Experiencing diabetes-related pain or numbness? Here’s how one doctor says some relief might be possible

About 50% of people who have diabetes also suffer from neuropathy, Dr. Karen May says

Millions of Americans are living with diabetes.

In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 34 million people in the United States have it, and it can cause nerve pain.

To learn more, and how to possibly get relief, we spoke to Dr. Karen May, who is certified in chronic pain and neuropathy.

May is also a neuropathy survivor, and the founder of Momentum Health Neuropathy Center.

May said diabetic nerve pain is essentially neuropathy, a chronic condition causing nerve damage. It may feel like chronic numbness, tingling, burning or an electric shock-type of pain in your body. It is very common in the hands and feet.

Diabetes is one of many potential causes of neuropathy, and about 50% of people who have diabetes also suffer from neuropathy, May said.

So, how does diabetes cause diabetic neuropathy?

May said that when someone has diabetes, he or she often has widespread inflammation through the body, not just high blood sugar.

“Pain is just one symptom of inflammation with diabetes ... it will definitely get worse without making some changes,” May said. “When the body has too much blood sugar circulating, it actually attacks the covering of the nerves, and actually then the nerves themselves.”

For relief, May likes to focus on healing the nerves and inflammation, not just treating the pain, she said.

May addresses inflammation by looking at what you eat and changing your diet to less-inflammatory foods.

For the nerves, she works to heal them, improve blood flow to them, and re-educate them to help relieve pain and numbness, she said.

For the full interview with May, watch the video above. If you would like to make an appointment or learn more about Momentum Health Neuropathy Center, click or tap here, or call 810-380-PAIN.

About the Author:

Michelle Oliver is a multimedia Journalist for the 10 a.m. lifestyle show, "Live in the D." She is known as "the food girl" because of her two popular food franchises, Dine in the D and Find Your Fix. Michelle also covers stories on homegrown businesses, style, and other fun things happening in the D.