Any symptom or cause of peripheral neuropathy may be addressed during treatment. Some root reasons may be more treatable than others. Maintaining good glucose management may ameliorate neuropathy or at least prevent its worsening.
Treating the Underlying Cause
Peripheral neuropathy may respond differently to a treatment depending on the underlying reason.
- In some cases, diabetes can be managed by adjusting lifestyle factors such as quitting smoking, reducing alcohol consumption, keeping a healthy body weight, and engaging in regular physical activity.
- Injections or oral B12 supplements can be used to treat vitamin B12 insufficiency.
If you have peripheral neuropathy because of a side effect of a drug, you might feel better if you stop taking that drug.
- Medication may be an option for treating some forms of peripheral neuropathy, albeit they tend to be rarer.
- Steroids, potent anti-inflammatory drugs
Immunoglobulin injections are a mix of blood proteins called antibodies made by the immune system. However, the underlying cause may not always be able to be cured.
Relieving Nerve Pain
There's a chance you'll need medication for the pain in your nerves (neuropathic pain). Common pain relievers, such as paracetamol and ibuprofen, are generally ineffective against neuropathic pain and must be supplemented with other medications. You should start with the lowest effective dose and raise it gradually until you feel better.
It's possible that higher doses would be more effective in managing the pain, but they'd also be more likely to create unwanted side effects. The most common adverse effects are feeling weak, dizzy, and "buzzed" or "impaired." It may be required to lower your dosage if you develop these.
If you're feeling sleepy or your eyesight is blurry, it's best not to drive or operate heavy machinery. Alcohol's effects may seem more vital to you as well. After a week or two, you should feel fewer side effects as your body gets used to the medicine. Get in touch with your doctor if the adverse effects persist; they may be able to switch you to a medication that works better for you.
Additional medications may be effective if the first one isn't. Depression, epilepsy, anxiety, and headaches are just some ailments these medications may help. Even if you don't have depression, an antidepressant might help with your discomfort. In no way does this suggest that your doctor thinks you're sad. To alleviate neuropathic pain, the following medications are typically prescribed:
- Amitriptyline, a medication for both depression and migraines
- Duloxetine is a medication for treating depression and urinary tract infections.
- Both epilepsy and anxiety can be managed with pregabalin and gabapentin.
Painkillers aren't the only option; there are others for dealing with localized or acute pain.
Use capsaicin cream if your pain is localized to one location of the body. The chemical compound known as capsaicin is responsible for the heat in chili peppers. It is thought to help with neuropathic pain by stopping the nerves from sending pain signals to the brain.
Capsaicin cream, the active ingredient, should be rubbed into the affected area three to four times daily. Capsaicin cream can cause skin irritation and a burning feeling in the treated area, among other things. Capsaicin cream should never be applied to raw or irritated skin, and your hands should always be washed thoroughly afterward.
Tramadol may be given to a patient by their doctor if other painkillers haven't helped ease their neuropathic pain. As with other opioids, prolonged use of tramadol can lead to tolerance and addiction. In most cases, a doctor will only recommend it for a limited time.
If your pain is horrible, tramadol may help. Tramadol often causes the following unwanted consequences in its users:
- Feeling faint or unwell
- Dizziness or constipation
Alternative and Complementary Therapies
Since conventional treatments for peripheral neuropathy are not always effective, you may be tempted to attempt other methods of relieving your symptoms.
Examples of such things could be:
- Herbal medicine and acupuncture
- Vitamin B1 (benfotiamine) supplements
- Supplementation with the antioxidant acetyl-L-lipoic acid
However, while these may be useful for some, the supporting evidence is not always conclusive. If these therapies conflict with your current regimen, it is best to discuss them with your doctor first.