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Causes and Treatment of Diabetic Nerve Pain - NeuropathyNerves that are damaged in the foot

Do you want to know what causes the nerve damage and thus diabetic nerve pain?

Just tell me what to take for neuropathy

Give me a longer explanation for all types of neuropathy

Diabetic nerve damage and the pain is caused by too much sugar in the blood.  The sugar hurts the nerve cell's outer sheath. .(the protective outer cover)

Peripheral nerve cells have three main parts: cell body, axons, and dendrites (or terminal).. (See diagram below)

Nerve damage occurs when the outer sheathing or the myelin (protective covering) of nerve cells degenerate.  This is similar to an electrical wire that is covered with insulation, and the insulation is beginning to crumble.  Without insulation the unprotected wire will start short-circuiting.  

                                       

This short-circuiting will cause all the unpleasant and painful sensations that people who are suffering from nerve pain go through.  When the nerve damage continues to deteriorate, the nerve does not relay the nerve impulses and the sensation of numbness will occur. 

Diabetics will suffer from this nerve pain  and it is a major complication of the disease.  It is the higher than normal sugar levels that creates the damage.  It is an acquired disease.

Treatments for Neuropathy

Medications:  

Pros: There are several drug treatments for neuropathy. There are medications such as Lyrica and Cymbalta that are given cover up or block the pain. Lyrica, is an anti-seizure medication. It is used for neuropathy as it stops the nerves from talking to each other so you don't feel the pain. Cymbalta is a anti-depressant which is used because it lowers a person's awareness and thus their awareness of the pain. One drug occasionally used is Prednisone and also Elavil.  

Cons: You have to continue to take the drugs to get relief. 

Prednisone depletes the body of vital nutrients and there is a problem withdrawing from it (see Prednisone

Amitriptyline (Elavil) it lowers the awareness of the nerve damage but as with all medications, they have side effects that don't enhance your health.   

Additionally, Cymbalta as an anti-depressant can very often be difficult to get off with out side effects. For info on Cymbalta & Neuropathy  

Long term these drugs can cause more damage due to side effects and deficiencies it can create. 

For side effects of the different drugs go to www.drugs.com or www.rxlist.com   

If you are taking any mediation that has a side effect of neuropathy, you should talk to your doctor to see if there is an alternative medication. 

Rebuilder:  

Pros: Combines a footbath with an electrical current.  Claims to open up nerve channels and stimulate circulation to the affected area.  See Rebuilder

Cons: Cost 

Acupuncture:  

Pros: The ancient Chinese practice of acupuncture has been known to help with the symptoms of neuropathy.  There is apparently an ability to improve circulation with this method that would give similar relief.  There is also acupressure which works on the same principles as acupuncture.  For more information go to Acupuncture

Cons: Acupuncture sometimes does not help with neuropathy. 

Alpha lipoic acid: 

Pros: This is as an anti-oxidant which will help protect the nerves so no further damage is done to the body. It can help with the symptoms. In order to help it needs to be taken with Alpha Lipoic Acid. There is evidence that they work together well in helping the body use nutrients to repair the nerves, but the vital B vitamins need to be taken with it. 

Cons:  None.

Herbs:  

Pros: They will cover up the symptoms of neuropathy similar to drugs and can make you temporarily feel better, you must continue to take them. The body doesn't use them to build healthy nerves. 

Cons: There are problems with herbs. They can interact with any other medications that you are taking. They can have side effects. Herbs are similar to drugs in so far as (in therapeutic dosages as found in the herbs that you can buy) they make the body do what it wouldn't normally do. While you can use herbs in your salad and in tea without problems, when you take herbs in a supplement, they are extracts which are far stronger dosages. Herbs should be taken separately as if there is a problem, you can isolate what herb is causing the problem. The combination of herbs found in some supplements prohibit you from doing that. 

Remember, herbs are not vitamins. They are natural substances, but they aren't the vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids & amino acids that the body needs to function, create energy and to repair itself. 

Herbs can make your neuropathy feel better, but aren't used by the body to repair the nerves. Thus, you need to keep taking them to continue the relief. There are some herbs which shouldn't be taken more than a few months like Feverfew or Ashwagandha.

When taking any herbs, check with your pharmacist. Pharmacies have databases where they can check for interactions and side effects. 

Glutamine & B6

Pros: Although no scientific evidence, some people with chemo induced neuropathy have said they had some relief.  

Cons:  There is, however, some concern that it may stimulate tumor growth.  

Anodyne Therapy:  Infrared light to increase circulation and stimulate production of nitric acid.  It is supposed to relax the arteries and eliminate free radicals. Pads are put over the injured areas.  Pain is supposed to be relieved with increased circulation and more nitric oxide in the blood.   Can treat common injuries.

Con: Relieves but doesn't address the cause. 

Homeopathic Formula:  Homeopathy can give temporary neuropathic pain relief without side effects or interactions with drugs.  What is homeopathy.

Cons:  They relieve the symptoms but doesn't address the problem. 

Topical creams: There are many different creams available that will bring relief from neuropathy pain. They can be applied as needed. Capsaicin is a common ingredient. it is used to relieve pain for arthritis, muscle pain, joint pain, as well as nerve pain.  It can address the inflammation.

Cons: They relieve but don't address the actual cause. Must continue to use it for relief. 

Cold Laser Treatment or Low Level Laser Therapy: It will give relief from pain. It is non-thermal and won't burn the surrounding area. It is trying to increase cellular activity. The laser delivers electric pulses to the target area which delivers a jolt that matches the pulse at which the body perceives pain. It claims to create a reduction in pain by causing the production of natural pain killer endorphins. 

Cons:  Again doesn't address the actual cause of the pain, so is relief only. 

None of the above treatments, however, will re-build healthy nerves.  You can cover up the symptoms and you can make a person feel less pain, etc., but you aren't addressing the health of your nerves.

Rebuilding Health Nerves:  Healthy nerves don't create burning or cold sensations when there is nothing hot or cold around.  They don't create sensations for no reason and the communication between the brain and the muscles work to correctly move and keep the body balanced. 

For information on building Healthy Nerves 

STILL HAVE QUESTIONS? CALL 888 758-5590 OR EMAIL AND GET YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

For more information about Diabetes go to Diabetes Page, including a site about Diabetic Diets.

 


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Neuropathy causes of nerve damage

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