Exit

Health Condition

Neuropathy

About This Condition

If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you are at increased risk for developing nerve damage, or neuropathy. There are many types of neuropathy, but the good news is that smart lifestyle choices can reduce the risk of neuropathy, and help manage the condition if you already have it.1,2

Certain chemotherapy medications that are used to treat cancer also may cause temporary or permanent neuropathy, most commonly affecting the feet or hands. You can work with your doctor to take steps to reduce the risk of developing chemotherapy-related neuropathy, and to manage the condition if you already have it.1,2

Symptoms

Neuropathy can have many symptoms. The symptoms experienced will depend upon which nerves are affected, or damaged. Symptoms may include tingling, pain, numbness, or weakness in the feet, legs, and hands; delayed stomach emptying (gastroparesis), diarrhea, or constipation; bladder paralysis and urine retention; erectile dysfunction in men and vaginal dryness or lack of arousal in women; fainting, dizziness, or rapid heart rate; blurry vision, or difficulty with vision, such as the eyes not adjusting well to changing light conditions. For people receiving chemotherapy medications, the most common neuropathy symptoms include tingling, pain, numbness, or weakness in the feet, legs, and hands.3,4

References

1. Steps to Prevent or Delay Nerve Damage. American Diabetes Association [cited 2013 Nov 17]. Available from URL: www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/neuropathy/steps-to-prevent-or-delay.html.

2. Peripheral Neuropathy Fact Sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke [cited 2013 Nov 17]. Available from URL: www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/peripheralneuropathy/detail_peripheralneuropathy.htm.

3. Steps to Prevent or Delay Nerve Damage. American Diabetes Association [cited 2013 Nov 17]. Available from URL: www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/neuropathy/steps-to-prevent-or-delay.html.

4. Peripheral Neuropathy Fact Sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke [cited 2013 Nov 17]. Available from URL: www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/peripheralneuropathy/detail_peripheralneuropathy.htm.

5. Sima AA, Calvani M, Mehra M, Amato A. Acetyl-L-carnitine improves pain, nerve regeneration, and vibratory perception in patients with chronic diabetic neuropathy: an analysis of two randomized placebo-controlled trials. Diabetes Care 2005;28:89-94.

6. Konrad T, Vicini P, Kusterer K, et al. alpha lipoic acid treatment decreases serum lactate and pyruvate concentrations and improves glucose effectiveness in lean and obese patients with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care 1999;22:280-7.

7. Ruhnau KJ, Meissner HP, Finn JR, et al. Effects of 3-week oral treatment with the antioxidant thioctic acid (alpha-lipoic acid) in symptomatic diabetic polyneuropathy. Diabet Med 1999;16:1040-3.

8. Reljanovic M, Reichel G, Rett K, et al. Treatment of diabetic polyneuropathy with the antioxidant thioctic acid (alpha-lipoic acid): a two year multicenter randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial (ALADIN II). Alpha Lipoic Acid in Diabetic Neuropathy. Free Radic Res 1999;31:171-9.

9. Ziegler D, Schatz H, Conrad F, et al. Effects of treatment with the antioxidant alpha-lipoic acid on cardiac autonomic neuropathy in NIDDM patients. A 4-month randomized controlled multicenter trial (DEKAN Study). Diabetes Care 1997;20:369-73.

10. Jacob S, Ruus P, Hermann R, et al. Oral administration of RAC-alpha-lipoic acid modulates insulin sensitivity in patients with type-2 diabetes mellitus: a placebo-controlled pilot trial. Free Radic Biol Med 1999;27:309-14.

11. Ziegler D, Hanefeld M, Ruhnau KJ, et al. Treatment of symptomatic diabetic polyneuropathy with the antioxidant alpha-lipoic acid: a 7-month multicenter randomized controlled trial (ALADIN III Study). ALADIN III Study Group. Alpha-Lipoic Acid in Diabetic Neuropathy. Diabetes Care 1999;22:1296-301.

12. Ziegler D, Ametov A, Barinov A, et al. Oral treatment with alpha-lipoic acid improves symptomatic diabetic polyneuropathy: the SYDNEY 2 trial. Diabetes Care 2006;29:2365-70.

13. Morcos M, Borcea V, Isermann B, et al. Effect of alpha-lipoic acid on the progression of endothelial cell damage and albuminuria in patients with diabetes mellitus: an exploratory study. Diabetes Res Clin Pract 2001;52:175-83.

14. Paolisso G, Scheen A, D'Onofrio FD, Lefebvre P. Magnesium and glucose homeostasis. Diabetologia 1990;33:511-4 [review].

15. Eibl NL, Schnack CJ, Kopp H-P, et al. Hypomagnesemia in type II diabetes: effect of a 3-month replacement therapy. Diabetes Care 1995;18:188.

16. Paolisso G, Sgambato S, Pizza G, et al. Improved insulin response and action by chronic magnesium administration in aged NIDDM subjects. Diabetes Care 1989;12:265-9.

17. Lima M, Cruz T, Carreiro Pousada J, et al: The effect of magnesium supplementation in increasing doses on the control of type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care 1998;21:682-6.

18. Paolisso G, Sgambato S, Gambardella A, et al. Daily magnesium supplements improve glucose handling in elderly subjects. Am J Clin Nutr 1992;55:1161-7.

19. Smellie WS, O'Reilly DS, Martin BJ, Santamaria J. Magnesium replacement and glucose tolerance in elderly subjects. Am J Clin Nutr 1993;57:594-6 [letter].

20. de Valk HW, Verkaaik R, van Rijn HJM, et al. Oral magnesium supplementation in insulin-requiring type 2 diabetic patients. Diabet Med 1998;15:503-7.

21. American Diabetes Association. Magnesium supplementation in the treatment of diabetes. Diabetes Care 1992;15:1065-7.

22. Coggeshall JC, Heggers JP, Robson MC, Baker H. Biotin status and plasma glucose in diabetics. Ann NY Acad Sci 1985;447:389-92.

23. Koutsikos D, Agroyannis B, Tzanatos-Exarchou H. Biotin for diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Biomed Pharmacother 1990;44:511-4.

24. Abbas ZG, Swai ABM. Evaluation of the efficacy of thiamine and pyridoxine in the treatment of symptomatic diabetic peripheral neuropathy. East African Med J 1997;74:804-8.

25. Stracke H, Lindemann A, Federlin K. A benfotiamine-vitamin B combination in treatment of diabetic polyneuropathy. Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes 1996;104:311-6.

26. Abbas ZG, Swai ABM. Evaluation of the efficacy of thiamine and pyridoxine in the treatment of symptomatic diabetic peripheral neuropathy. East African Med J 1997;74:804-8.

27. Stracke H, Lindemann A, Federlin K. A benfotiamine-vitamin B combination in treatment of diabetic polyneuropathy. Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes 1996;104:311-6.

28. Yamane K, Usui T, Yamamoto T, et al. Clinical efficacy of IV plus oral mecobalamin in patients with peripheral neuropathy using vibration perception thresholds as an indicator of improvement. Curr Ther Res 1995;56:656-70 [review].

29. Kuwabara S, Nakazawa R, Azuma N, et al. Intravenous methylcobalamin treatment for uremic and diabetic neuropathy in chronic hemodialysis patients. Intern Med 1999;38:472-5.

30. Lee P, Chen R. Vitamin D as an analgesic for patients with type 2 diabetes and neuropathic pain. Arch Intern Med 2008;168:771-2.

31. Knekt P, Reunanen A, Marniumi J, et al. Low vitamin E status is a potential risk factor for insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. J Intern Med 1999;245:99-102.

32. Salonen JT, Nyssonen K, Tuomainen T-P, et al. Increased risk of non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus at low plasma vitamin E concentrations: a four year follow up study in men. BMJ 1995;311:1124-7.

33. Bierenbaum ML, Noonan FJ, Machlin LJ, et al. The effect of supplemental vitamin E on serum parameters in diabetics, post coronary and normal subjects. Nutr Rep Int 1985;31:1171-80.

34. Paolisso G, D'Amore A, Giugliano D, et al. Pharmacologic doses of vitamin E improve insulin action in healthy subjects and non-insulin dependent diabetic patients. Am J Clin Nutr 1993;57:650-6.

35. Paolisso G, D'Amore A, Galzerano D, et al. Daily vitamin E supplements improve metabolic control but not insulin secretion in elderly type II diabetic patients. Diabetes Care 1993;16:1433-7.

36. Tütüncü NB, Bayraktar M, Varli K. Reversal of defective nerve condition with vitamin E supplementation in type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care 1998;21:1915-8.

37. Paolisso G, Di Maro G, Galzerano D, et al. Pharmacological doses of vitamin E and insulin action in elderly subjects. Am J Clin Nutr 1994;59:1291-6.

38. Paolisso G, Gambardella A, Galzerano D, et al. Antioxidants in adipose tissue and risk of myocardial infarction. Lancet 1994;343:596 [letter].

39. Ross WM, Creighton MO, Stewart-DeHaan PJ, et al. Modelling cortical cataractogenesis: 3. In vivo effects of vitamin E on cataractogenesis in diabetic rats. Can J Ophthalmol 1982;17:61.

40. Bursell S-E, Schlossman DK, Clermont AC, et al. High-dose vitamin E supplementation normalizes retinal blood flow and creatinine clearance in patients with type 1 diabetes. Diabetes Care 1999;22:1245-51.

41. Ceriello A, Giugliano D, Quatraro A, et al. Vitamin E reduction of protein glycosylation in diabetes. Diabetes Care 1991;14:68-72.

42. Duntas L, Kemmer TP, Vorberg B, Scherbaum W. Administration of d-alpha-tocopherol in patients with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Curr Ther Res 1996;57:682-90.

43. Jain SK, McVie R, Jaramillo JJ, et al. Effect of modest vitamin E supplementation on blood glycated hemoglobin and triglyceride levels and red cell indices in type I diabetic patients. J Am Coll Nutr 1996;15:458-61.

44. Jain SK, McVie R, Smith T. Vitamin E supplementation restores glutathione and malondialdehyde to normal concentrations in erythrocytes of type 1 diabetic children. Diabetes Care 2000;23:1389-94.

45. Reaven PD, Barnett J, Herold DA, Edelman S. Effect of vitamin E on susceptibility of low-density lipoprotein and low-density lipoprotein subfractions to oxidation and on protein glycation in NIDDM. Diabetes Care 1995;18:807.

46. Fuller CJ, Chandalia M, Garg A, et al. RRR-alpha-tocopheryl acetate supplementation at pharmacologic doses decreases low-density-lipoprotein oxidative susceptibility but not protein glycation in patients with diabetes mellitus. Am J Clin Nutr 1996;63:753-9.

47. Skrha J, Sindelka G, Kvasnicka J, Hilgertova J. Insulin action and fibrinolysis influenced by vitamin E in obese type 2 diabetes mellitus. Diabetes Res Clin Pract 1999;44:27-33.

48. Leppala JM, Virtamo J, Fogelholm R, et al. Vitamin E and beta carotene supplementation in high risk for stroke: a subgroup analysis of the alpha-tocopherol, beta-carotene cancer prevention study. Arch Neurol 2000;57:1503-9.

49. Steps to Prevent or Delay Nerve Damage. American Diabetes Association [cited 2013 Nov 17]. Available from URL: www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/neuropathy/steps-to-prevent-or-delay.html.

50. Peripheral Neuropathy Fact Sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke [cited 2013 Nov 17]. Available from URL: www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/peripheralneuropathy/detail_peripheralneuropathy.htm.

Copyright © 2018 Healthnotes, Inc. All rights reserved. www.healthnotes.com

Learn more about Healthnotes, the company.

The information presented by Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2018.

Drugs used to treat NEUROPATHY. Select drug name to view medication information and pricing