By Nyu-chan Latest Reply 2012-06-13 14:29:47 -0500
Started 2012-06-06 21:59:54 -0500

How can you handle neuropathy? What can you do to make it go away? I noticed my heel itching when I am in the bath, and now it feels like it is going to start burning.

11 replies

MAYS 2012-06-13 14:29:47 -0500 Report

Here is another link for you:

Diabetic neuropathy has no known cure. Treatment for diabetic neuropathy focuses on:

Slowing progression of the disease
Relieving pain
Managing complications and restoring function
Slowing progression of the disease

Consistently keeping blood sugar within a narrow target range can help delay the progression of peripheral neuropathy and may even cause an improvement in symptoms you already have. With intense glucose control you may reduce your overall risk of diabetic neuropathy by as much as 60 percent.

For intense blood sugar control, your goals will likely be:

Blood sugar level before meals — 70 to 130 mg/dL (3.9 to 7.2 mmol/L)

Blood sugar level two hours after meals — less than 180 mg/dL (10 mmol/L)

Hemoglobin A1C, an indicator of your blood sugar control for the past few months — less than 7 percent

A1C is the amount of sugar that has attached to hemoglobin — the substance that carries oxygen inside red blood cells — in your blood. The higher your average blood sugar level for the past two or three months, the higher your A1C number will be. People who don't have diabetes have an A1C between 4 and 6 percent.


MAYS 2012-06-13 14:12:02 -0500 Report

Here is some information pertaining to neuropathy that may interest you:

Pain Relief:
Doctors usually treat painful diabetic neuropathy with oral medications, although other types of treatments may help some people. People with severe nerve pain may benefit from a combination of medications or treatments. Talk with your health care provider about options for treating your neuropathy.

Medications used to help relieve diabetic nerve pain include:

tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline, imipramine, and desipramine (Norpramin, Pertofrane)

other types of antidepressants, such as duloxetine (Cymbalta), venlafaxine, bupropion (Wellbutrin), paroxetine (Paxil), and citalopram (Celexa)
anticonvulsants, such as pregabalin (Lyrica), gabapentin (Gabarone, Neurontin), carbamazepine, and lamotrigine (Lamictal) opioids and opioid-like drugs, such as controlled-release oxycodone, an opioid; and tramadol (Ultram), an opioid that also acts as an antidepressant

Duloxetine and pregabalin are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration specifically for treating painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy.

You do not have to be depressed for an antidepressant to help relieve your nerve pain.

All medications have side effects, and some are not recommended for use in older adults or those with heart disease. Because over-the-counter pain medicines such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen may not work well for treating most nerve pain and can have serious side effects, some experts recommend avoiding these medications.

Treatments that are applied to the skin-typically to the feet-include capsaicin cream and lidocaine patches (Lidoderm, Lidopain). Studies suggest that nitrate sprays or patches for the feet may relieve pain. Studies of alpha-lipoic acid, an antioxidant, and evening primrose oil have shown that they can help relieve symptoms and may improve nerve function.


Harlen 2012-06-07 10:11:16 -0500 Report

For me the better I keep my #s the less it bus me .
But thats just me ,it may help you too and it may not ????
Best wishes

jayabee52 2012-06-07 08:53:06 -0500 Report

Howdy Nyu-chan

is the itching on both heels, or is it just in 1 heel now? Is it only when you bathe or does it happen at other times?

To know that would be useful to know and potentially determine what may be causing that, and to know what is causing your symptoms, would be to guess as to what one could do to make it go away or even if it would be able to go away.

Controlled 2012-06-06 22:21:11 -0500 Report

Many of us here can understand what you're going through. First and foremost, you must see your doctor. There are a number of tests to confirm neuropathy. You may have to be referred to a neurologist. Assuming that you are diagnoses with neuropathy, and I hope that you aren't, there are a number of medications that are available to you.

I started out on Gabapentin and it helped, but not very much. Soon I was taking so much medication and receiving diminishing returns. I managed to get a referral to a "pain" doctor and started Lyrica instead of Gabapentin. It was helpful. I also take pain medication. The simple truth is that Gabapentin is one of the least expensive medications that a doctor can prescribe for neuropathy and therefore it is the medication of choice for insurance companies. In addition, many people with neuropathy take Alpa-Lipoic Acid (I take R-Alpha) and Benfothiamine, both of which are available over the counter. I have no doubt that you will receive responses regarding a number of other non-prescription supplements that are helpful to many others.

What also has helped me, and it was absolutely awful to begin with, was exercise. No matter how mild the exercise is to start, and I had severe problems with it, you will find benefits in time particularly in terms of flexibility and circulation.

Please get tot he doctor as soon as possible. You cannot treat this on your own and the longer you wait, the greater the possibility for complications. Let us know how you're doing; hopefully there is another explanation for your current symptoms.

All the best to you.

ANYSA728 2012-06-13 13:01:04 -0500 Report

speaking of doctors…it sounds like yall might have more than one. a primary, a endo, maybe a pain dr., etc… I'm new to the diabetes thing. Diagnosed type 1 late March and just started getting the pain in my legs the week before Mothers Day (thats when the lack of sleep started). I'm also a runner and have stopped because its hard to run with only 2 hours of sleep and 6 hours of intense pain. I've got a primary dr and the endo both battling it out. Primary prescribed Gabapentin but the Endo prescribed Cymbalta first. Did Cymbalt for a month (even got the dosage doubled after no relief) and now I'm trying the Gabapentin (like just started yesterday - stopped the Cymbalta). How do I manage dealing with two drs giving 2 different orders…and neither one of them are solving the problem?? Please give me your opinions. I don't know who to ask.

Controlled 2012-06-13 14:01:25 -0500 Report

I'm relatively new to diabetes also. I do have a new primary doctor, a "pain" doctor and an podiatrist. Your body has changed a lot and you are forced to adjust to and manage those changes even though you don't have enough information…yet. My saying "I'm sorry" that you're going through this and dealing with pain doesn't help you; nevertheless, I am truly sorry and I understand. Ultimately, you're running will help you when you can get back to modest exercise (and it probably won't be running, at least not at first). We are all biochemically unique so you have to experiment with medications. I have heard good things about Cymbalta, which didn't help you. I had no luck at all with Gabapentin. Took tons of it. It is usually prescribed first because it is the cheapest for insurance companies. I switched to Lyrica, which helped almost immediately. Some insurance plans don't cover Lyrica and there is no generic yet (until 2013).

The problems that you're having with sleep is huge. It has been one of the most difficult things that I have to deal with. I also take Nucynta for pain. It has helped with sleeping, but I tend to sleep for three or four hours. I get up and read for about an hour and then can go back to sleep for another three hours. It is not ideal but it's helping. All these words should be translated to mean "I understand what you're going through".

You have to continue to communicate with both doctors and coordinate their advice. You will learn that you will end up being your best (and possibly sole) advocate regarding your health and medical care. There are many here who have information to lead you to research and resources to steer your healthcare and recovery. Getting out of pain is paramount. You can use products like BioFreeze topically and it helps with the neurological pain for a while. I also take Benfothiamine (fat soluble B-1) and R-Alpha Lipoic Acid. Both of those are available online at far lower costs than the drug store or trumped up products that merely combine these and/or possibly other supplements for you.

Nutrition is a big component. While the conventional wisdom is that high BG causes neuropathy; that was not my history. Nevertheless, you can read here and find resources regarding low carb food choices. You have to find your unique balance of nutrition, medical care and medication. Combined they will help you sleep and help you heal. I have controlled my BG without medication with food and exercise alone, although I do need medication for neuropathy.

I prefer to think of myself as "healing" rather than "ill." Whether or not that is merely psychologically reframing a condition, it works for me. Believe it or not, you will find things that work for you. There is a lot of stress and abject amazement when you're first diagnosed.

Let us know how you're doing.

All the best

red flower lady
red flower lady 2012-06-11 00:02:35 -0500 Report

Why didn't your dr just switch you to Lyrica before sending you to the pain dr? When the Neurontin stopped working for me, that is what he did and eventually had to add pain meds to my routine. Since I was being stubborn about taking the pain meds, my hubby and dr would get me to the office for other reasons(high BP) and then I would get a Demoral shot! He said the pain was also affecting my BP and having a devil of a time gtting it under control.

Controlled 2012-06-11 00:15:30 -0500 Report

Can't answer "why", doesn't particularly matter to me. At the end of the day, it worked out for me. I was just responding to someone who is experiencing what sound like neuropathy. I was just anecdotally sharing my experience with the hope that it would persuade her to go to the doctor.

I hope the information that you provided helps her too.

red flower lady
red flower lady 2012-06-11 00:24:43 -0500 Report

You gave her good info, I was just wondering why the dr wouldn't do it himself. Even my ortho was going to switch me until I told him my other dr had beat him to it. I guess I'm just wondering why the difference in medical care depending on who you see and where you live? But, I'm so happy you got the neuropathy under control, believe me I'm right there with you on the pain it can cause, not fun.

jayabee52 2012-06-11 19:44:17 -0500 Report

well diabetes or neuropathy isn't a one size fits all disease, would be one reason why there is a difference in

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