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How is diabetic nerve pain in the feet treated?

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Doctors normally treat diabetic nerve pain in the feet, or peripheral neuropathy, with various types of medication to relieve pain, states Mayo Clinic. These prescription medications may include anti-seizure and antidepressant drugs, but many of these medications cause unwanted side effects.

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Alternative therapies that may provide some relief include the use of capsaicin cream, acupuncture therapy and physical therapy, explains Mayo Clinic. Patients may use these alternative treatments alone or along with medication for nerve pain. People who are diabetic and are experiencing peripheral neuropathy can prevent or slow the progression of neuropathy by controlling blood sugar levels. In some cases, controlling blood sugar can improve the symptoms of neuropathy that is already progressing.

Some symptoms of peripheral neuropathy include cramps or sharp pains, numbness that results in the inability to feel changes in temperature or pain, burning or tingling, and muscle weakness, according to Mayo Clinic. Additional symptoms can include sensitivity to touch; serious foot problems, such as ulcers or infections; and the loss of reflexes, balance and coordination.

In total, there are four types of diabetic neuropathy, and diabetics can have one type or more than one type at the same time, notes Mayo Clinic. The other types of diabetic neuropathy are autonomic neuropathy, radiculoplexus neuropathy and mononeuropathy.

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