There are two steps involved in treating the painful symptoms of peripheral neuropathy (sometimes referred to as diabetic or alcoholic neuropathy). The first step involves testing and investigation to determine the underlying cause of the neuropathy, and the second step is determining proper pain management for the symptoms.
The first step of neuropathy treatment is determining its root cause
The symptoms of peripheral neuropathy can be caused by many different things. In order to treat the disease, your doctor will most likely want to run some lab tests in an attempt to ascertain the specific underlying cause of your symptoms. Blood tests can reveal many of the most obvious causes such as diabetes, elevated lipid levels, and the presence of toxins or heavy metals.
The doctor will also want to investigate your family history to see if the disease runs in your family. Neuropathy that is inherited genetically is among the most difficult to treat, unfortunately. For this type, there is often not much that can be done to reverse the symptoms, however, pain management will most likely be a part of the treatment.
Many cases of peripheral neuropathy can be successfully treated, and even reversed, if the underlying cause of the symptoms can be determined. Nerve cells have a limited capacity to regenerate themselves, unless the neuron has completely died. So if the cause of neuropathy can be determined and eliminated, there is a good chance that the damaged neurons will repair themselves.
Diabetic neuropathy treatment
Perhaps the most prevalent cause of peripheral neuropathy today is diabetes, and this type is often referred to as diabetic neuropathy. Many individuals are not aware that they even have diabetes until they have the first symptoms of peripheral neuropathy. Treatment of diabetic neuropathy involves careful monitoring and control of blood glucose levels. When blood glucose level is maintained, the symptoms of neuropathy will often lessen or even disappear.
Neuropathy caused by toxins and heavy metal poisoning
Peripheral neuropathy is sometimes caused by elevated levels of toxins or heavy metals in the body. If lab tests can determine that this is the case, the elimination of the source of those toxins will often reverse or eliminate the symptoms of neuropathy.
Treatment of vitamin deficiencies
Neuropathy can be caused by vitamin deficiencies, especially vitamin B. Vitamin B is a water-soluble vitamin that cannot be stored in fat tissues and may only be stored in the body for short period of time. Administration of vitamin B tablets are often a front line treatment for peripheral neuropathy and patients with this vitamin deficiency will see quick improvement in their symptoms.
Alcoholic neuropathy treatment
Neuropathy brought on by alcoholism, alcoholic neuropathy, can be treated in conjunction with treatment for alcoholism. The elimination of alcohol from the diet is often sufficient enough to spark an improvement in symptoms. Alcoholism is also related to vitamin B deficiency because the vitamin is flushed from the body when it is eliminating alcohol, so the two are often intertwined.
Pain treatment for neuropathy
Treatment for neuropathy involves a pain management strategy. Many over-the-counter medications work fine for the management of pain. Ibuprofen and acetaminophen can be taken orally, and neuropathy cream can be rubbed on the affected area to reduce pain. In severe cases, stronger medications may be prescribed for pain management such.
Many off label uses for drugs have proven to be helpful to sufferers of peripheral neuropathy. For example, some antidepressants and anti-seizure medications give relief to neuropathic pain. Speak with your doctor to develop a plan for your specific situation.