In the futuristic 2016 sci-fi movie "Nerve," Vee (Emma Roberts) finds herself playing an online game that takes over her life and tests her nerve. Scary stuff.
In the real world, people with Type 2 diabetes who suffer peripheral nerve pain find that it's no game — it's very scary and it can take over their lives.
Peripheral nerve pain is a common complication of Type 2 diabetes, resulting from long- term poorly controlled blood sugar. It happens to around half of people with diabetes.
Symptoms include tingling, burning sensations in fingers and toes, sharp pain or cramps in arms and legs, and extreme sensitivity to touch.
It can also cause loss of coordination, wound-healing problems, sleep disruption, and limited activity.
General treatments may involve antidepressants, anti-seizure medications such as opioids, as well as topical capsaicin cream and lidocaine patches, and even surgery.
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases also suggests that topical alpha-lipoic acid and evening primrose oil may help improve nerve function.
But because every case is different, sufferers can spend what seems like a lifetime searching for relief.
Finally, an in-depth review of various treatments has pinpointed what's most likely to provide some relief. A recent study published in the journal Neurology determined:
• There's moderate evidence that the antidepressants duloxetine and venlafaxine are effective in reducing neuropathy-related pain.
• There's some evidence that botulinum toxin; the anti-seizure drugs pregabalin and oxcarbazepine; tricyclic antidepressants; and atypical opioids, also can be somewhat effective in reducing pain.
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