Weighing Treatment Options

Hello, everybody. I’m brand new here but I’ve had DM for about 5 or so years and neuropathy for as long as I’ve been diagnosed. In fact it was the burning and numbness that brought me into the doctor’s office and we went from there to a diagnosis of DM Type 2.

My main concern right now is that my neuropathy is increasing in severity. I’m not on any medications for it just my regular diabetes meds (metformin and glipizide) and some others for other conditions.

This week I went to see a podiatrist for the first time. He does nerve decompression surgery for diabetic neuropathy/compressive neuropathy. He’s all gung-ho to do the surgery on me. I’m rather anti-gung ho. Are there others in this community who have had the surgery done? I’d really appreciate hearing from you.

I’m also going to speak to my physician about changing anti-depressant medication to Cymbalta. How does that work for folks who’ve taken it?

I know everybody has individual responses to different therapies. I’m just kind of feeling like I’m entering a giant forrest without a guide.

Thank you!

P.S. I rode in the Twin Cities Tour de Cure last Saturday for the first time. It was GREAT!

I had a lot of neuropathy pain several years ago, but after tightening my control and having fewer highs and lows, my symptoms disappeared. The neuropathy is still there, but does not bother me now. My therapy is good, stable control, with very few highs. No surgery would be necessary if you can achieve this.

I have really bad diabetic peripheral neuropathy. I also went to see a podiatrist - a BIG waste of time and money. The only thing different is that the podiatrist prescribed Metanx. I am taking the generic of Neurontin, which is Gabapentin. I take six 600 mg. tablets per day (3600 mg.), and I take 1000 units of Vitamin E and 1000 units of Vitamin D; and my feet still hurt. I take 50 units of Lantus insulin in the morning and then I take about four shots of the Humalog insulin throughout the day on an “insulin:carb ratio.” I also took Cymbalta; it did nothing. I took Lyrica; it did nothing. I have been there and back. I did not know that any kind of surgery was available for neuropathy. I was also taking Metformin until I went into complete renal failure; I now take the Glipizide and Actos and Januvia; and I still have a lot of trouble controlling my blood sugars. I have come to the conclusion that the answer is: COUNTING CARBS. You have to count carbs. That’s all there is to it. I suppose when your blood glucose is under control that your neuropathy will ease up. I don’t know; my feet hurt 24/7 nonstop. I am also now taking huge amounts of Vitamin B6, B12 and the SuperComplex B. I think you just have to learn to live with it.

Thank you for your reply. I do find my bs readings all over the place and often in the high range. I would like to avoid surgery if possible.

I’m sorry you have such a severe case of PN. I used to take B complex vitamins but I’m so bad about being consistent. I also dread having to take yet more pills. I’m hearing the mantra “tight control, carb counting, ALA and B Vitamins.” Nothing is for certain but it would be good to at least try all the avenues.
I hope you find something that will help you more.

I sit for my job but I try to get up and walk around often. Thank you for the link, I’ll check it out. I’m also going to get some ALA and give it a go. Thank you.

I am Type 2 diabetic, and control my glucose levels by diet and exercise.
I have Diabetic Neuropathy; so far just in my feet. The burning, tingling (sometimes feels like hundreds of needles) and numbness get pretty unbearable at times. I have been told that nerve decompression surgery may be an option and that maybe I need (vitamin) B12 shots. This is something I am scheduled to visit a neurologist about.
Not being excited about surgery, I did some research on the subject and came across a nutrient supplement that is supposed to calm the affects of neuropathy. The nutrient supplement is available at Walgreens, and is called Alpha Lipoic Acid (I am told that R-Alpha Lipoic Acid would be better). The recommended dosage according to the doctor whose research I read, is 300mg to 600mg a day.
I have been taking 600mg of Alpha Lipoic Acid a day for over one month. I am getting some relief. After the first two days of taking this, I started noticing relief. It is not as much as I would like, however, I do feel the Alpha Lipoic Acid is giving me relief from the neuropathy (it is no longer at the pretty unbearable at times level which I mentioned above).
I am comtemplating increasing the dosage, but I am going to think on it for a while. Other things I do is elevate my feet a few times a day, and soak them in luke warm water with just a bit of liquid ivory soap for 15 to 20 minutes (then rinse with plain water) before bed.

Different people react differently to many drugs. I know a lady who swears that Cymbalta cured her neuropathy. I take alpha lipoic acid twice a day. My doctor prescribed Hydrocodone for the pain but it only made me sick. While I was taking the Cymbalta, my doctor prescribed Ultracet for the pain. My pharmacist called me and said “I had to call your doctor about this prescription. A side effect of taking Ultracet along with the Cymbalta is: DEATH.” So the prescription was changed. Thanks doc. Unless you control your blood glucose, not much is going to help with the neuropathy. Beware of the snake oil salesmen; the internet is full of them, all offering one kind of cure or another. All they want is a credit card number.

Whoa, good thing your pharmacist was on the ball. You are right about the blood glucose control. I’ve been in some very deep denial on that point. Thank you so much for sharing your experience.