Nerve Pain Among the Most Bothersome Symptoms of Diabetes

September 21, 2009

A large majority of patients who experience diabetic nerve pain cite the pain as one of the top three “most bothersome” issues associated with the condition, according to a new study conducted by Impulse Research.

A large majority of patients who experience diabetic nerve pain cite the pain as one of the top three “most bothersome” issues associated with the condition, according to a new study conducted by Impulse Research.

According to the researchers, a little less than half (49%) of the survey respondents were treating their nerve pain, despite the fact that 84% of individuals had discussed the problem with their healthcare provider. Nearly two thirds, or 64%, of respondents said that the nerve pain they experienced interfered with daily activities they considered important. Patients cited exercise (76%), falling asleep (71%), and spending time with or caring for family members (68%) as the activities that were most frequently impacted by nerve pain. Among those patients who were not being treated for pain, or 51% of survey respondents, less than a third (32%) knew that treatment options existed that had been approved to treat diabetic nerve pain.

The study was completed online by 553 men and women, 18 and older, who had either Type I or II diabetes and nerve pain as a result of the condition. According to the researchers, early recognition of diabetes-related nerve pain is the optimal way to provide treatment, as well as providing patients with prescription medications for the pain and suggesting over the counter drugs like acetaminophen and ibuprofen, which are not utilized as often, but effective for reducing painful symptoms

“Optimal blood sugar control has been shown to prevent the onset and delay the progression of pDPN and ease its symptoms," said Steven Edelman, MD, Founder and Director of the not-for-profit Taking Control of Your Diabetes, and Professor of Medicine at the University of California at San Diego. "Given the debilitating impact of pDPN, such as on a person's ability to be physically active and to fall asleep at night, treating the pain can really make a difference for these patients and help them get back to normal daily activities which in turn can help them better manage their diabetes."

Source: Taking Control of Your Diabetes