“How to deal with diabetic nerve pain in feet?” is perhaps the question that pops on your mind once the symptom manifests. In medical term, the symptom is referred to as diabetic neuropathy, which is a neurological disorder caused by diabetes. The disorder manifests as lines of nerves on your feet get damaged. As a result, you feel tingling or numbness in your feet, hands, toes, and fingers. Other symptoms may be present in the form of pain, which ranges from sensation of aching, sharp, or burning.
At the first stage, the pain may feel bearable but over time, it will develop to a level where even the slightest touch would cause unbearable torture. Treating this condition can start with controlling blood sugar level so nerve damage can be put in check. Physical therapies can also be taken as preventive and curative measures, with swimming and low-impact exercises being the most advantageous.
Diabetic neuropathy is not always present in all of patients. At least 10 to 20% of those with diabetes suffer from this condition, which, if left untreated, could lead to depression, sleep deprivation, and general decrease in life quality.
To treat diabetic nerve pain in feet, there are some options to take =
- Maintain your blood sugar level.
Consulting your doctor would be a great way to start this. Your doctor should be able to help you come up with a meal plan for this purpose. Avoid smoking cigarettes and maintain ideal body weight at all time.
There are a wide range of over-the-counter pain management drugs you can try, e.g.: ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), aspirin, or acetaminophen (Tylenol). These can be obtained without prescriptions but side effects may be present. They are great as pain reliever for short term.
Antidepressants, serotonin, Oxycontin, tramadol, lidocaine patches, and anti-seizure drugs are available as an option for long-term treatment.
Tricyclic antidepressants such as desipramine (Norpramin), imipramine (Tofranil), and amitriptyline (Elavil) could be prescribed for patients with depression but they can also be used against diabetic neuropathy.
Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors such as duloxetine (Cymbalta) and venlafaxine (Effexor) may be chosen if antidepressants pose adverse effects for you.
Oxycodone (Oxycontin) and tramadol (Conzip, Ultram) can be used against unbearable pain. However, they pose risks of addiction thus are more suitable as the last resort rather than for long-term option.
Lidocaine patches act as local anesthesia but they can irritate skin.
Alternative treatments for diabetic nerve pain in feet are also available =
- Physical therapy.
Swimming and low-impact exercises can be great to help improve the pain.
- Capsaicin cream.
This cream works by blocking signals for pain and its ingredient is mainly composed of hot peppers extract. The cream may irritate skin in those who are sensitive and allergic reactions may also occur.
Nerve damage in the feet can also affect the way you perceive and feel pain. As a result, when your feet are wounded, you may not notice it until it gets infected. Checking your feet for possible problems like wounds or cuts is important.