Patient Comments: Diabetic Neuropathy - Effective Treatments

Question:

Please describe what treatments have been effective for your diabetic neuropathy. Submit Your Comment

Comment from: paulcope1, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: December 21

These comments seem to address prevention or symptomatic relief of neuropathy. For cure, by addressing the underlying neuropathy, I was advocated alpha-lipoic acid and parenteral C-peptide, amongst others. I am a late-onset (age 67) type 1 diabetes mellitus patient and I have adopted these recommendations for about 10 years now (I am 85). This seems to have halted my neuropathic deterioration and maybe effected some improvement. I feel this is a research field well worth further study.

Comment from: Teri King, 45-54 (Patient) Published: January 24

I have been dealing with diabetic neuropathy for more than four years. I have been a diabetic since 1996 and I suffer also with gastroparesis, and also chronic intestinal pseudo obstruction. However, I take Lyrica 300 mg twice daily for the neuropathy. I have had an increase in weight of almost 25 pounds within 6 to 8 months. But the Lyrica seems to be the only thing that has helped. I also have a feeding tube for which I have had so many replacements, which my doctor says is due to the gastroparesis.

Comment from: mumper, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: January 06

I have had idiopathic neuropathy for 18 months. It is triggered by certain foods and drinks, and exacerbated by stress. Daily use of Forskolin, ALA (alpha lipoic acid), ALCAR (acetyl L-carnitine), evening primrose oil, and fish oil have gotten it under control. A lot of money and time spend researching and experimenting because neurologists and their drugs have been worthless.

Comment from: jeff, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: April 16

I've had periodic neuropathy nerve pain in my hands and feet for 9 months now. I control the pain by decreasing my sugar intake and using oregano oil with P 73 at bedtime and it works well. Wipe down hand and feet with rubbing alcohol and apply the oregano oil.

Comment from: MissyGayle, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 07

The best and just about only effective treatment for my diabetic neuropathy has been Neurontin, Lyrica and an opioid pain reliever. One does not work without the other. Anyone who says they get relief with just an opioid pain reliever is not suffering from neuropathy, in my opinion. I have had neuropathy for 22 years and believe I have tried every treatment known.

Comment from: Wilrob64, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: June 20

I'm on long acting and short acting insulin. Lately I have had tinging in both feet from diabetic neuropathy. My blood glucose is high, 250 to 340 on average.

Comment from: Grace, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 14

I have been experiencing tingling in my fingers and toes for the past 4 months. I finally realized what the cause was; uncontrolled blood sugar, for years. Although I've been trying to change to a low-carb diet, the tingling has worsened to numbness and cramping in the calf/feet at night. I'm going to look into acupuncture and Chinese herbs as I'm seeing people find relief through it for diabetic neuropathy. You might want to give it a try, but of course find someone licensed, not certified. Also I've been taking chelated magnesium (glycinate) at night (400 mg). This has also helped immensely. I doubt I could sleep without it.

Comment from: Rchris52, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 05

I was on metformin for about 5 years as a pre-diabetic. Recently I was put on steroids for a back injury. I was not aware that it would put me in a diabetic state. Now I am on Amaryl and metformin. I have a yeast infection and also constant internal itching in the evening and getting worse. I am losing my mind because I can't sleep.

Comment from: AZ_Engineer, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: August 07

I am 66 and have had diabetic neuropathy for about 15 years now. I have tried Lyrica and other medicines, but the results were modest at best. Lyrica has the annoying side effect of making me dizzy and causing me to stagger. On very bad days, I borrowed (or bought illegally) Oxycontin, which covered the pain by simply masking it. The best treatment, and the one I use again after a couple of years of trying everything else, is high dosages of EPO (evening primrose oil). I usually take 15 (1,300mg) capsules. There are no side effects. The herb simply seems to soothe the damaged nerves better than anything else, even Oxycontin. The cost is negligible, too. I have recently discovered that Queen Elizabeth took a large draught of EPO every evening, as it was considered to be the "Royal Herb." My daily costs for my dosage are about $0.34. I have been on EPO for at least eight of the last 15 years. Incidentally, I am able to work full time as a product development engineer. Despite the severity of the neuropathy, I lead a full, rich life. I am able to walk and get a good night's sleep. I am not addicted to anything, nor do I plan to be. Warning: Be aware that most doctors are not equipped to treat diabetic foot sores. Go to a foot-wound specialist. Over the years, I developed one wound that took a long time to heal, and it was incompetence that made it so. I have no doubt that anyone trying EPO will be helped immensely. Start off slow (four capsules per day), then increase the level to 14 to 15 per day. You will see relief within a week, not immediately.

SLIDESHOW

Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy: Improve Diabetes Nerve Pain See Slideshow
Comment from: fwoodswoman, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 04

I use Lyrica. I am very fortunate to be able to afford it, but only because my insurance covers it. It is the only thing that has helped with my neuropathy pain. I have the "millions of bee stings" feeling in my feet all of the time, which sometimes goes to my knees. If not for the Lyrica (and I tried other treatments), I would have gone nuts by now. I have been diagnosed with diabetes since I was 19; I am now 47. The problem is my diabetes has been under control. I hate it when people believe my neuropathy was because of ill-control. My doctor says it just happens sometimes. I'm now starting to have weak muscles in my legs; which I am told is because of the neuropathy. I look at it as, "At least it's not cancer." I keep on keepin' on. I love the outdoors and have had to change my ways of doing things, but I still do them!

Comment from: mrwell, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: March 18

In the 30"s a German scientist discovered that a man made water soluble B vitamin helped with neuropathy of cancer patents on chemotherapy. I tried it and bingo it works for type 2 diabetes neuropathy as well. It’s called benfotiamine.

Comment from: Kch1, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 20

I've recently read that alpha lipoid acid (ALA) can really help with diabetic neuropathy. I know it helped me, but I'm sensitive and broke out in hives. I’m not sure it was the ALA, so I’m going to try it again when I can be off work several days.

Comment from: pippa, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: October 15

I am 66 years old and have had type II diabetes for 14 years. My balance is off, I get funny pulsing headaches and my feet are swollen. I have just been put on Lyrica and it somewhat helps. Other things I have tried are APR cream, a lidocaine based rub, voltaren - another rub, primrose oil gels, ibuprofen, Tylenol 3 with codeine added (very good; one 30mg pill can last 24 hours), foot massages, sometimes 3 times a day (if done gently, it can desensitize the foot pain), and lastly I purchased an electrical device one puts one’s feet on so an electrical current stimulates the foot, called the revitalize, which is quite helpful at times.

Comment from: Shivashanker, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: October 08

I had all symptoms of diabetic neuropathy, which I have been able to control almost 90% with: 1) Bringing down the sugar level by totally avoiding sugar, and 2) Using 100% pure coconut oil, which should be applied on the affected area at least twice a day, i.e., after taking a bath and before going to sleep. But the most important thing is the purity of the coconut oil, which matters a lot. As there is no side effect or any such thing, if tried, I am sure it will give good relief.

Comment from: bigdirtygirl, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 27

I'm a 36-year-old woman who found out that I was diabetic about five years ago. For about eight years now, I've been in the worst pain ever in my life. I was having problems with both of my feet being numb before I found out what was a matter with me, that it was diabetic neuropathy. I take Lyrica and Percocet, and still that has no effect on my feet. People think I'm crazy when I say my feet are numb but, they hurt so bad I can't stand it. I also just got both of my big toes amputated at the beginning of the year, so pay close attention to your feet. It still feels as if they are still there, too.

Comment from: MPLonestar, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: July 01

A diabetic since 1997, I rapidly developed neuropathy even though my glucose levels were under control. At first, Neurontin helped considerably but that soon became useless. Then along came Lyrica, a drug with no generic equivalent. As a veteran I get my prescriptions at the VA but being non-service connected, I have to have private insurance, which the VA bills for compensation. AETNA refuses to cover Lyrica as it’s too expensive and will only allow me half the dosage of Neurontin my physician wants me to have. So I'm stuck with no relief and as a result my quality of life is diminished. I suffer from sleep deprivation and constant pain. My doctor is well aware of this, but his hands are tied as he can prescribe anything I need, but insurance decides what I can have.

Comment from: D., 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: May 12

I have had type 2 diabetes for 12 years. I started using capsaicin topical analgesic cream and vitamin B-6 and E to ease the pain of neuropathy. It worked for a while. Then when the neuropathy worsened, I was given Pamelor. The side effects were so bad, I almost died. Then I was given 300 mg of gabapentin, three times a day. Nothing happened. The neuropathy got worse. They increased the gabapentin to the maximum dose. It still did not work on the pain. So they dropped the dose back to 600 mg, twice a day. I continue to take it, but it does nothing for my pain. I have to take two caplets of non-aspirin pain reliever PM just to try to sleep at night. Sometimes I am up all hours of the night rubbing capascin cream on my feet to stop the pain. My doctor then put me on propoxyphene N 100/APAP 650 mg tabs. Unless I take this before the pain starts, it does not help. Now I am getting the neuropathy in my hands and was prescribed naproxen 500 mg tabs, which is not helping a great deal. My hands are getting stiff, and I do not have much feeling in my fingers. I am going back to the doctor to see if there is anything else I can try. During the course of all this, I damaged my right ankle. I hope there is something I can get from the Veterans Administration for this pain. I do not look forward to bedtime, because I know I will be up in pain. I was told today at the foot doctor that there is a new treatment involving blue laser light. I will find out soon if it might help and what it is exactly.

QUESTION

What is diabetic peripheral neuropathy? See Answer
Comment from: ladyelf578, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 31

I have had diabetic neuropathy symptoms for about six years now. I have been on Cymbalta, Neurontin, Lyrica, Wellbutrin, and Paxil. The antidepressants made me into a couch potato; I did nothing and have little memory of two years of my life. The Neurontin, Lyrica and Wellbutrin made me vomit every night about an hour after falling asleep. I have state-provided health coverage, which in some cases is the same as having none. I have received all of the above drugs through the patient-assistance programs and have had to pay nothing. I quit smoking six months ago and now have COPD to cope with. My legs got tired just walking up stairs. Now I get short of breath too!

Comment from: Bald Eagle, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: July 06

The patient is a type 2 diabetic, and his doctor is not a diabetic specialist. A few years ago he developed unsteadiness in his walk, to the point of having to use a Rollator. He seemed to improve over time and started walking with a cane off and on. He doesn't really feel any pain, but has numbness in his hands. He had back surgery (for spinal stenosis) but that didn't change things much. He has gone to several different specialists but none have figured out what is going on. Recently he sat with his legs crossed for about 45 minutes and now he can hardly walk. He can't seem to raise his foot high enough to take a normal step.

Comment from: Its too much., 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 17

It is too much, I cannot take it anymore. My diabetic neuropathy has gotten to the point, nothing seems to work. My feet, I want to chop off! I feel like that’s it, no more! I started thinking, it is time to go; at least I won’t hurt anymore. I don’t know what to use or do for the pain. I am at my end of sanity.

Comment from: 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 05

I've had neuropathy for the past year. My doctor has me on Lyrica 100 mg three times a day and Cymbalta 60 mg once a day. I know for a fact that the Lyrica works because my insurance didn't want to pay for Lyrica and made me go on gabapentin. I was in terrible pain without the Lyrica. Finally, my doctor put in for a prior authorization and got me back on Lyrica. I'm also taking Cymbalta for my neuropathy. The combination of the two seems to work, but I still have pain every day in my feet and my hands. I get these electrical shocking sensations in my hands, and my feet always feel like they're swollen, even if they're not swollen. I don't think there is any one drug to help with the nerve pain of neuropathy. Lyrica works, but there are a lot of side effects (for example, sleepiness, vision problems, weight gain, some memory loss or just forgetting what you want to say. We'll all just have to take it one day at a time. That's all we can do! Take care everyone!

Comment from: bigdpoker3, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: October 05

I am a 40-year-old male, and I have had type 1 diabetes for 21 years. I was very athletic until about 10 years ago. It is very hard for me to walk, and I can't even run anymore because of my diabetic neuropathy. My pain goes from my lower back all the way to my feet. I have also been in 14 diabetic comas. Those are no fun! You can hear everything around you but you cannot move, talk, or do anything. If you ever thought you were helpless, let me tell you that is as helpless as you can get. I am on all kinds of meds, but my prayer to whoever reads this is don't make the same mistake I did! Check your blood sugar daily about five to six times, and eat a good diet. I ruined my life by not taking care of my diabetes. Please do not do the same! I hope this helps anyone who reads it.

Comment from: Susan, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 05

I have been a type 2 diabetic for 12-plus years, have neuropathy in my feet, and I'm starting to have it in my hands. Cooling of my feet has been a temporary fix. I was standing in a small creek while my husband dredged and that night I didn't have the nightly foot pain. I have been soaking a pair of socks with cool water, squeezing them out, putting them on my feet, and placing a Ziploc (large one) over my feet. Then I can do other things while the socks are on...30 to 45 minutes will usually do the job. I hope this helps.

Comment from: lilbit, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 05

I have peripheral and autonomic neuropathy. I have been on Neurontin, Lyrica, Ultram, and OxyContin over the years for my pain. My current doc refuses to prescribe anything but Neurontin and Lyrica, which have lost all effectiveness and have the worst side effects. Ultram helps but, because of the addiction factor, the doc refuses to give it to me. My feeling is that I will be taking these types of meds for the rest of my life and so is this enough of a reason to keep me from having some relief?

Comment from: judeye, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 24

I have the typical diabetic neuropathy in both my feet. I feel numbing, cold, and needles, but in my case, it’s not unbearable, which is good because I have reactions to every medication we have tried. Now, I am having really bad pain in my right foot. It’s about an 8 on the pain scale. It hurts worse when I have to walk or I am making dinner. X-rays show nothing.

Comment from: Walt, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: March 24

I tried Lyrica for my diabetic neuropathy. It helped for a while, but I developed swelling in my left hand, arm, and ankle, which is one of the side effects of Lyrica. As I have had a stroke that affected my left side, that's probably the reason the swelling was only on the left. After a while, the Lyrica wasn't doing a very good job, so I quit using it. It is expensive; however, I was getting it through my doctor by the patient-assistance program. I have not tried Cymbalta yet but plan to discuss this with my doctor at my next visit.

Comment from: mchappell1, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 12

For my diabetic neuropathy, the combination of Cymbalta and Hydrocodone helped a lot with the pain. Unfortunately, I lost my job, and therefore my insurance. I can't afford either one of my medications now. CVS's price for a month's supply of Cymbalta is $290. There’s no way I can pay that without a job. The Hydrocodone was $4 with insurance, but my prescription ran out.

Comment from: jasonedw, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: August 17

My diabetic neuropathy is like a shooting feeling to my feet, but I would not describe it all like pain. It is more like a tickle that makes my feet and/or toes want to curl up. I also have bad aching in my calves from time to time, but I was told to lie on my back and raise up my leg to stretch my hamstring, and then bend back my foot toward me to further stretch the calves. This works very well only a little at the time, but after doing it for days, the pain always goes away.

Comment from: tiredofpain, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 08

I am currently trying to find relief from my leg pain. It starts at my ankle and continues up my leg. I tried Lyrica with no luck. It made me tired and I felt like I was in a fog. At first it seemed to help but then the help went away. The last Rx I tried was Gabapentin. I never felt any relief. At night and first thing in the morning I had nausea and vomiting. I now am trying Nortriptyline. I haven't taken enough for a response. There is nothing worse than the burning, stinging, shooting pains unless you count people thinking your making more of the pain than needs be. I just hope they never experience Neuropathy!

Comment from: Susan, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 05

I have been having the electric shooting pains in my feet for around 10 years. I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes just 2 years ago. I was eating too many starches of all kinds. I stopped eating them with meals, just maybe as snacks. I eat large salads with only lettuces and some other vegetable for a little bit extra crunch. I started walking and lost 25 lbs in 3 months. I have been very lazy/busy for a long while and have to get back to the walking part. The peripheral Neuropathy in my feet has lessened in frequency. The episodes only lasted for three agonizing days at a time. I went to a seminar with several doctors. They suggested I use a Novocaine based cream on it. I got the prescription strength and when the beginning tickle feeling starts I put on a little bit of the cream and then a burn bandage, which is waterproof, and change it daily for 3 days. It seems to help. I did not get the other drugs as this problem does not happen all the time, Thank God. I sure hope that if I keep my glucose levels down that this will stop eventually. I have lost some feeling in the skin of my feet, the ball and tips of my toes. I check them daily when I put on the moisturizer and there is no damage yet, other than the numbness.

Comment from: furtrader, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: May 27

I have diabetes 2, COPD, pulmonary fibrosis, peripheral neuropathy, congestive heart failure, only 29% function in my kidneys (total), and as a final kick in the teeth, I have Parkinson’s. I am a 65 year old male, and am being treated by the VA. They have recently put me on 100 mg Lyrica, once a day. It helps, but wears off by evening. The pain manifests itself as a burning sensation, and it feels as if I am walking barefoot on rocks. I occasionally find I am excessively drowsy, and have dozed off in the middle of a sentence, but I am still on top of the grass.

Comment from: furtrader, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: May 26

I have diabetes 2, COPD, pulmonary fibrosis, peripheral neuropathy, congestive heart failure, only 29% function in my kidneys (total), and as a final kick in the teeth, I have Parkinson’s. I am a 65 year old male, and I am being treated by the VA. They have recently put me on 100 mg Lyrica, once a day. It helps, but wears off by evening. The pain manifests itself as a burning sensation, and it feels as if I am walking barefoot on rocks.

Comment from: 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 06

I have been a type 1 for 35 years now. The tighter control you have and quit smoking if you smoke greatly improves neuropathy. I have had neuropathy for 10 plus years. I was told that the pain will burn it self out eventually. I still take a moderate dose of Elavil at bed time. I also run cold water from the bathtub over my feet before going to bed. The trick is not to over stimulate them. Let them air dry and keep them cool. I hope this helps you.

Comment from: laser, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: September 25

I am a diabetic for 15 years and I now have a burning in my thigh area which has been diagnosed as Diabetic Neuropathy. My blood glucose is pretty much under control for a week now.

Comment from: just me, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: September 25

The only treatment I've been given is the medication Lyrica. It eases the severe pain so I can sleep at night, but it by no means takes ALL the pain away. It's also expensive.

Comment from: cathie, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 25

I have been a diabetic for 25 years. In the past few years, the pain in my legs and feet has been unbearable. Sometimes I thought I could not even move. I was given samples of Lyrica and it seemed to help relieve some of the pain, but I could not afford it.

Comment from: Windstorm, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 25

My Doctor has sent me to a pain clinic to deal with the awful pain in my left hip. They are doing blocks, then a final treatment, where electric impulses deaden those nerves for up to a year. I also have pain in my left arm and carpal tunnel in the right. Please take your diabetes seriously. I didn’t and now I am paying for it with pain that has about put me down.

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