September 17, 2009
In a new online survey, eighty-five percent of people who experience diabetic nerve pain said hat their pain was one of the top three most bothersome complications of their diabetes. Despite the fact that people with diabetic nerve pain recognize the condition’s impact on their lives and eighty-four percent of those surveyed said they have discussed the condition with a healthcare provider, just slightly less than half of respondents (49 percent)were treating their pain. The urvey was fielded as part of a new educational campaign, “Take the Next Step,” which is esigned to help people with diabetes recognize the symptoms of painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy (pDPN) and proactively talk to their healthcare professional about incorporating the treatment of pDPN into their overall diabetes care, which may include blood sugar control, diet, pain management, exercise or other changes in lifestyle. The initiative is supported through a sponsorship by Pfizer Inc.
Taking Control of Your Diabetes (TCOYD), a leading non-profit organization dedicated to educating people about diabetes, and Kim Lyons, personal trainer and nutritionist featured on NBC’s hit show, “The Biggest Loser,” are participating in this campaign to raise awareness of pDPN, one of the most common and debilitating complications of diabetes. “Take the Next Step”
features an activity program developed by Lyons to demonstrate activities that are appropriate for people with diabetes and help people with pDPN understand how increasing their activity level can help them control their pain. For more information, including Kim Lyons’ activity program and tips and tools to help people with diabetes discuss pDPN with their physician, visit
“Optimal blood sugar control has been shown to prevent the onset and delay the progression of pDPN and ease its symptoms,” said Steven Edelman, MD, Founder and Director of the not-for-profit Taking Control of Your Diabetes and Professor of Medicine, University of California at San Diego. “Given the debilitating impact of pDPN, such as on a person’s ability to be physically active and to fall asleep at night, treating the pain can really make a difference for these patients and help them get back to normal daily activities which in turn can help them better manage their diabetes.”
Survey Shows pDPN Can Impact Lifestyle, Yet Many Unaware of Treatment Options Of the people surveyed, almost two-thirds (64 percent) said that their nerve pain interfered with the daily activities that matter to them. The most common activities that respondents said were impacted by their pain were exercising (76 percent), falling asleep (71 percent) and spending time with or caring for family (68 percent). Of the more than half of those surveyed who were not being treated (51 percent), less than a third (32 percent) were aware of treatments that are approved to treat the condition.
Currently, nearly 24 million Americans suffer from diabetes. Approximately 20 percent of people with diabetes experience painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy, most commonly caused by poorly controlled blood sugar levels that result in nerve damage over time. Symptoms of pDPN may include burning, throbbing or painful tingling in the feet or hands. The pain associated with the condition can become extremely debilitating, affecting patients’ everyday activities such as the motivation needed to exercise and be active and the ability to fall asleep. Difficulty maintaining an active lifestyle can hamper patients’ ability to control their weight, an important key to diabetes management. Treatment guidelines point to the unique nature of pDPN and the need for specialized treatment, which can include prescription treatment for the pain. More…