Learning About Diabetic Nerve Pain and How to Conquer It

Diabetic Nerve Pain and How to Conquer

diabetic_nerve_pain_centerDiabetes nerve pain is also called neuropathy pain or nerve pain. It starts with numbness in the hands and feet, or cold, tingling and burning sensation.  It generally starts with the toes or fingers and sometimes both at the same time. Neuropathy, defined simply as any damage to the nerves. Peripheral neuropathy is often suffered by diabetes patients and is responsible for pain associated with the symptoms mentioned above in the peripheral area of the body . About 60-70 percent of the people with diabetes are effected. If untreated,  it will be problematic.

To prevent peripheral neuropathy

  • Check your feet and toes daily to detect any bruises, cuts or blisters.
  • Keep feet and toes moistened with lotion. 
  • Wear diabetes socks and shoes, 
  • Cut your nails regularly and not too close and risk cut.
  • Apply life-style management

Plan a strategy of 6 “must” easy steps and stick with it

  1. Eat a balanced diet, and take alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) to improve nerve function.
  2. Exercise to relieve pain, tailor your exercise with a diabetes exercise coach.
  3. Keep Hemoglobin A1c under 7 if all possible.
  4. Quit smoking and limit alcohol drinks to less than 1 serving a day.
  5. Seek alternative pain management first before taking any drugs: this may include acupuncture, hypnosis, relaxation training and biofeedback.
  6. Take over-the-counter (OTC) pain relieve medication by consulting with your pharmacist. This may include, Aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen or neproxen. Caution: OTC medications are drugs which are generally safe to use without a prescription. If not used correctly, they will cause harm. For instance, acetaminophen overdose is a big problem. Do not take more than 4 grams a day, stay under 3 grams is recommended now by many clinicians.

Lastly, if none of the above 6 steps “worked well” for you. The American Society of Pain Educators has a guideline for physicians to prescribe under the term diabetes peripheral neuropathy pain (DPNP). Based on effectiveness of the medications, it ranks the medications into categories,  “highly effective”e and “very helpful”. Duloxetine (Cymbalta) and pregabalin (Lyrica) is considered “highly effective” and gabapentin (Neurontin) and veniafaxine (Effexor) is “very helpful”.

In summary, diabetes nerve pain is a problem and could be relieved by other means than prescription medications alone. All the alternative means stated above should be followed before taking any medication. If you are already on a pain medication and want to take less or none at all, it pays to try these alternative methods.

Brought To You By:
The DDP Medical Writers Staff

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