Living with Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

Diabetic neuropathy is a complication of diabetes that results from uncontrolled, high blood sugar levels. The disorder typically occurs over a long period of time, as high blood sugars gradually damage nerve cells within the body. Peripheral neuropathy most commonly affects the hands and feet, resulting in numbness, tingling or pain. If left uncontrolled, neuropathy can affect other major, internal organs in the body such as the heart and digestive system.

Certain prescription medications may help restore function or slow progression of neuropathy. Anti-seizure medications such as gabapentin (Neurontin) and pregabalin (Lyrica) help relieve nerve pain by relaxing the body. Antidepressants such as amitriptyline (Elavil) or duloxetine (Cymbalta) may also help decrease symptoms by blocking the transfer of certain pain signals in the brain. Both classes of medications may cause drowsiness and dizziness as side effects.