Peripheral Neuropathy can be caused by many different diseases, but by far the most common cause is Type II Diabetes. It is estimated that 50% of all people with diabetes will experience some form of Neuropathy throughout their lifetime.
Because this number is so high, it is especially important to take precautions to prevent Diabetic Neuropathy from disrupting your life. Even if it has already reached the point where your life has been affected, acupuncture can improve symptoms dramatically.
How Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy Affects You
Peripheral Neuropathy is one of four types of Diabetic Neuropathies that a patient may be diagnosed with. It is the most common of the four, so chances of experiencing its symptoms at some point is a realistic possibility. These symptoms can creep up, changing and lessening nerve response and health slowly, over the course of several years. It may take years to notice these changes, so it is important to pay attention to your body and nerve responses.
Your feet and hands are usually affected first - earlier onset symptoms include pain, numbness, tingling, burning, loss of ability to detect temperature, or feel the extremity at all. Other symptoms can include muscle weakness, difficulty balancing, sensitivity to touch, and foot problems such as ulcers. The longer one goes without treating their symptoms, the worse it can get. The symptoms will begin to affect your arms and hands given enough time.
Preventing Neuropathy Through Acupuncture
Regulating blood sugar is the most highly recommended way to prevent nerve damage that leads to Diabetic Neuropathy. If you’re already on top of your blood sugar levels, acupuncture can help lessen symptoms and keep your nerves as healthy as possible. Acupuncture increases blood flow to the extremities that need the stimulation, supplying a fresh source of oxygenated blood to the areas. This can help lessen pain, preserve nerve function and treat other symptoms in the affected area.
Why Acupuncture Works So Well to Treat Peripheral Neuropathy
“Many studies have shown that electro-acupuncture (EA) exerts an anti-inflammatory effect on various forms of organ dysfunction, including many diabetic complications. Electrical nerve stimulation has been shown to significantly reduce the pain of diabetic patients. It has been recognized by the American Pain Society and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine as an effective treatment used by millions of people to reduce pain and block inflammation” (1). Acupuncture can make living with Peripheral Neuropathy much easier to manage. Because acupuncture takes a non-invasive and chemical-free approach on treating symptoms, it makes acupuncture an ideal option for long-term treatment plans. The lack of negative side effects continues to make it all the more appealing.
Recent studies done on the effectiveness of acupuncture for diabetics with Peripheral Neuropathy have been conducted. These studies found that even with a “sham acupuncture” group, those receiving “real acupuncture” showed significant and measurable improvement in their symptoms.
Take a proactive approach today and combat the symptoms of Diabetic Neuropathy in your life with acupuncture!
If you’re curious about learning more about how acupuncture can make a difference for you, don’t hesitate to reach out and give us a call today.