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Improving pain control in diabetic neuropathy.

Authors
  • Paisley, Peter
  • Serpell, Mick
Type
Published Article
Journal
The Practitioner
Publication Date
Mar 01, 2017
Volume
261
Issue
1802
Pages
23–26
Identifiers
PMID: 29139278
Source
Medline
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Diabetic neuropathy is thought to affect 1.9% of the world’s population and 50% of patients with a diagnosis of diabetes mellitus which would equate to 2.25 million people in the UK. The term diabetic neuropathy includes multiple distinct clinical entities that have been classified under the broad headings of focal and multifocal neuropathies and symmetrical neuropathies. Peripheral diabetic neuropathy, a chronic distal symmetrical predominantly sensory neuropathy, is the most common form of diabetic neuropathy. Most patients describe moderate to severe pain, using neuropathic descriptors such as burning, shooting or electric shocks. The common presentation is of painful symptoms originating in the feet, that then spread to the knees before involving the distal portion of the upper limbs in a ‘glove and stocking’ distribution. There are number of specific neuropathic pain assessment tools that can be readily used in a non-specialist setting in the community, such as the Leeds Assessment of Neuropathic Symptoms and Signs (LANSS) questionnaire. This combines five simple questions and two examination findings to give a dimensionless score for the pain out of 24, with a score ≥ 12 suggesting a neuropathic component is likely.

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