TheMissouri General Assembly has designated the 3rd week in June as Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy (DPN) Awareness Week. This year it is June 16th through June 21st. The State resolution cited statistics that in 2009, 346 thousand Missourians were diagnosed with diabetes. DPN is a serious condition that can occur, as a result of damage to the lining of the nerves, from prolonged exposure to poorly controlled blood glucose. The areas of the body most affected by DPN are the legs and feet. Nerve damage to the feet can cause numbness, pain, tingling, a burning sensation, or loss of sensation. Loss of sensation can result in injury and/or an open wound. Due to diminished circulation, elevated blood glucose can interfere with healing and may cause infections or gangrene. As many as 40 to 60% of lower extremity amputations are due to severe forms of DPN. If you already have DPN, discuss treatment options with your Health Care Provider; there are several medications available to help with nerve pain. The goal is to prevent it from getting worse by improving blood glucose control. The Legislature is encouraging all Missouri residents to observe this week by raising public awareness regarding the symptoms and treatment of DPN.
St Anthony’s Diabetes Education Program provides diabetes self-management training (DSMT) for a variety of topics including diabetes life-style changes, meal planning & weight loss strategies, monitoring blood glucose, medication information, and problem-solving skills. Instructors include Certified Diabetes Nurse Educators and Certified Diabetes Dietitian Educators (CDE’s). Many insurance companies will cover DSMT or Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT). For more information about our services, call 314-525-4508, option 2.