However, the only treatment that has been shown to be effective for diabetic neuropathy is improved control of blood sugar.
While many patients and their doctors rely on the glycosylated hemoglobin to measure how well their diabetes is controlled, it is important to recognize that this is an average measure of blood glucose levels, and patients with mild diabetes can have peaks (which are neurotoxic) and troughs (which can also be harmful), which average each other out, leading to a “normal” glycosylated hemoglobin level , and a false sense of security that everything is OK.
If you have diabetic neuropathy, we suggest that you check your finger stick glucose regularly and write the numbers down in a book or on a computer spreadsheet, so that you can review them with your doctor.
We usually suggest the following schedule to our patients:
Pick the same 2 days each week (no matter what you have eaten those days) to do the test. On those days, check a “fasting” sugar when you first wake up (should be <130, ideally <110), a second sugar test before dinner (should be <130, ideally <110), and a third test 2 hours after dinner (should be <180, ideally <140).
Remember, although improved blood sugar control will prevent progression of your neuropathy, it won’t make it better, so start today before things get too bad!