Diagnosis of the neuropathy includes a physical exam, several blood tests to check for the presence or deficiencies of certain substances and nerve conduction studies. Other neuropathytreatments require a nerve biopsy to be performed to check microscopically for any abnormalities in the anatomy of the nerve.
Neuropathy treatments are based on the disorder that causes the neuropathy to occur. In diabetic patients, the main cause of the neuropathy is the prolonged elevation of blood glucose. To lessen the symptoms of the neuropathy, the blood glucose should be lowered to normal levels. Elevated intake of alcohol will not affect a cure, and the stoppage of the ingestion of alcohol in the body must be followed. In other words, for alcoholics to stop feeling the pain caused by the damaged nerves, they have to stop drinking alcohol… and not the other way around as some seem to think. A deficiency in vitamins will also need a replenishment of those vitamins to ease symptoms of neuropathy. For autoimmune diseases, the cure for the neuropathy relies on controlling the immune response.
Certain medications are also given to relieve the pain and numbness caused by the neuropathy. Pain killers, acetaminophen, NSAIDs, and sometimes anti-seizure medications help in alleviating the pain of the neuropathy although care is given before dispensing these kinds of medicines since their use may be abused and lead to other neuropathies. Medicines to treat depression are also prescribed to provide relief from mild to moderate symptoms. They act as interference to the chemical processes in the brain for pain sensation. There are also natural treatments for neuropathy like lipoic acid, acetyl-L-carnitine, evening primrose oil, fish oil, magnet therapy, selenium, and vitamin E.
Several therapies are designed as treatment and/or partial cures for neuropathies. The transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation therapy employs administering tiny electrical impulses on the skin to specific nerve pathways. These impulses act as intercepts to the nerve signals sent to the brain. Unfortunately, it is not always the right treatment for some. For others, Biofeedback Therapy uses a special machine that gives instructions to the user on how to control certain body reactions that reduce pain. Acupuncture, hypnosis, and other relaxation techniques are other alternative therapies that treat neuropathies. Studies are also being done as to the feasibility of nerve growth factors – especially in peripheral nerves – since these are the only nerves where regeneration is possible.
The best treatment for any disease is to practice healthy habits such as eating a well-balanced and nutritious meal, maintaining body weight within normal limits and avoiding substances that causes harm to the body, especially if taken in excess.