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Can diabetic neuropathy be reversed?

The term "neuropathy" is a diagnostic term that can be applied to any condition that causes damage to nerve cells. Nerve cells play an essential part in touch, sensation, and movement.


People with diabetes are more likely to experience a form of nerve damage called diabetes-related neuropathy. Medical professionals believe that nerve damage can occur in a diabetic patient with high blood sugar for an extended time. A high blood sugar level can also harm the blood vessels in your body, which are responsible for delivering oxygen and nourishment to your nerves that send electrical impulses.


Electrical impulses are transmitted from your brain to the rest of your body through your nervous system. These signals:


  • Alert you of sensations.
  • Assist you in moving your body.
  • Manage particular functions of the body, such as digestion, perspiration, and urination
  • When nerves are damaged, you could suffer numbness or weakness in the affected area. 
  • Damage to your nervous system may also affect your ability to move or your internal organs.


What are the symptoms of diabetes-related neuropathy?


The type of diabetes-related neuropathy that you have will determine the symptoms that you experience. In general, neuropathy symptoms associated with diabetes may include the following:


  • Sensations of shooting or burning pain.
  • Heightened pain sensitivity.
  • Numbness or weakness.
  • Slow-healing foot or leg sores (ulcers).
  • Tingling.
  • Total loss of feeling in your feet.


What are the types of diabetes-related neuropathy?


Neuropathy caused by diabetes can cause damage to a variety of nerves located throughout the body. There are multiple forms of neuropathy connected to diabetes, including:


  • Autonomic neuropathy: Nerve damage that controls your organs can influence your sexual response, as well as your perspiration, urination, and digestive function.
  • Mononeuropathy: Damage to a single nerve, like that in your hand or leg
  • Peripheral neuropathy: Symptoms of this disorder include pain and numbness in the arms, hands, legs, feet, and toes.
  • Proximal neuropathy: The upper legs, more especially the buttocks, thighs, and hips, can become painful and weak
  • Focal: An abrupt loss of function in the nerves that causes pain and weakness in the muscles

Can diabetic neuropathy be reversed?


The nerve damage caused by diabetes can cause excruciating pain and is generally difficult to treat. Because the body cannot perform natural repairs on nerve tissues that have been destroyed, diabetic neuropathy is not treatable and thus cannot be reversed.


On the other hand, researchers are looking into potential treatments for the nerve damage brought on by diabetes.


Although neuropathy cannot be reversed, there are strategies to manage the condition, such as:


  • Lowering your blood sugar level 
  • Choosing healthy foods to eat: Fresh fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These are known to improve general health and can aid in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.
  • Choosing healthful fats: Nuts, avocados, vegetable oils, low-fat dairy products, oily fish, lean meats, and poultry products contain fats that can benefit the cells of your body.  
  • Avoiding excess sugars: Highly processed sugars and carbs, such as fructose sweeteners, can induce abrupt spikes and falls in blood sugar. Avoiding these highs and lows is the key to controlling blood sugar and preventing future nerve damage.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight. Being overweight is associated with decreased insulin sensitivity, which raises the possibility of high blood sugar levels and, eventually, nerve damage.
  • Exercising. According to current recommendations, you should engage in 75- or 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise weekly.
  • Neuropathy is frequently treated with over-the-counter painkillers, but a doctor may prescribe another prescription if those don't work. Options for reducing pain include: Topical treatments, including lidocaine patches, isosorbide dinitrate sprays, and capsaicin creams. Antidepressants, such as venlafaxine, amitriptyline, and duloxetine hydrochloride. Anticonvulsants, like sodium valproate and pregabalin.
  • Various treatments may lessen neuropathy discomfort, enhance blood flow, and lessen the likelihood of muscle atrophy. Several are: massage, physical therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic therapy

These approaches, though, are not expected to offer lasting solutions. Another option is transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation or TENS.

  • Self-inspect your feet every day. Look for cuts, sores, red spots, swelling, blisters, ingrown nails, corns, calluses, and any other significant changes to the skin or nails. Be sure to use a mirror or ask for help if you have trouble inspecting the bottom of your feet.
  • Wash your feet every day with warm, not hot, water. Warm water will ensure you're not damaging the skin. Additionally, remember to dry your feet thoroughly and apply lotion to the top and bottom of your feet (but not between the toes, which could cause infection).
  • Ask for help when removing corns or calluses. No matter what over-the-counter products you might find, have your doctor help remove corns or calluses, so you don't burn yourself or otherwise damage your skin.
  • Trim your toenails straight across. Doing so will help you avoid ingrown nails. Remember to use a nail file to buff out any sharp edges.

Complications from Diabetic Neuropathy


Even though the condition cannot be reversed, it is crucial to get diabetic neuropathy therapy to stop the nerve damage from worsening over time. Due to the vital functions, these nerves play in the body, and if this injury is not treated, it could result in several issues.


Some of these complications are:


  • Digestive Problems: Nerve injury can affect the body's organs, causing nausea, vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea. Poor nutrition can result from problems with how food moves through your digestive system, making controlling your blood sugar levels more difficult.

  • Sexual Dysfunction: Autonomic neuropathy can affect the sexual organs, leading to issues with arousal or vaginal lubrication in women and erectile dysfunction in men. Both sexes can have problems getting excited.

  • Excess or Reduced Sweating: Sweating is a critical bodily function that helps with toxin release and temperature regulation. Too much or too little sweat can make these functions difficult and lead to issues over time. When the sweat glands are damaged, this is likely to occur.

  • Urinary Problems: Nerves play a critical role in the bladder and urinary system function. If these nerves are damaged, it can cause the body to lose the ability to recognize when the bladder is full, leading to poor control of urination.

To prevent these and other significant problems, diabetic neuropathy must be appropriately managed.


Nerve damage brought on by diabetes-related neuropathy is a result of high blood sugar. If you have poorly controlled diabetes, you run a higher risk of developing diabetes-related neuropathy. While maintaining physical health is crucial for diabetics, many persons with nerve damage may also experience depression or discouragement. Discuss your mental health with your healthcare physician. You might think about beginning therapy or joining a group for those who have nerve damage from diabetes.

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