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Causes and Treatment of Diabetic Nerve Pain - Neuropathy
you want to know what
causes the nerve damage and thus diabetic nerve pain?
Just tell me what to take for neuropathy
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)
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
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
Treatments for Neuropathy
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
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
Additionally, Cymbalta as an anti-depressant can very often
be difficult to get off
with out side effects. For info on Cymbalta
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
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
Pros: Combines a footbath with an electrical current. Claims
to open up nerve channels and stimulate circulation to the
Cons: Cost Claims to rebuild
nerves, but no information on how except that it increases ciruclation.
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
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 Aceytl
l-carnitiine. 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
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
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
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
Cons: They relieve the symptoms but
doesn't address the
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
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
Rebuilding Health 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
For information on building Healthy
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For more information about Diabetes
go to Diabetes
Page, including a site about Diabetic Diets.
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causes of nerve damage