Diabetic neuropathy

By paulk1989 Latest Reply 2012-09-10 10:41:32 -0500
Started 2012-08-13 05:26:28 -0500

Anyone know anything to ease the pain? Ibuprofen aspirin and Excedrin isn't working…my neurontin eases it but still not enough…this is severely painful and uncomfortable :(

52 replies

ANYSA728 2012-09-10 09:52:18 -0500 Report

Hi Paul, I have gone down the neuropathy path, and there are two things I can say for certain. It is continuously misdiagnosed and everyone who has it usually has completely different treatments. My story starts with my diagnosis of T1 late March after fighting my 6th skin infection (this one on my temple by my ear). BS were over 600. Leg pain had started a little before March but I didn't mention is to dr's until May when it started to mess with my sleeping (around Mother's Day). By June I was sleeping only an hour to 3 hours when I first laid down but then in pain the rest of the night. After several dr's and nurses' instructions, I tried drinking tonic water before bed, benedryl, melatonin, and small doses of Cymbalta, pain continued to get worse until I went er on6/27. There they found a mild bulging disc. I saw a PT and chiropractor the whole month of July…pain worsened. By end of July I was not eating because of the pain and no sleep. BS were crazy sparadic. My primary dr just went ahead and admitted me to same hospital that I had gone to the er. They still had the xrays from that visit so they treated me for the disc and denied my plea to see a neurologist. I had my 1st steroid shot in the back (would need 2 more) and after 2 weeks, the leg pain was just as bad now as before…maybe worse. My friend of a friend got me into see a dr at a hospital 1 hr away to have a nerve conduction study. TORTURE!… but when it was done, he turned to me and said to me "you have neuropathy." Not one dr would even entertain the idea since I was just diagnosed in March. Since then I have been on neurotin (2 300mg tablets, 3x's a day) and percocet for pain, and Ambian to sleep. Its only been 2 weeks now…I had to work my way up to that dosage of neurotin. I 'think' it might be starting to help. I'm at work today (I could barely walk or function so I had to take about a month off). Sleep is still a big issue. Ambian can make me fall asleep but pain will still wake me up.
My key points are (and I learned this one here) you may need to see several doctors until you find the right one who will listen and really work to help you. Between pharmaceutical companies, insurance, and time, alot of doctors can't or won't actually help you.
Also…Nerve Conduction Study is a must. I don't see many people talk about it here. Its horrible. They shoot electical pulses throughout your leg to measure your responses AND they stick you with these little acupuncture needles that have microphones on them. This may not hurt everyone but if the nerves in your legs are damages…OMG! I've had 2 now and as painful as I thought they were, they really helped to prove my neuropathy and the level of my situation.
Hope my story can you and otheres.

mary, the diabetes lady
mary, the diabetes lady 2012-08-17 21:59:42 -0500 Report

My husband (T2D) suffered with severe painful neuropathy for over 15 years. It eventually got so bad that in 2002 he could not walk over 75 feet without sitting to rest. He was on Neurontin for the pain. He would go to bed at 7:30 or 8:00 PM to try to get away from the pain.

In 2003 we went on low carb diet. Within 3 months he came off of all insulin and within one year his neuropathy was gone! Gone!

In 2004 he was in 2 5K races (walking) and finished.

This past May, 2012, we went to Disney World in Florida. He walked that park from 8:30 am to 11:45 pm. I enjoyed Disney very much and the best part was watching him walk without tiring and without pain.

This man was in the major hurt box for over 15 years. Was on the strong medication Neurontin to help with the pain. I know very well how bad this pain can be. I also know that it can be reversed instead of medicated.

I hope this helps. We beat diabetes.

Nana_anna 2012-08-15 21:26:33 -0500 Report

There are prescription meds for that. I was on some last year. I had to take it at night time. I can't remember the name though. It helped some. I am going to see if I can get that or go back on hydrocodone. That's good to. That has to be prescribed.

paulk1989 2012-08-15 12:18:37 -0500 Report

Ended up visiting the er again this morning due to pain.. I was hoping they would run some tests just to see exactly how bad the neuropathy is and the Dr does is come in the room asks what meds I'm on I told him he said up it to a higher dose and ill make you an appointment with the clinic and walks out of the room. So now I have to wait til Oct 29th for a clinic appointment and Jan 3rd for a follow up… I am so mad at the health care these days. I have questions that the Dr doesn't seem to want to answer… :(

daddy312 2012-08-15 21:01:39 -0500 Report

Have you tried BioFreeze or Voltaren? They seem to help me when my feet are in pain which is quite often.

paulk1989 2012-08-16 05:39:12 -0500 Report

No I have not tried those. the upping of the dosage seems to be working a little bit. I have a high tolerance for pain medications and any medication for that matter. this is just full day 1 on the upped dose so we shall see how it goes. also found out from the Dr. that hadn't called me in a couple days after I had called them, that I have low potassium level as well. so maybe a mixture of what they are giving me for that plus the neurontin will help?

CJ55 2012-08-15 12:33:27 -0500 Report

jayabee.. wow thanks for the info. I take Tramadol everyday for pain. I guess I better check this out. :-)

jayabee52 2012-08-15 12:52:34 -0500 Report

sorry to hear that.

I had seen "Annie" about 3 weeks before when we went to my son's wedding. She had been complaining of stomach pain at that time.

Looking back it must have been the tramedol at work perforating her stomach.

paulk1989 2012-08-15 04:24:28 -0500 Report

Well putting my feet up was not a success even in the slightest… A washcloth with warm water did not o justice… I've been in steady pain…

ICDA250 2012-08-14 13:58:41 -0500 Report

Tramadol (or Ultram) may work better and possibly is a much better solution because long term use of Ibuprofen, Naproxyn Sodium (Aleve), or the different forms of aspirin will usually increase the risk of digestive track bleeding/problems or kidney complications. Good luck because after being on a medicine for a condition other than diabetes, before that medicine was discontinued I lost partial use of my fingers and feet due to the pain or alternating numbness.

CJ55 2012-08-15 23:59:10 -0500 Report

I take Ultram (tramadol) and naproxen. It somewhat helps with pain, but it never goes completely away. I had to stop taking Vicodine and vicaprofen because they were hurting my liver and kidneys. The nurse i saw today at my surgeons office mentioned Soma. Has anyone heard of this or taken it?? Thanks CJ \U+127803

ICDA250 2012-08-16 00:42:57 -0500 Report

Soma (Brand name) or Carisoprodol (Generic) is considered a muscle relaxant and works by interfering with pain signals between the muscles and brain. It is considered possibly habit forming and if taken for more than a short time, it may require weaning or lowering the amounts being taken slowly to avoid withdrawal symptoms. It is advised to only take this drug following acute injuries or strains but from when I worked in the pharmacy, there were some patients whose doctors prescribed it for them for extended periods of time, It also interacts adversely with a wide number of other drugs including alcohol or valium/benzodiazepines and is processed by the same liver enzymes/pathways as a lot of different drugs. I was given Soma following several severe musculoskeletal injuries (auto accidents) but it is my understanding that it would not effectively act on neurpathy because different nerve pathways and conditions are involved.

paulk1989 2012-08-16 05:42:46 -0500 Report

When I was in FL I took a couple muscle relaxers one night, my feet and whole body were in pain before hand. I didn't know about the neuropathy at that point. but after I took em I felt 100% ended up walking a good 6 miles to a friends house after. the next morning the pain was back just in my feet though.

CJ55 2012-08-16 01:12:04 -0500 Report

Thank you for the info ICDA250? I do not have neurpathy. I have a really bad back with missing discs and several bulging discs. I am trying to find a med to take that will help with the pain that won't trash my kidneys or liver nor habit forming. It is tough to find one. I have tried just about everything under the sun, but nothing seems to help. CJ. \U+127803

ICDA250 2012-08-16 07:32:50 -0500 Report

Not long ago I finished my graduate degree in psychology and the last course in physiology of the brain and the nervous sytem was the hardest and the only course that I did not get an "A" (got an A-).
In terms of your search for long lasting and effective pain relief, one recurring problem is that almost all medicines and drugs affect other receptors and affect other cells besides the ones that they are supposed to target. So anti-inflammatory drugs working on joints, bones or muscles also affect digestive tract liinings, pain relievers may limit paiin in one area but also cause dependence, sleepiness/sommnulence and withdrawal symptoms, and all these drugs have to be metabolized and removed from the body while possibly damaging kidney and or liver. I was not able to continue my studies due to money issues but I am wondering if we all have to continue doing cost benefit analysis on using any drugs and whether it may be best to plan on alternating therapies to minmize excessive damage to any part of the nervous sysyem.
I was in an severe head-on auto accident and had many spinal problems in addition to a concussion and several other severe fractures. With a TENS unit, physical therapy, and varying prescriptions I was eventually able to oversome most of the pain. Do not know if TENS (Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation)units are recommended for diabetic neuropathy but some medical articles indicate it can be useful for pain depending on the parts of the body involved.

CJ55 2012-08-16 10:59:32 -0500 Report

Thank you ICDA 250. I don't have diabetic neuropathy. I am missing discs in my lower back and I have stenosis and degenerated bone disease., and 2 more bulging discs. My back was injured and my discs were totally blown up. I was paralized for 1 year until I could have all the tests done, and I also had to get a second opinion at a Boston hospital before I could have surgery. I can walk now but the back continues to Worsen. I have my own Tens unit, but it doesn't really help much. As for PT, i have had hundreds and hundreds of hours. Nothing seems to help relieve the pain. Thanks for your advice and comments. CJ. \U+127803

paulk1989 2012-08-14 14:34:50 -0500 Report

I'll have to look into something because I am always in pain its extremely severe by the end of the day

jayabee52 2012-08-14 15:18:16 -0500 Report

I lost a friend to Tramadol. She had used Tramadol long term for pain from injury to her spine. About Thanksgiving 2010 she was put in the ER with bleeding in the GI tract. In the ER they couldn't stop the bleeding even though they ran 2 complete changes of blood through her. Later I found out that her pancreatic artery had been perforated. I had been researching my own Duodenal ulcer and I stumbled across a footnote on Tramedol saying that Tramedol had been implicated in perforation of the stomach.

Thought I'd let you know

ICDA250 2012-08-16 00:49:51 -0500 Report

I have been taking tramadol for years and had not heard of this potential complication. My family doctor who I currently go to seems increasingly unable to explain such details. I resorted to taking her lists of questions but she seems to be able to evade or avoid answers. When I obtain a new job, I will be looking to switch doctors.

CJ55 2012-08-17 17:09:37 -0500 Report

I am glad it works for you. Nothing releaves my back pain. I just left the ER a few mins ago. They gave me a shot of Toradol and salumederol and I took a valium and nothing. I should be loopy bit I dont feel anything but pain. :-(

CJ55 2012-08-18 01:15:45 -0500 Report

Unfortunately my back pain is not from nueropathy related diabetes. I dont have 2 discs in my lower back. They exployed totally and i have 2 holes where the discs should be and now thry are compressing. I am actually 3 inches shorter now. i also have stenosis and degenerated bone disease and 2 more herniated dscs. I was Paralized for 1 year waiting for tests to be done and going to the Lahey Clinic in Boston for a 2nd & 3rd opinions before having extensive surgery. This was in 1985 and has gotten worse over the years. I get regular cortizone shots in my spine and hips every 3 months. I am in chronic pain. But, it is something I have to deal with everyday, just like my diabetes. I have learned to live with it and do whatever I can to help myself. Mary, i did order the Diabetes Solution book yesterday. I cannot wait to read it. I will give you my opinion when I am done with it. Thanks for recommending it to me and to others who also suggested me to buy it. Have a wonderful evening, or I should say, morning here. CJ. \U+127803

herigoagain1 2012-08-16 13:51:12 -0500 Report

I also have been taking Tramadol for years. I find it fantastic. I even spoke with a drug rep who was surprised it worked so well for me. I guess I am just one of the lucky ones. It takes away my pain so I can function normally. It works better than any other pain medicine I have been on, even after my surgery.

ICDA250 2012-08-16 14:16:16 -0500 Report

A couple of weeks ago I needed a refill for my Tramadol and my physician had gone on vacation…so I was out of luck and went back to using ice or heat for two weeks when the pain got particulalrly bad. Has anyone else noticed that the neuropathy pain may tend to be worse at night and especially when you are trying to sleep????

jayabee52 2012-08-15 12:42:18 -0500 Report

yes it was. She was such a good friend.

The irony is was that I was in the hospital in CA for bleeding ulcer, on the same week that she was bleeding out in Las Vegas. I only found out about it when her daughter called me to clear up "Annie's" estate.

pixsidust 2012-08-13 21:50:41 -0500 Report

Correct me if I am wrong Neurontin and Gabapentin are the same thing?
One being generic? That helps me tremendously and movement does as well. In the winter I had to sleep with a heating pad on my legs and am using ice in the summer. Watch your sugar levels as well. Talk to your doctor about upping your dose. Prop your legs up at night too. Make a point to get off them when you can since you are on them all day

paulk1989 2012-08-14 05:20:24 -0500 Report

Didn't know about putting my feet up… I figured not to since circulation would go down working with gravity but ill give it a whirl tonight and see if that helps :), and again thank you everyone for being patient with me and supporting me with all of my issues. I greatly appreciate it :), I'm off to work soon have a blessed day everyone

CJ55 2012-08-16 00:08:42 -0500 Report

Paul, have you tried soaking them in a foot bath? When my feet ache I will soak them in a menthol bath then wrap them up in a warm towel and elevate them. Also, I have used Gold Balm foot lotion that helps as well. Good luck. I hope you can get relief soon. CJ

Caroltoo 2012-08-14 11:56:43 -0500 Report

Elevating your feet helps the fluids flow back to the heart rather than accumulate in the feet and lower part of the legs. Makes it easier on your heart and less painful for your feet. It's not always a quick cure, but after a few nights you may notice a difference.

rivera316 2012-08-13 20:04:54 -0500 Report

I have neuropathy also…the best way for me to relieve the pain is swim daily. I am fortunate to have a pool in my backyard and I live in Florida so I can swim year round. Try going to a qym that has a pool and see if it helpd you, too.

Caroltoo 2012-08-13 13:40:09 -0500 Report

My solution was somewhat counterintuitive. I walked my way through the pain I had in my foot once I determined there was no structural reason for the pain. Exercising increases blood flow which in turn cleans out the toxins in our cells and brings in fresh oxygenated blood. All in all, it gives each cell a better chance to do what it is supposed to do to get or keep us healthy.

Yes, at first it hurts, sometimes hurts a lot, but, for me, it was worth it. No more foot or leg pain.

paulk1989 2012-08-13 14:27:07 -0500 Report

I do walk around a lot and am on my feet all day at work. been doing a lot of that for a couple months and the pain never subsides

Caroltoo 2012-08-13 19:56:52 -0500 Report

I'm sorry, Paul. Have you talked with your doctor. There are some medications that others here on site have found helpful. I was lucky, I think, because I caught it early. Many don't and it is a big and painful problem for them.

paulk1989 2012-08-13 06:34:22 -0500 Report

How does sodium effect your pain levels?

Caroltoo 2012-08-13 13:36:36 -0500 Report

Sodium causes fluid retention in the cells, the increased cellular weight causes pressure on the nerves creating the message to the brain that says "It's hurting!!"

jayabee52 2012-08-13 11:51:36 -0500 Report

I don't notice much in the way of increasing or decreasing my burning sensation if I eat something salty.

Sorry you have this curse too!

I have noticed a slight reduction of pain levels when I take Alpha Lipolic Acid (ALA). My level of pain seems to reduce when I take 600 mg 3x/day. In addition biotin (part of the group of b vitamins) as I understand ALA burns through naturally occurring Biotin quickly. I also use a synthetic analog of Thiamine (vit, B1) called Benfotamine as I've been told this has helped others.

Since we all metablize the same substances a little differently you may have to play around with the supplements and their dosages to find what works for you.

I pray this has been helpful!


paulk1989 2012-08-13 12:47:35 -0500 Report

I can take the ALA with neurontin? I was taking that for about a month before I went to the ER due to the pain being so bad. its mostly in my feet. and the burning and such and pain is sometimes unbearable…I have my days with it though…today since the neurontin has been the worst by far.

jayabee52 2012-08-13 13:03:59 -0500 Report

Tried to find possible interactions between the two substances and came up with this from Drugs.com ~ http://www.drugs.com/drug-interactions/alpha-... ,

Not satisfied with that I found this here ~ http://www.ehealthme.com/drug-interactions/ne... So there does seem to be interactions between the two, but as everyone metabolizes the same subances a bit differently, your results may be different. It also may depend on the various doses of each medication.

Divabetic79 2012-08-13 05:53:33 -0500 Report

Hi Paul, sorry to hear your suffering from neuropathy. I have had it for about 7 years now and the only cream I have found that eased my pain is called Shea Butter Foot Cream by L'Occitane- http://au.loccitane.com/shea-butter-foot-crea...
You only need a small amount and I find applying it before bed helps me get to sleep and in the morning helps too. Just make sure your feet are dry before walking around to prevent slipping over. I hope this helps, but never stop looking for remedies- good luck!