Diabetic neuropathy treatment options


Q: Hi, my name is Rashad and I'm 23 yrs old, Male. I've been a diabetic for 5 yrs, type 1. I take novalog and lantis. the novalog is twice a day. This past month, I was diagnosed with neuropothy and they put me on gabapentin, which seem to make me hurt worst, it also makes my heart race, I've informed my doctor of this, but nothing was done. It's really hard for me to walk because my legs and feet hurt really bad, non stop and sometimes the pain starts in my lower back and moves down to my feet. It's also hard for me to sleep because the pain wakes me up and the joints are stiff. I've also tried garlic and the omega 3, is there anything else that will help me, that will stop the pain, or reverse the neuropothy, can someone please help me, I'm in so much pain


A:   There are several different treatment options available for symptoms of diabetic neuropathy. The first step is appropriate physical therapy to maintain general mobility and muscle strength. Physical therapists may also recommend transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) to relieve symptoms of neuropathic pain. Tight sugar control is recommended for the treatment of neuropathic pain and to prevent further diabetes complications. Medications are the mainstay of treatment and first line therapy includes simple analgesics such as acetaminophen and NSAIDs. Other treatment options include antidepressants (tricyclic antidepressants, SSRI’s), anticonvulsants (Gabapentin, Carbamazepine, Pregabalin) and antiarrhythmics (Mexiletine). I would advise contacting your family physician or endocrinologist for reevaluation of your symptoms and prescription of a suitable alternative agent to control your neuropathic pain.

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