Do you have painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy? If you do, then you are not alone. According to the National Diabetic Information Clearinghouse (NDIC), 60-70% of people with diabetes have some form of neuropathy. Diabetes can cause nerve problems at any time, but the risks rise the longer that you have diabetes and with age. Painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy is found most often in people who have had diabetes for at least 25 years, as well as in people who tend to have trouble controlling their blood sugar. People that are overweight, have high blood pressure, and have high levels of fat in their blood are at a higher risk as well.

If you have painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy, there are some things that you can do to make this condition better. First, understand that diabetic neuropathies are nerve disorders that are caused by abnormalities brought about by diabetes. The best thing that you can do is to try to keep the condition from getting worse by trying to stay healthy.

Keep your blood glucose levels controlled by careful monitoring and removing simple carbohydrates from your diet. Eating at the same times every day also helps. Smoking should be cut out all together because it significantly increases your risk of foot complications and amputation. Your health care provider should be more than happy to help you to quit.


Living with Painful Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy


Other than keeping your blood sugar levels under control, proper foot care is most important. People with neuropathies must inspect their feet daily for injuries because they are at an increased risk for having infected foot sore and amputations. If you are injured, or find a sore on your foot, it is best to seek proper treatment right away. In diabetic neuropathy things can go from bad to worse very quickly.

Pain relief is one of the most important parts of diabetic neuropathy. This is because the damaged nerves send mixed signals to your brain which causes pain that is inconsistent with what is actually being felt. For example, a person with painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy may feel severe pain when only a bed sheet runs across their foot.

Of course, doctors prescribe medications to help diabetics deal with painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Over the counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, do not work well for nerve pain, and are not recommended. Opioids, or opioid-like drugs are often used. Doctors have found that antidepressants often do well in treating pain in cases of nerve damage, so don’t be shocked if you receive this type of medications. It doesn’t mean that you have mental problems. Capsaicin cream and lidocaine patches are also commonly used in the treatment of painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy.

There are many alternative treatments for painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy as well. These include acupuncture, biofeedback, physical therapy, electrical nerve stimulation, magnet therapy, and laser or light therapy. In addition, exercising is a great way to lessen the pain as well. Be sure to ask your doctor about an exercise regimen that is right for you.