Healthy Living

Understanding Pain in Diabetic Neuropathy

Below the Surface

Even though there has been a lot of testing and research dedicated to PDN patients, very little is know as to how these changes in the nervous system are tied to different kinds of pain.  In some animal models there has been research that has lead to the discovery of sodium channels.

There sodium channels are also called proteins.  Cells that make insulin which have been damaged can lead to diabetes and then pain.  With these cells there are more proteins or sodium channels.  It was found that these proteins tell the neuron to send pain signals more readily to other neurons.

A certain sodium channel has been discussed for many types of pain.  When the Nav1.7 is damaged or altered patients are shown to have PDN or other chronic pain conditions.  If the Nav1.7 is altered it starts to become much more active which causes pain.  With this knowledge there are studies to develop medications that can block Nav1.7.

There is another sodium channel that seems to be tied to chronic pain.  Nav1.8 has been under scrutiny after the discovery of the Nav1.7.  Which the data has not been conclusive it does seam that these two sodium channels feed off each other when causing pain.  They will send more electrical signals to each other and throughout the body.