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Charcot Foot: The Diagnostic Dilemma - Article
ABSTRACT: Primary care physicians involved in the management of patients with diabetes are likely to encounter the diagnostic and treatment challenges of pedal neuropathic joint disease, also known as Charcot foot. The acute Charcot foot is characterized by erythema, edema and elevated temperature of the foot that can clinically mimic cellulitis or gout. Plain film radiographic findings can be normal in the acute phase of Charcot foot. A diagnosis of Charcot syndrome should be considered in any neuropathic patient, even those with a minor increase of heat and swelling of the foot or ankle, especially after any injury. Early recognition of Charcot syndrome and immobilization (often with a total contact cast), even in the presence of normal radiographs, can minimize potential foot deformity, ulceration and loss of function. Orthopedic or podiatric foot and ankle specialists should be consulted when the disease process does not respond to treatment.
ABSTRACT: Diabetic neuropathy is a debilitating disorder that occurs in nearly 50 percent of patients with diabetes. It is a late finding in type 1 diabetes but can be an early finding in type 2 diabetes. The primary types of diabetic neuropathy are sensorimotor and autonomic. Patients may present with only one type of diabetic neuropathy or may develop combinations of neuropathies (e.g., distal symmetric polyneuropathy and autonomic neuropathy). Distal symmetric polyneuropathy is the most common form of diabetic neuropathy. Diabetic neuropathy also can cause motor deficits, silent cardiac ischemia, orthostatic hypotension, vasomotor instability, hyperhidrosis, gastroparesis, bladder dysfunction, and sexual dysfunction. Strict glycemic control and good daily foot care are key to preventing complications of diabetic neuropathy.
Carbamazepine for Acute and Chronic Pain - Cochrane for Clinicians
Antidepressants for the Treatment of Neuropathic Pain - Cochrane for Clinicians
Are Opioids Effective in the Treatment of Neuropathic Pain? - Cochrane for Clinicians
ABSTRACT: Diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain affects the functionality, mood, and sleep patterns of approximately 10 to 20 percent of patients with diabetes mellitus. Treatment goals include restoring function and improving pain control. Patients can realistically expect a 30 to 50 percent reduction in discomfort with improved functionality. The main classes of agents used to treat diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain include tricyclic antidepressants, anticonvulsants, serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, opiates and opiate-like substances, and topical medications. Physicians should ask patients whether they have tried complementary and alternative medicine therapies for their pain. Only two medications are approved specifically for the treatment of diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain: pregabalin and duloxetine. However, evidence supports the use of other therapies, and unless there are contraindications, tricyclic antidepressants are the first-line treatment. Because patients often have multiple comorbidities, physicians must consider potential adverse effects and possible drug interactions before prescribing a medication.
ABSTRACT: Tight glucose control with intensive therapy in patients with type 1 diabetes (formerly known as juvenile-onset or insulin-dependent diabetes) can delay the onset and slow the progression of retinopathy, nephropathy and neuropathy. Optimal blood glucose control is defined by a target glycosylated hemoglobin level of less than 7 percent, a preprandial glucose level of 80 to 120 mg per dL (4.4 to 6.7 mmol per L) and a bedtime glucose level of 100 to 140 mg per dL (5.6 to 7.8 mmol per L). This article provides guidelines to help family physicians teach patients with type 1 diabetes how to achieve tight glucose control to help minimize complications. Guidelines include maintaining blood glucose levels at near normal by taking doses of short-acting insulin throughout the day supplemented by a nighttime dose of intermediate-acting insulin, monitoring blood glucose levels frequently, following a prudent diet, exercising regularly and effectively managing hypoglycemia, as well as empowering patients to lead their control efforts and rigorously controlling other risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Support from physicians, family members and friends is crucial to the success of a regimen of tight glucose control.