Type 2 Diabetes – Diabetic Neuropathy: Will Laser Therapy Help Reduce The Pain?

Type 2 Diabetes – Diabetic Neuropathy: Will Laser Therapy Help Reduce The Pain? – Diabetic neuropathy affects about one third of people with Type 2 diabetes; it is a complication of diabetes affecting the nerves. The longest nerves are the most vulnerable, so problems arise primarily in the feet. Later on, the loss of sensation can progress up the legs. The fingers may eventually be affected by numbness, and people with this issue usually find difficulty in picking up small objects, even doing up buttons.
Loss of sensation is painless and may only be recognized when the diabetic has his feet examined at his annual check-up. It is a potentially serious condition since it removes the warning most people receive when their feet are being damaged. Numbness can cause diabetics to be unable to feel injuries to their feet, which can lead to even more serious injuries or infections.
Neuropathy is diagnosed by:
history,
examination,
nerve conduction studies, and
biopsies.
Research: Researchers at the Tehran University of Medical Sciences in Iran, looked at the possibility of using laser therapy for diabetic neuropathy of both feet. Their results were published in the journal Lasers in Medical Science, in August 2011.
Seventeen volunteers with Type 2 diabetes were included in the study. They were given low intensity laser therapy three times a week for a total of 10 treatments. Nerve conduction studies were conducted after the full course of treatments. At the end of the study nerve conduction was significantly improved. From this research it was concluded low intensity laser therapy is likely to be useful for treating diabetic neuropathy.
To prevent diabetic neuropathy, taking control of your blood sugar level is important. Physical activity and normalizing your weight helps to reduce insulin resistance, the hallmark of Type 2 diabetes. A regular regimen of measuring blood sugar levels and taking the correct dose of medication at the correct time each day is also important.
When the pain of neuropathy is present, this can be a very distressing condition. The type of pain described by people is variable, but tends to be like the effect of stinging nettles and normally affects feet or legs at the same time and is usually worse at night when resting. There are a number of drugs which ease neuropathic pain: the pain can be treated with anti-seizure medications, including gabapentin (Neurontin), pregabalin (Lyrica) and topiramate (Topamax), antidepressants such as amitriptyline (Elavil) and duloxetine (Cymbalta), and analgesics.
Neurontin (gabapentin) is usually taken three times a day, and no more than 12 hours should pass between doses. The extended release form of the drug is taken only once a day. Gabapentin is available as capsules, tablets or liquid.
Lyrica (pregabalin) is taken in capsule form two or three times a day at the same times every day. Topamax (topiramate) comes in the form of capsules to be taken twice a day. Elavil (amitriptyline) is used to balance natural molecules in the brain. It is available in a tablet taken one to four times a day.
Cymbalta (duloxetine) is a tablet usually taken once per day for diabetic neuropathy. All medications can have side effects, and health problems should be reported to the prescribing physician.
All medications can have side effects, and any health problems should be reported to your prescribing doctor. These medications, although designed to treat epilepsy or depression, can often relieve the irritating pain due to diabetic neuropathy.