Peripheral neuropathy is a well-known but very difficult to manage side effect of diabetes. If you have diabetes and are suffering from neuropathy symptoms, you should definitely be having close follow-up appointments with your primary care physician
and quite possible an endocrinologist
. Unfortunately it is not possible to reverse the damage cause to nerves from diabetes, but the progression of neuropathy will continue as long as blood sugars are not well regulated. For this reason it is very, very important to work on good blood sugar control with your physicians, with adjustments in your medications as needed and close follow-up of your hemoglobin A1c. This will help prevent further worsening of your neuropathy.
When it comes to treating the pain of neuropathy, there are several medications that can help relieve neuropathic pain. It is a personal choice whether you decide to take medications or not, but this is the best medical option for treating pain.
When it comes to non-pharmacologic options for pain control, there are many options that patients with a variety of conditions will try. These methods are not as well studied or regulated as traditional medical approaches, but if this is something you are interested in pursuing, you will have to see what works for you. Some patients have found acupuncture
or reiki therapy to help them: for some people this helps treat pain (of many different sources) and for others it does not. Maintaining a healthy diet and exercise plan are good for overall health, and even if these choices do not specifically treat neuropathic pain, they will help maximize your overall physical and mental wellbeing, itself an important component of helping live with chronic pain. Unfortunately there is not a 'magic bullet' for treating neuropathic pain, but with a combination of lifestyle choices, well-managed prescription medications, and possibly alternative therapy you can help develop a plan that works for you.