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Health professionals say that diabetes is the leading cause of peripheral neuropathy.

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Peripheral neuropathy, a disorder marked by damage to nerves outside the brain and spinal cord, is primarily brought on by diabetes mellitus globally.

Peripheral neuropathy is vastly underdiagnosed in South-East Asia and the Middle East due to a lack of consensus advice on routine screening and diagnostic procedures, as observed consulting physician Dr. Rayaz Malik at the “Winning the Fight Against Neuropathy in Diabetic Patients” seminar on Nov. 10.

According to Malik, who is also a professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine, “this has a severe impact on the quality of life as a result of painful neuropathic symptoms, foot ulceration, and amputation with an associated five-year mortality of 40% and 80%, respectively.”

Primary care physicians need basic tools and direction to assist them to diagnose peripheral neuropathy, he noted. Patients and healthcare providers must be aware of the situation and feel a sense of urgency.

Dr. Ashley Barlow, Senior Director of Medical & Technical Affairs at P&G Health, responded that the company is committed to continuing its efforts to increase public awareness of diabetes and its associated problems, such as peripheral neuropathy and nerve damage.

He continued, “The scientific forums launched by P&G Health in the Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa region provide insights, data, and clinical practice guidelines on the role of neuropathy diagnoses, treatment, and management from health experts around the world to improve the quality of life of diabetic patients.

In the Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa areas in 2021, there were 393 million diabetic patients; it is expected that number will increase to 603 million by 2045.

Peripheral neuropathy affects one in two diabetic people throughout the course of their lifetime.

Peripheral neuropathy sufferers are expected to increase dramatically in these areas due to the rising prevalence of diabetes.

In the Philippines, 2,708 patients who were evaluated in diabetic facilities as part of the Diabcare-Asia project in 2000 had a prevalence of 42 percent for diabetic neuropathy.

Malik added that simple diagnostic methods might be used to detect early peripheral neuropathy in patients.

A questionnaire and a sensory test are two straightforward instruments that can be useful. We can help patients avoid serious consequences and enhance their quality of life by asking the correct questions and paying attention to the patient, he said.

Burning and stabbing pain in the hands and feet is one of the signs of peripheral neuropathy, which can seriously interfere with daily tasks including sleeping, walking, and descending stairs.

Aside from diabetes, other high-risk factors for peripheral nerve injury include a lack of B vitamins and aging.


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