Neuropathy By Any Other Disease is Still Neuropathy

Even with co-morbidities, nerve pain must be addressed

Joy Pape By Joy Pape, RN, BSN, CDE, WOCN, CFCN

Thanks for writing me your questions this month. Most everyone who has diabetes sees their pharmacist on a regular basis, but we don't always think of our pharmacist as part of our diabetes team. They are very much a part of our team! In fact most of us see or talk with our pharmacist more than any other health care provider we work with. With that being so, just think of all the people they get to talk with and learn from to be able to help you. I've asked Jimmy Bennett Registered Pharmacist, Certified Diabetes Educator to help me with the questions you've sent me this month.

Thanks for asking. We at dLife will continue to do our best to get your questions answered.

Here goes…EnJOY! and thank you, Jimmy.

Q: My husband's feet are swollen and red. This has concerned me but his reply is this is a side effect of the Thyroid medication.

A: I would not suggest that you accept the swollen and red feet as a side effect of thyroid problems or thyroid medicine. These symptoms could be due to a number of different causes. If your husband has diabetes his physician needs to take a look at his feet and let you two know what is causing the problem whether it be poor circulation, some form of neuropathy, a side effect to a medicine or something else. Also ask him what you should do about it and he or she should be able to suggest a solution based on the diagnosis.

Q: By accident I found that I could control my pain and cold, almost freezing sensations of the feet, which would have me ready to go to the mental institution. For a cancer concern, I was given a Duragesic patch. It worked wonders for my neuropathy yet, it is to last three days and it only lasts two days then the pain is so bad, I need to apply another patch. Is there an additional medication I can take to help the patch last longer?

Remember that diabetic neuropathy just gets worse if you blood sugar is not under tight control so you must address that situation. In the meanwhile you are hurting so you need some immediate relief. The Duragesic patches are supposed to last for three days. The medicine actually seeps through the patch very slowly and predictably for 72 hours. It also takes a few hours to start to work when you first put a patch on. In some cases we see that on the last day the pain may come back. I don't know that there is anything that will actually make the medicine work much better on that third day. You may want to speak with the physician about the possibility of applying the patch a little closer together than every three days. You have to be careful about that though since you could actually get more medicine in your system and cause some side effects.

You might also look for creams containing L Arginine. L Arginine has been studied and has shown some benefit in painful neuropathy. There is a nonprescription treatment called capsaicin that can be rubbed on. It must be applied four times daily for a number of days until it reaches its maximum effect.

You may also want to ask your doctor about some of the new medicines for neuropathy such as Lyrica or Cymbalta.

Q: I have both multiple sclerosis and diabetes (for about 13 years), diagnosed 6 months apart. Diabetes educator and general practitioner say the numbness and tingling is from diabetes neuropathy. My MS doctor says it's from MS. Either way, it is neuropathy, I guess. I have dry feet, and I've been using Eucerin or Aquaphor cream on the feet. Do you have any suggestions for a different cream? And, how about some suggestions for not getting socks all "goopy" with the cream? Thanks.

Although Eucerin and Aquaphor are very good for dry skin, you may want to consider a less "goopy" cream or lotion. The urea containing creams and lotions work in a unique manner to keep the skin soft. There are some generic brands but a couple of good brand names are Carmol and Dermal Therapy. Another good cream is Neoteric Diabetic Skin Care Cream. These rub in easily and leave your skin soft but not too greasy.

You might also look for creams containing L Arginine. L Arginine has been studied and has shown some benefit in painful neuropathy. There is a nonprescription treatment called capsaicin that can be rubbed on. It must be applied four times daily for a number of days until it reaches its maximum effect.

EnJOY!

Read Joy's bio here.

Read more of Joy Pape's columns.

NOTE: The information is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for consultation with a qualified medical professional or for professional medical advice related to diabetes or another medical condition. Please contact your physician or medical professional with any questions and concerns about your medical condition.

Last Modified Date: July 08, 2013

All content on dLife.com is created and reviewed in compliance with our editorial policy.

Sign up for FREE dLife Newsletters

dLife Membership is FREE! Get exclusive access, free recipes, newsletters, savings, and much more! FPO

Congratulations!
You are subscribed!
Congratulations!
You are subscribed!
Congratulations!
You are subscribed!
595 Views 0 comments
by Nicole Purcell
I want to start by saying that in our twenties, we sometimes do dumb things. I suppose that's true of any age, but our the twenties seem particularly ripe for it. We're sometimes off on our own for the first time, we often feel oddly invincible (even with a serious chronic), we're not all that street wise. We're you know, in our twenties. Sooooo.... Anyway. In my early twenties, I met a dude who was super nice in the endocrinologist's waiting room and we became instant...