Diabrettic

Q:

Is soaking my feet in cold water for neuropathy pain safe, or am I possibly causing further damage? I've developed what I assume to be horrible neuropathy in my feet and am up 4-5 times a night because of the pain. Oddly, the pain started after I controlled my blood sugars. I've tried numerous things including 2400mg of gabapentin, tylenol with codeine, Tamazapam, a variety of supplements and nothing has given me any relief except soaking for 5-10 minutes.

Patty Bonsignore

A:

The problem with soaking your feet that often is that it may cause the skin to break down and put you at risk for developing cuts or sores. Any opening in the skin can put you at increased risk for infection. Also, with neuropathy there is usually a loss in the ability to feel extremes in temperature (this applies to both hot and cold). Soaking your feet in hot water is not recommended because you could burn your feet without knowing it. Soaking your feet in cold water, if the water is cold enough, could put you at risk for the opposite problem, frost bite. So, in general, that much soaking of the feet is not recommended. A better option for you would be to see a neurologist -- a physician who specializes in nerve problems. A neurologist can perhaps prescribe different, more effective medine. The fact that your pain is worse now that your blood glucose levels have improved is a good sign, it means your nerves are becoming more sensitive again. Pain can increase for several months after blood glucose levels have improved. This pain should lessen over time, but it can be very frustrating when you are going through it.