peripheral neuropathy

By haoleboy Latest Reply 2014-03-21 07:12:55 -0500
Started 2014-03-18 19:55:29 -0500

I have been having trouble walking for the past several months (over and above the issue I have thanks to my stroke) and saw a neurologist today. after being poked, prodded and 'electrocuted' the conclusion was peripheral neuropathy.
I'm sure that some of you have experienced the same … what are the prospects of actually reversing the damage? I am working hard to get my a1c under 5.6 (been 5.9 for the past 6 months). any advice or info you'd care to pass on would be appreciated.


23 replies

Glucerna 2014-03-19 17:02:35 -0500 Report

I know this is a difficult diagnosis, Steve. You're right that keeping the best blood sugar control you can is the best way to help neuropathy. You might ask for a referral to a physical therapist to help you figure out the best type of exercise, and also how to walk safely. ~Lynn @Glucerna

GabbyPA 2014-03-19 05:50:27 -0500 Report

I have a rather unconventional offering that has seemed to help me a bit. I drink a tea made from an herb called Skull Cap. It's supposed to help with circulation. I combine it with cinnamon and turmeric and drink about 3 cups of it a day.

There are many pills that deal with the pain of it, but they don't help fix it.

MicNeil 2014-03-19 13:22:46 -0500 Report

Gabby, where would I go to find Skull Cap tea?

GabbyPA 2014-03-20 14:52:14 -0500 Report

It is the dry herb that you would buy. I got mine at an herbal shop. I do suppose you could get it online, but I don't know how you can make sure you are getting good herbs. The shop I go to sells wild crafted herbs, meaning they are not farmed and sprayed with pesticides. The store I use has a website.

What you need to do though is be able to tell them the other medications you are on and supplements so that they can make sure there are not going to be any issues. They are great folks and really know their stuff.

MicNeil 2014-03-20 20:13:49 -0500 Report

What a lovely store ^_^ Wish I could visit it in person. Not possible being from the far other end of the country. Herb prices seemed rather expensive.

GabbyPA 2014-03-21 07:12:55 -0500 Report

Otter is the lady and trout is the guy who run and own the store. They are very neat people. Calming and very helpful. I love the smell of their store.

Herbs can get a bit up there, but you tend to use very little and it does last a long time. I bought about $100 worth of herbs, books and florals in January and have barely made a dent.

diabeticdummy 2014-03-19 00:39:03 -0500 Report

My doctor due to other injuries in life I need low impact workouts recently put me in contact with an water aerobics and swimming sessions good thing I love the water shoulda been a fish but it is working well for me swim everyday and aerobic classes three times a week and cause dr wrote a script insurance pays monthly fees trying to talk them into a lap pool but I don't think will happen soon but who knows

jayabee52 2014-03-18 20:33:57 -0500 Report

Howdy Steve
I had and still have difficulty walking and maintaining my balance due to a TIA, and I went through the whole neurologist thing with the electrodes and the EEG workup

The neuro said "peripheral neuropathy", what I am wondering is if that is due to diabetes or whether it is due to other reasons.

There ARE neuropathies which are from different sources This from Mayo clinic "Peripheral neuropathy can result from problems such as traumatic injuries, infections, metabolic problems and exposure to toxins. One of the most common causes is diabetes." So diabetes is not the ONLY cause. The Mayo article goes on to say "In many cases, peripheral neuropathy symptoms improve with time, especially if the condition is caused by an underlying condition that can be treated." Source ~

I myself have Neuropathy that feels like my legs, from my knees to toes is burning. Both legs. My arms are afflicted from my elbows to fingertips, but to me it feels tingly, kinda like an arm is about to "go to sleep". I thought it was due to diabetes, but I have recently learned that it might be caused by my Kidney disease. I had been searching for medications and suppliments which would affect my level of pain but to no effect. (there are some meds I am too chicken to try, like lyrica. The list of possible side effects frighten me - especially bleeding in the stomach or intestines, which I have been known to do with NSAIDs) So I walk around with every step hurting me. But I don't want to rely on a power chair, because I need to keep active as much as I can.

So Steve there is good news and bad news. The good news is that according to Mayo PN (peripheral neuropathy) "in many cases . . . improve with time." The bad news is that which they do not say in the article, in some cases it does not.

Only time and seeking a solution for your case of PN will tell the tale.

God's best to you


haoleboy 2014-03-18 22:05:20 -0500 Report

Sorry James … he was pretty sure it was due to diabetes as I have had symptoms for a while, Numbness in my feet and hands and loss of temperature sensitivity in my fingers for the past several years. My hands now seem to be normal, but about 6 months ago the numbness in my feet extended to just below my knees. I had been walking (with the aid of a trekking pole) everyday as therapy for my stroke and was up 2 miles a day, using the pole only to negotiate curbs and uneven terrain. now it is a major effort to walk a 1/4 mile relying heavily on the pole (which I am managing to do daily). Pain is not really an issue although I do have a bit of discomfort at night.
I did read the info on the Mayo Clinic site (and several other reputable sources) and my take away is that my best bet is to get my BGL as low as I can and to exercise (looking into non weight bearing options).

jayabee52 2014-03-18 22:16:35 -0500 Report

I concur with the low BG levels and looking into non weight bearing exercise options. Look on youtube for sitting exercises and sitting yoga. I had researched them and found quite a few.

God's best!

haoleboy 2014-03-18 22:25:51 -0500 Report

all over that. found YouTube a great resource while reovering from my stroke (a work in progress).

JaredLahti 2014-03-18 23:29:44 -0500 Report

My dad has it due to late adult onset ms. His doctors have pretty much told him it is not reversible. But I will say even with all the numbness he has he still walks marathons using trekking poles. He is a total beast doing so if I might add.

I would suggest using two poles and just do as much as you can.

haoleboy 2014-03-18 23:39:02 -0500 Report

would that I could Jared. use of my left arm and hand is limited as an after affect of the stroke.
the good news is that we did eliminated MS as the cause of my issues.

harry1 2014-03-18 20:18:32 -0500 Report

I have it in my back down. I just had that emg test done two weeks ago and yes I'll agree with you it six. My doctor has me on lycria 4 times a day. She said that there is no cure but keeping the blood sugars down will help with the pain.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-03-18 20:09:14 -0500 Report

I only have it in my feet. At one point it was so bad it felt like someone was hitting them with a 16lb sledge hammer. When I was diagnosed, my doctor said it would improve. He was correct. Once my blood sugar went down and my A1C got to 6.5 it stopped. Now if my blood sugar gets above 150 it starts.

I don't know if there is a cure but my doctor was going to put me on Lyrica if the pain didn't change. I bought thick soled tennis shoes and kept walking in spite of the pain. I had an aunt who had a stroke and went to Canada the week after she left the hospital. 5 years before her stroke she had open heart surgery to replace a valve. Her belief was that if you can't beat something, find a way to live with it and enjoy life. She kept going until after several strokes she could not walk, talk or see. I miss her because she was my favorite and my inspiration to this day. Good luck and I hope it gets better.

Trudie Ann
Trudie Ann 2014-03-19 03:42:40 -0500 Report

Joyce, I have it in my left leg from my toes all the way up to my thigh. Sometimes in my right toes. But my left leg gives me fits, burning, itching, cramping and some times my knee will just lock up.It seems to do better when I am able to exercise it some. Your Aunt sounds like an awesome person. I wish I had known her, I could use an Aunt like her. All of my Aunts and Uncles lived in different parts of the country. I did meet most of them once when most came to my Grandparents funeral.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-03-19 11:19:03 -0500 Report

My aunt had the worse heart problems of all of her sisters and in the entire family. She never gave up. She raised her three kids, took care of her house and her husband. I loved to go visit them. Her house was the house where all the cousins hung out.
When she was recovering from heart surgery she was told to walk. Within two weeks she could walk from her house to the end of the road which is less than a quarter mile. She would get up in the morning and we would play Monopoly almost all day. I am lucky to have all of my aunts and uncles in one state and they were all 30 minutes away in the county. We had a blast growing up with family and friends. I have one aunt and uncle left and a lot of cousins an we still have fun together.

My legs cramp at night. I just eat some mustard and it goes away. I keep going, I got past the pain and never stopped. Thankfully, now I don't have that problem.

Trudie Ann
Trudie Ann 2014-03-19 15:21:59 -0500 Report

Thank you for sharing Joyce. Yes it sounds like she was a very strong and awesome lady. I am glad for you, I know she brought you joy for knowing her.
I can see sunshine and warmer days ahead. I am ready to go and drench in it. Camping, hiking, boating. I am so glad Spring is finally here ( I hope).
When my leg cramps start I eat a banana for potassium before bed, I always try to find the smallest ones in the store so it won't effect my blood sugar, but now I am going to try mustard. I like mustard, even horseradish, and brown mustard. Thank you for telling me about it.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-03-19 20:12:19 -0500 Report

I collect the packs you get in restaurants and keep them in a jar beside my bed. They come in handy in the middle of the night.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-03-19 22:01:59 -0500 Report

I think so Haoleboy. My uncle use to have muscle cramps really bad and that is what he used. He also would drink a shot of vinegar if he ran out of mustard.

haoleboy 2014-03-19 23:11:10 -0500 Report

ok. I have been taking turmeric supplements (1000 mg a day) for a while now and I have noticed my leg discomfort is better at night. good to know, thanks

Next Discussion: scary day »