropathy: Demyelination of axons occurs when myelin sheath is broken down. This disruption affects the way signal travels through the neuron. 
  • Axonal Degeneration: In axonal degeneration axon starts breaking down and dying. When axons start dying, signals are not transmitted properly and completely. 

Symptoms of Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy 

  • Delayed healing of wounds or ulcers 
  • Muscle weakness 
  • Co-ordination and balance issues 
  • Loss of sensation or numbness 
  • Tingling or heat sensations 
  • Sharp pain and cramping 

Diagnosis of Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy 

To perform the diagnosis of diabetic peripheral neuropathy the healthcare provider should conduct:  

  • A thorough examination of your feet to check for any sores, blisters or injuries. 
  • Monofilament testing by using a nylon fiber to check the sensitivity of the feet. 
  • Ankle reflex testing to assess vibratory senses. 
  • Nerve conduction tests  
  • Electromyogram (EMG) to identify the extent of damage that has occurred to nerve. 
  • Blood tests to check blood sugar levels and autoimmune conditions. 
  • Quantitative Sensory Testing (QST). 
  • Skin Biopsy to assess the density of nerve endings. A reduced density of nerve endings can indicate neuropathy. 
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to identify any compression or abnormalities in nerve structures. 

Treatment of Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy 

The focus while performing the treatment of DPN is that its progression can be slowed down and complications can be prevented. Below are some of the management strategies recommended by doctors.  

  • Maintaining optimal levels of blood sugar levels by incorporating balanced diet, and regular exercise is a key in managing diabetic peripheral neuropathy. 
  • Proper foot care is needed to prevent complications like foot ulcers. Wearing well-fitted shoes, avoiding walking barefoot, daily foot inspection for any sores, blisters or injuries and maintaining clean and dry foot hygiene. 
  • Lifestyle modifications such as quitting smoking, managing weight and keeping blood pressure and lipid levels in check. 
  • Taking medications such as anti-depressants and anti-seizures to manage pain associated with peripheral neuropathy. 
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) provides relief from pain by sending electrical impulses to nerve endings. 
  • Peripheral vasodilation medications to improve blood flow to the extremities. 
  • Regular monitoring and checkup to detect any sort of deformities because they significantly increase the risk of amputation. 

This collaborated approach ensures comprehensive and effective management of diabetic neuropathy and its associated challenges. 

We understand that living with DPN can take a toll on a patient’s mental health and affect the person’s quality of life. Through rigorous clinical trials, we aim to explore novel therapies to alleviate symptoms and improve the quality of life of people affected by Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy. By participating in diabetic peripheral neuropathy clinical trials near you in Texas, you can play a pivotal role in the management and exploration of innovative treatment for DPN 


Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy is a prevalent condition characterized by nerve damage due to prolonged high blood sugar levels. This damage can lead to a range of symptoms including burning sensations, numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness. Recognizing the symptoms early is important for crucial management of Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy. To prevent Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy, we must put an emphasis on controlling blood sugar levels, maintaining a healthy weight, controlling blood pressure and lipids, and giving up smoking. Regular foot care, including wearing proper shoes, daily inspections play a pivotal role in preventing complications. Also, diagnostic tests such as nerve conduction studies, electromyogram, blood tests, MRI and skin biopsy are crucial in evaluating nerve function.  

Living with DPN can be difficult and frustrating. Collaborative efforts between healthcare provider and patient are essential so that patients adopt a treatment plan. Lastly, early detection, proactive management, empowers individuals to navigate the challenges of diabetic peripheral neuropathy, enhancing overall quality of life. 


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