Brother Raoul


Namaste, Reading your response to one of the questions now I don't know what type I am. I do know that I am insulin dependent, my pancreas does not produce any insulin at all. I have had diabetes for just 5 or 6 years. In the beginning I was very complacent and did not take my disease seriously. At that time I was on metformin. I am just coming to accept and understand diabetes and its complications. I have neuropathy in both feet and my left hand. Is there any relief from it?

Amy Campbell


Neuropathy is a complication of diabetes, and results from damage or injury to nerve fibers. Close to 70 percent of people with diabetes have some type of neuropathy, and the risk increases the longer you have diabetes. There are different kinds of neuropathy, and any nerve in the body (such as the optic nerve in the eye or the vagus nerve in the stomach) may be affected. “Peripheral neuropathy” is the most common type of neuropathy, affecting nerves in the arms, legs and feet. Tingling, numbness, extreme sensitivity to touch, and pain are typical symptoms. The first course of treatment is to bring blood glucose and A1C levels as close to target as possible to prevent further nerve damage. Maintaining good control can also help lessen the severity of symptoms. Neuropathy can’t be cured (yet) but there are effective medications that can help you manage the pain and control other symptoms, depending on the type of neuropathy that you have. These medications include anti-depressants, anti-convulsants, narcotics and topical creams, such as capsaicin. Holistic, or alternative treatments may be helpful, as well, such as acupuncture or alpha lipoic acid, a type of nutrition supplement. Speak with your healthcare provider about your treatment options. Also, foot care is very important if you have peripheral neuropathy, so consider meeting with a diabetes educator to learn about this, if you haven’t done so already.

July 5, 2012 at 6:30 pm