Peripheral neuropathy and sleep don’t always mix well. Sixty-eight percent of neuropathy patients report increased nerve pain at night, contributing to restlessness and sleep disruption. Moreover, neuropathy and sleep disturbance create a vicious cycle. Neuropathic pain causes sleep issues, and, in turn, lack of sleep exacerbates nerve discomfort.
How can you help your peripheral neuropathy patients avoid this terrible cycle, restoring their health and getting a better night’s sleep? Here’s what your patients need to know about how neuropathy impacts rest and what they can do to take back their lives and health.
A long-term complication of diabetes for many people is the onset of peripheral neuropathy. This debilitating condition is caused by high blood sugar levels and leads to small blood vessel damage. When these injured blood vessels become impaired in their ability to supply nutrients and oxygen to nerve cells, neuropathic damage results. Lack of blood supply to critical areas can even contribute to nerve fiber disappearance.
Nerve damage leads to loss of mobility, balance issues, reduced independence, and even driver’s license suspension. But it doesn’t have to be this way. As a pharmacist, you’re uniquely positioned to reach out to patients managing diabetes and conditions related to it. You can encourage them to stay independent longer and keep their licenses through education coupled with a proactive therapeutic regimen.
Here are some things your patients need to know about neuropathy and driving.