Up to 70% of diabetes patients have some form of neuropathy. The most common is peripheral neuropathy, in which nerves in the feet, legs, arms and/or hands are damaged. Symptoms include numbness that results in a reduced ability to feel pain. The first step in treating diabetic neuropathy is to bring blood glucose (sugar) levels within the normal range-high levels can injure nerve fibers throughout the body. Blood sugar levels should be 90 mg/dL to 130 mg/dL before meals and less than 180 mg/dL two hours after meals. Consistently keeping blood sugar within this target range can help delay progression of diabetic neuropathy and may improve existing symptoms. If you keep your blood sugar under control but continue to experience pain in your legs, feet, arms or hands, you may want to ask your doctor about taking pregabalin (Lyrica), an anticonvulsant drug that has been approved by the FDA to treat pain associated with diabetic neuropathy.
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