All About Diabetic Nerve Pain Treatment Options

By Jeff Parker
Updated January 8, 2015
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All About Diabetic Nerve Pain Treatment OptionsDiabetic neuropathy, which is also known as diabetic nerve pain, can be described as damage that has been caused to certain nerves as a result of diabetes. Usually, this issue is one that can develop over a period of time, and it is generally more common in people who have suffered from diabetes for a long time, such as 25 years or longer. However, it is possible to experience nerve issues at any point during your life if you have diabetes. Both people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes can have diabetic nerve pain, and the precise cause of the problem is not yet fully understood, though some researchers suggest that it is related to high levels of blood sugar in the body.

When it comes to finding diabetic nerve pain treatment options, medications are often used to manage the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy. Unfortunately, there are no diabetic nerve pain treatment options that can be used to completely treat or prevent nerve pain. Because of the potential side-effects and interactions that certain drugs and medicines can have, it is a good idea to always talk to your doctor about any potential medications you are considering taking, even if they are just "over the counter" solutions.

Over the Counter Options

One of the diabetic nerve pain treatment options available comes in the form of over-the-counter solutions, which are generally the best choice for people who are not suffering severe levels of pain. However, people who suffer from more advanced issues may not find such over the counter remedies to be effective.

Acetaminophen is a painkiller known more commonly as an analgesic. An example of acetaminophen is Tylenol, which works by blocking the pain messages being sent to the brain, making it more difficult for the brain to pick up the pain signals being issued by the nerves.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be used as painkillers and methods for fighting back against inflammation. This medicine generally works by blocking the body's ability to create prostaglandins, which are the specific chemicals associated with sensing pain and inflammation. Some common over the counter NSAIDs include Motrin and Advil.

Topical medications can be applied directly to your skin to help relieve periods of pain. One option for diabetic individuals is capsaicin, which is the ingredient in chili peppers that makes them hot. This solution is only temporary, however, so you will need to keep re-applying the cream.

Prescription Medications

Most people who suffer with diabetic nerve pain will need a stronger drug to help them with their pain. You may need a combination of different medications to counteract the various effects that nerve damage can have. So far, the FDA has approved two primary medications for diabetic neuropathy, called Lyrica and Cymbalta. It's worth consulting with your doctor as to whether these medications could be helpful to you.

It's also worth noting that other medications have also been used to help treat nerve pain, including anti-depressants, anti-seizure medication and opiates. Anti-depressants, for example, work by blocking pain messages that are moving towards the brain, as well as releasing endorphins, the body's natural painkiller.

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This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.