Diabetic neuropathy, also referred to as diabetic nerve pain, is a complex condition caused by diabetes. People with diabetes can have elevated blood sugar levels, and, over time, this can cause permanent damage to the nerves in the feet and hands. This nerve damage results in a unique kind of pain—diabetic nerve pain.
While there is no precise way to predict who will develop this condition, it’s estimated that about one-half of all people with diabetes will develop diabetic neuropathy—about 15 million people.
The most common symptoms include a burning and tingling feeling, like pins and needles, in your legs and feet. Numbness, weakness, and extreme pain or an exaggerated pain response are also common. Symptoms are often worse at night.
Having diabetic neuropathy can change the way you walk and cause a loss of balance, leading to falls, a loss of muscle tone, and difficulty or pain when walking or moving. Over time, diabetic neuropathy can cause serious problems with your feet. If you lose feeling, you may not feel pain in response to stepping on broken glass or a tack. You may also develop blisters or sores that don’t heal well and increase the chance of infection.
People with diabetic neuropathy may find relief by taking several different types of medications, such as analgesic medications (like ibuprofen), antidepressants, and anticonvulsants. However, because these medications can cause unpleasant side effects, such as dizziness, drowsiness, and weakness, as well as nausea, diarrhea, and constipation, many people find them hard to take on a regular basis.
To join a clinical trial, you need to answer a few questions that assess your eligibility. Eligibility is based on a list of factors or characteristics that can include age, gender, type of condition, previous treatment history, and the presence of other medical conditions. See if you qualify for the SENZA-PDN trial.