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In the next few weeks, I'd like to focus on diabetic neuropathy. Diabetic neuropathy is the most common serious complication of diabetes. Many people with diabetes eventually develop some form of nerve damage, a condition known as diabetic neuropathy.
Depending on the affected nerves, symptoms of diabetic neuropathy can range from pain and numbness in your extremities to problems with your digestive system, urinary tract, blood vessels and heart. For some people, these symptoms are mild; for others, diabetic neuropathy can be painful, disabling, and even fatal.
What causes neuropathy? The human body has a complex system of nerves running through it. These nerves connect your brain/spinal cord to nerves in muscles, skin, and other organs in your body. Through these nerves your brain senses sensations, such as pain and temperature. Also, these nerves control muscles, and other autonomic functions such as regulating the heart, digestion, bladder, sweating mechanism and blood pressure.
How does high blood sugar factor into this neuropathy? Prolonged exposure to high blood sugar (glucose) can damage delicate nerve fibers. High blood sugar interferes with the ability of nerves to transmit signals and also weakens the wall of small blood vessels that supply the nerves with oxygen and nutrients. Other factors that may contribute to diabetic neuropathy include: the immune system, genetic factors, smoking and alcohol abuse.
Blood sugar control is the key to preventing or slowing the development of diabetic neuropathy.
Next week I'll discuss peripheral neuropathy. This neuropathy damages nerves in feet, legs, arms and hands. A patient once told me that his feet hurt so much at night from the neuropathy pain, he would walk barefoot on the cold garage floor looking for relief. I'm not recommending this, but it's an example of how desperate people can get.
Please share your experiences with diabetic neuropathy.
Regards and have a great week,
Nancy Klobassa Davidson, R.N.
Peggy Moreland, R.N.
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Jean: Discuss your diabetes with your doctor. He or she may or may not recommend an endocrinologist depending on your situation. Also ask to meet with a certified diabetes educator and a dietician who can educate you on how to best manage your blood sugar.
Thank you, in advance if you can give some insight to my delimema. I have been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes for 6 years. There are dark reddened areas on my legs where poor circulation has damaged my skin. Is this reversable? Can I stop it from getting worse? Also, I fell not too long ago and now have fluid on my knee cap and the numbness and tingling has worsened severely. My question is what kind of physician do I need to see to take care of my Diabetes?
I am a type 2 diabetic from Canada and it was the neuropathic pain, tingling and burning, which finally led to a diagnoses of diabetes. I also suffer from seasonal affective disorder, leading to seasonal weight gain, sleep disturbance and depression. My pharmacist recommended a topical oil called neuragen, after I went through tons of peppermint foot cream, pain meds etc. It worked well enough and once my sugars were controlled, I put it in olive oil and massaged my feet with it. I only get foot pain if I drink red wine. I also now have a spot on my right thigh that goes numb and tingle painful if I am on my feet too long. I find it hard to walk for any length of time, but can swim. Hope this helps. You do have to watch your blood sugars or the neuropathy will continue to worsen.
Have been taking "Alpha Lipoic Acid" for 6 mo. Now with good relief, along with exercise & keeping sugars under control
I was wondering if there is a connection between Type-I diabetes and cognitive deficits.
My dr constantly saying i have diabetic neuropathy as im a type 1 brittle diabetic for 29yrs. I suffer from excruciating and debilitating joint pain. Pain made worse with cold temperatures changes in weather and increased movement. I do not however have any pain tingling or feeling loss in any part of my body....can neuropathy present with pain only and deep within joint areas?
my feet hurt so bad at night that i cant sleep the pain is so great that i cry because there is no relief thank god its not every night I know if its going to be a bad night when my shoes feel tighter and i have slight burning that worsens as the night progresses I have been taken Neuratin it know longer helps
I have neuropathy in my feet. Trying to sleep at night can be a nightmare. My Dr. prescribed Ambien since I also have trouble sleeping. I have to say it helps. However, just sitting in a recliner is uncomfortable. Because of this problem my balance is terrible and walking without assistance is impossible.
My legs are breaking out into open sores and itch. I have been having tests of 7.5 to 9 a1c. I still have all my feelings. what should I do?
I have had symptoms of diabetic neuropathy for about two years now, getting steadily worse. I've known that I am diabetic, but I was only just diagnosed officially about three months ago. Walking any distance is so difficult for me, and the pain in both feet is excruciating. I am only 47, and can't tolerate neurontin or lyrica. I am worried that one day soon the pain will be so bad that I can't walk without assistance. I'm embarrassed to use a cane, and quite frankly, don't even see how a cane can help. Last time I was at the beach, as soon as I put my feet in the water my legs went out from under me and I needed to be rescued. I could not walk on the sand without excruciating pain or tolerate the temperature of the water, so I don't think cold floors are the answer for me either. The worst part of all of this is that I don't think my doctors (primary or neuro) take me seriously. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
I have had diabetes (Type I) for 28 years now and just started to be seriously effected by Nueropathy in my feet and legs. I do the cold floor trick almost every night. Sometimes I just turn the facet on and let the cold water run over my feet. I take the Gabepentin 3 xs a day, and struggle to keep my blood glucose under control. It is very difficult with a full-time job and family. Exercise is key!!
I currently take care of a gentleman that has diabetes and he also has nueropathy. He has had it so bad that he will not get out of bed for days at a time. He is currently on gabapentin 3 times a day which helps and he was taking a very high dose of pain meds, until i educated him on blood glucose control. Now that he looks at every bit of food that he intakes and only allows himself to eat a certain amount of food a day that has sugar in it Now he has control over his glucose levels and his pain meds have went down to two a day with the gabapentin 3 times a day. He stated to me that noone had every gave himt the information that i did so he could understand what he was doing to his body. So in conclusion nueropathy does not need to be so painfull, take a look at what you eat how many times you check your glucose levels how much you do without taking a break. And please what what sugar you put in your body.
Lois: As Nancy wrote: "Blood sugar control is the key to preventing or slowing the development of diabetic neuropathy. Is your blood sugar high? We recommend that you work with your health care team to get your blood glucose under control.
I recommend the book to all "NO More Heart Disease" by Dr Lou Ignarro. As a wellness coach I know that Nitric Oxide (NO), something our bodies can create, helps with neuropathy. Check out this blog on Alpha-Lipoic acid an important antioxidant when it comes to neuropathy as well.
Well, I have diabetes and my symptoms are neurophathy. I had the numbness in my right foot for about a year or so. I thought that blood was building up in my toes making it sore. So I asked the Doctors was it blood trying to squeez out of my toes. This is when I found out that it was just like my mothers symptoms Then I started to get the numbness in my legs a couple fingers. I just got the numbness in my left leg about two weeks ago very painful. How do I stop this from getting worse? My husband is diabetic also and he doesn't have the symptoms that I do. I love sweets do I really have to give up sweets to change the effects of this disease?
march 5, 2012
I was diagnosed with Diabetes in May of 2010. In June I lost half of my left big toe. My feet have hurt for years but lately the pain has become so bad and my quality of life so bad some days I just want to die. I have very little health insurance Nuerotin doesn't work what does
I have had severe foot and leg pain that wakes me up every night for the past year. I have to get up and walk on the cold kitchen floor to get some relief, and even then it doesn't take all the pain away. I have been diagnosed with neuopathy, and am currently being teated with pain killers. However they only last 4 hrs, leading to broken sleep and fatigue during the day. i am currently seeking a pain management clinic to help control the pain. It has gotten progessivly worse over the past year to the point I'm willing to try anything for relief. I'm already taking Lyrica,however it has been losing it's effectivness lately. Pain pills have been helpful but only for about 4 hrs. I need help!
I am sixty years old and have type II diabetes. I never had neuropathy until I went through cisplatin and etoposide chemotherapy for testicular cancer last year. After the final course of chemo the neuropathy became excruciating. Then found out I have spinal deterioration also made worse by cisplatin. Neurontin doesn't seem to make things much better. I use Lidoderm patches on my lower back which helps. I am thankful that the cancer has been in remission for a year!
my nerve sensations are much worse in the afternoon and evening than during the morning . i have lost weight, i watch my diet, but it seems that no matter what i eat, i still have the sensations. it is discouraging to me that nothing seems to change by losing the weight and changing my diet. help...does anyone have something to offer....walking helps change the sensations but sometimes walking makes it worse. i don't use medications that are offered because i had rather take the sensations than use the meds.
i have had diabetes type 1 for 50 yrs. take 5 shots a day and a1c is 7.5 to 8. cant sleep at night because my upper arms hurt down to my wrists. taking 150 sulindac (clinoril) once a day and sometimes advil pm, but dr does not want me to take advil because of kidneys. dont know what will work and dont think drs. really know how much pain i am in. its been ten years now of pain and i sure wish i knew what i could take. i was always active but now cant do much without a lot of pain at night. dont even know if this is neuropathy, or some kinda deficiency.
Hello, Ive had the t1 diabetes for 39 years,I am 44 at the moment. Growing up with this, I was always active in sports,staying in good physical condition with good health into my adult life. When the 35 year mark, I had started to get neuropathy symptoms, Now at this time, I have experienced alot of severe pain from feet to the backside of the upper arms, I do believe the worst problem I just dont like to deal with is the head and neck sweating during meals,when I even smell food break out into a sweat, this has caused me to lower my food intake some. In turn have lost some weight, I'm not a big man what-so- ever,maintained the same weight bracket for over 25 years. 135 now 126 ,trying to get back the weight,yet, hard to do.
Hi, I am 65 and determined to get rid of my neuropathy and sciatica. About 5-6 months ago my podiatrist put me on Metanx--it controls the burning. Vitamin B12 (1000 mg) also seems to help. Capasin roll-on ointment gives some relief. I am working my way up to 900 mg of Neurontin at the moment, too. It did seems to help in the past. Sometimes ice baths provide relief. I sleep with socks on to keep my feet warm for circulation reasons. For the sciatica I have had one cortisone shot of three, and the first one helped two days with my back.
I have to use a cane a bit right now. Oh, my A1c is perfectly controlled at 5.7, so I do not understand all my problems. Not really overweight, either!!
I am a 54 year old with type 2 diabetes. I was diagnosed because of the awful neuropathy in my feet. I have been taking neurotin and it helps some. My blood sugar is uner control now (5.7). I noticed some nights having terrible pain, others not so much, and figured it must be environmental. When I quit eating peanuts things got a lot better - until I ate some chicken wings fried in ... peanut oil. That night was awful. Stopping that has made my life a lot better - still some pain but a LOT less. Not using a cane any more. No idea if this will help anyone else.
my feet were bothering me so bad at night that i screwed a bookcase to the head board so my feet would be off the end of the bed. I smacked my head twice and drew blood so i turned the bookcase around and stapled 2 pillows to it. It does help and i am getting use to it.
My 63 yr old mom has had diabetes since 1998. About 4 yrs ago she started with numbness in her foot and it slowly progressed up the entire right side of her body...she went from cane to walker to wheelchair (she declined quickly since Jan. 11) to basically being unable to take care of herself. The kicker is she still hasn't been diagnosed with neuropathy. Testing by every kind of doctor (neurologist is now thinking all this is from diabetes, seriously!!)I can think of has and is still being done, with a nerve/muscle test next. Her diabetes is out of control and she's fading fast. With control of this disease, I am wondering if she would be able to gain any of the quality of life she had before.
recently diagnosed with type 2 a1c were 13. my feet were tingly but not painful My a1c 3 months later were 6.8. however, the foot pain is much worse now, especially at nite. will this pain subside now that my sugar levels are controlled? seems it getting worse
I was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes in 1998 and am now told I have Diabetic Neuropathy. However the symptoms don't seem to fit. Both my legs, both feet, and my hips tingle when I lay down, but at no other time, and there is no pain at all. Also, the side I lay on seems to tingle more that the other slightly.
From what I have been reading it sounds like something else to me.
My Internist and a Podiatrist both diagnosed me with out doing any tests or real exams. Once I mentioned Diabetes, I was diagnosed with Diabetic Neuropathy.
I would like to know if there are any tests that would confirm Diabetic Neuropathy, or rule it out? I'd like once and for all to find out the cause of this problem, and treat it if possible.
I have had 2 back surgeries, 2 & 10 years ago, for sciatica and both helped but were not totally successful. I still have problems, but the tingling just started about 2 months ago.
Problem is, they won't consider my back being the cause, or anything else, because they've already diagnosed me with Diabetic Neuropathy!
Thank You for your help!
My blood sugar levels appear to be normal, but I seem to have many symptoms that could be considered with diabetes: left leg circulation very bad and painful, blindness when the lights go out, dry skin (hands and face), excessive thirstiness, and constant yeast infections. Is there anything else I can do to find out what might be causing this? My doctor seems to just disregard everything I tell her.
Does soaking Feet in epson salts with hot water relieve pain from neuropathy. Could this be healing also
Just posted about our granddaughter ..she was diagnosed at 3yr. with Type 1 diabetes and is now 9 1/2
Can you please tell me if it is possible for a 9 1/2 year old to develop diabetic neuropathy? Our granddaugter has been having bad pain in arms and legs recently.
my toes feel like broken glass from neuropathy from type 2 diabetes.medical marajuana helps me indure the pain.honestly i can't say that it decreases my pain physically or from a altered mental state,but it definitely gives me relief from my pain.
I am diabetic type I for over 50 yrs. I have developed the most excruiating pain in my right ring finger. My MD says its a combination of neuropathy and nerve damage frost bite from 40 yrs ago.
Three nerve blocks: no relief.
Gabapentin: no relief.
Niacin 250 mg: no relief.
Please: anyone out there with a suggestion, write to me....
I too have such pain in my feet that I walk on a cold floor just to maybe help stop the burning.
I take 800mg 4x a day and I still cannot go to the grocery store.
It is everywhere. Including my face.
Is there a vitamin that I can take to help the nerves.
I have been a type 1 diabetic for 38 years and have had neuropathy for about 8-10 years. Started with the numbness in my feet and progressed up to just above my knees. My doctors at Mayo put me on Neurontin and my local doctors have increased the dosage to now 300mg three times a day. That seems to take the edge off for now but as with most everyone else I have many nights I don't sleep when the stabbing pain starts in my feet. Because of the many years with the neuropathy I developed Charcot's foot and a couple of the bones in my right foot are malformed. I haven't talked to my doctors yet about any pain meds but I am getting to the point I'm going to have to go that route pretty quick. The joys of diabetes -- but I'm still kicking so I can't complain too much -- I should follow that up with the word YET.
I have been a diabetic for 20 + years. I remember when I was about 17-23 age I became aware of my condition and finally diagnosed approx 23 years old. My father was type 2 and for years he would walk for what seemed 3 hours a night every night because he couldn't sleep and he eventually had to sleep away from my mom in a separate room as to not disturb her. I did not fully comprehend the impact of neuropathy until I got it myself. When my dad died suddenly from a diabetic complication, I wish now that I could have talked with him about it. I now know from hindsight and my fight with this illness that he had to sleep almost the entire weekend away so he could keep awake at his job, a very high clearance Naval career that he was so dedicated to. My experience with neuropathy has taught me some painful lessons. Prevention (PN) is possible but not a guarantee. Diabetic BS control is absolute and should stave off the eventual neuropathy, but my point here is if I could not comprehend his pain, imagine how hard it can be to understand this incredibly complex symptom in a hospital setting such as ketoacidosis which somehow seems to make the neuropathy so bad that I honestly wished/bargained in my mind to have my legs taken. I had pain from my wrists to my acromial area feel like my "funny bone" was permanently on etc.
I have been a diabetic for 10years and also suffer from diabetic neuropathy. I have endured the burning and stabbing pain in my feet and have found nothing that helps.. but this is just a warning about how inspection ofyour feet can save you. Recently, I was having increased pain around my sandal strap and on inspection saw a small black dot on the side of my big toe. It felt like a splinter and when I tweezed it I found that a misplaced sewing needle had pierced my big toe and lodged itself through my big toe and into my 2nd toe. Astounding.. that I felt no pain until my toe got infected and started to swell. ( The infection was severe and I almost lost my toe.) The moral of the story is .. wear your shoes or slippers ALL the time .. and inspect your feet daily with a mirror to the bottom. While a sheet or carpet can feel like sandpaper, a needle or sharp object can go unnoticed.
why hasnt anyone mentioned medical marijuana
Has anyone ever tried the ReBuilder to control pain for neuropathy? Don't know if it's a false ad or if it really helps.
I have been a Type II Diabetic for 20 years. In the past 5 years I have developed peripheral neuropathy and was having difficulty sleeping at night because of the pain. I found some lotion: Diabetaid, at Wal-Mart that helped, but smelled like the old ladies from church when I was a kid! Then I talked to my Dr. and she put me on Lyrica, but it made me pack on the weight so we changed to Savella and I am losing the weight and the pain is manageable. It feels like I am walking in sand all the time and sometimes like bees are stinging my feet, but at least I can sleep at night as long as my feet are out of the covers. I have trouble with shoes and wear sandals all the time. I know, but I'm very careful and inspect my feet daily.
I am trying hard to live with diabetic neuropathy that came on fast and advanced very quickly. All I can tell people with diatetes is to please please try and control your levels at all times. After several years of out of control levels I went through other medical problems that required strong pain meds...kidney stones and rotator cuff surgery. When those were taken care of I kept trying to tell my doctor I was feeling pain everywhere. It took me almost a year to get him to listen to me. He thought I had just become addicted to the pain meds. I now have neuropathy in my feet legs hands arms ribs tailbone. I can not stand to be touched anywhere as it causes horrible pain. Even a sheet on me at night hurts everywhere. Several mths ago I had open heart and when I woke I wanted the air tube out so I could tell them the pain I was in-not from the surgery but from the neuropathy. Laying still so long and the blankets they had on me were hurting me so bad. After surgery I was unable to even do cardiac rehab because of the neuropathy. What I have found is that most doctors do not understand the pain of neuropathy. That stay in the hospital for my heart finally opened my doctor's eyes to the amount of pain I was living with. My chest was minor pain in comparison. I now take Methadone which does help reach a pain level I can survive on. More doctors need to be educated about neuropathy pain and patients need to learn what can happen if you do not control your BS now.
I've been a type 2 diabetic for at least 15 of my 77 years. Peripheral neuropathy has affected me somewhat for 3 or 4 years. Having sharp foot pains in bed is alleviated at least 80% by keeping my feet extra warm with added blankets and heavy socks.
I use an exercise machine called Exerciser 2000 Elite twice a day. It has reduced the neuropathy in my feet 99%. If I miss 2 or 3 days of exercise the neuropathy will return intermittently but the exercise has really helped the circulation. I am a type 2 diabetic.
Thank you for your information. I appear to have neuropathy in my right foot and will work with my podiatrist to find a means to reieve the discomfort. I am a type 2 diabetic.
I have type 2 diabetes and I have have neuropathy in my feet.It feels like my toes are scalded and burning. My husband used to massage them but that doesn't work any more. Sometimes I use A535 Roll-on and it helps for a while but night time is the worst. I also have swelling and pain in my hands but thought it was arthritis but maybe it's neuopathy also.
I FOUND A SURE CURE FOR ME____IT IS A PRODUCT CALLED ANODYNE THERAPY___CK GOOGLE__WORKED 100% HOPE THIS HELPS SOME ONE ELSE___MEDICARE PAYED.
My husband isn't diabetic but got peripheral neuropathy shortly after hip replacement surgery. He suffers greatly with his feet and legs, especially the surgical leg. Nothing seems to help, Lyrica and all the other drugs didn't help and his legs and feet swelled up, all the doctors do is shrug their shoulders and say they don't know what to do. I have sympathy for anyone with this condition and I just feel there has to be SOMETHING to help with the pain.
I am a type 2 diabetic diagnosed with restless leg syndrom and I have sever pain in my legs . It varies from place to place feet groin the circulation stops and the leg goes cold. I can barely stand and have mentioned this to at least five dr,s . My specialist said I have diabetic neuropathy . Seems there is no answers.
I'm taking 300 mg of Gabapentin. All it does is take the edge off the pain. Is there something else that works better? My neuropathy is advanced... from my toes to my knees...can't feel the kitty brush against me now. Can gastric bypass relieve this?
Ok, long story short, I had been a diabetic for 30 years before receiving a kidney/pancreas transplant in 2005 which is going very well. Sept. of 2009 diagnosed with Grade III breast cancer. Finished treatment, chemo and radiation. Everything is supposedly fine now but my feet have always had neuropathy but are much worse now. It actually feels like it is traveling up to my knee on the right side. My fingers are totally numb and sometimes burn but my feet are the worst! I walk on the kitchen tile just to feel the cold and know that my feet are not dead. It is better in the morning after rest but same thing each day. I can't feel my feet or hands and it is scary.
I don't smoke or drink and am a type 1 diabetic female pro football player. Even though I don't let neuropathic pain or diabetes stop me from doing the things I enjoy, it would be wonderful to sleep thru the night without my hands being on fire and numb at the same time. Fortunately (I think) my feet haven't hurt for some time, but my poor hands don't have the same relief. Simultaneous use of Cymbalta and Lyrica works short term to treat the symptom, not solve the problem. At age 40 and even with treatment by a wonderful neurologist, I look forward to many sleepless and prayer-filled nights. That ice idea sounds pretty good - might try that.
My father in law has terrible swollen hands (he is a diabetic) and he gets sharp stabbing pains in them - the only way he can relieve it is by putting his hands under hot water then cold. What should his doctor be doing about this aspect of his diabetes - as we are not getting very far with it and he is suffering greatly.
I suffer from peripheral neuropathy, in my feet yes, but worse in my hands. I used to type 10-12 hours a day, now I can't type an entire page without being subjected to incredible sharp pains in my hands and fingers. If I persist then I have severe electric shock like pains.
I am not a diabetic, however, I have had four severe episodes of peripherial neuropathy that can't be explained. The last episode was so severe I awoke from a sound sleep with stabbing pain in my feet. I couldn't walk normally and I looked like I had a stroke. This comes and goes but no one has been able to explain it. This started 6 weeks after having abdomenal surgury. I have been suffering with this on and off since January 2007. An MRI showed I have a small tumor but the doctors don't think it's related. I am so frustrated that I don't know why this continues to flare up.
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