Neuropathy pain: the human body is a remarkable tool and it hones in on pain for one or more reasons. It could be an underlying warning that there are some health problem that needs further investigation or the mere fact if you are nursing an injury the body has a way of telling you need a longer recovery time.
1-5 people live day to day with chronic pain
Diabetes complications can include nerve pain in the feet and legs and suffers is always on a constant quest to find a solution to the chronic pain and look for either alternative therapies or painkillers for relief.
Side effects to some neuropathy pain relief:
Side effects are often experienced with some types of pain relief medication, which can at times cause further health problems for the Diabetic. Currently there is a new way to managing pain and it may be as simple as changing our behavior or changing the way we actually think and react to pain or could be as simple as changing the way we eat.
Dr Chris Hayes, director of Hunter Integrated Pain Service at John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle. “Says these strategies can help most kinds of pain including those associated with diabetic complications such as neuropathy. Importantly, they may help reduce reliance on painkilling medication.”
“The first line of pain relief for neuropathy is usually antidepressants or anticonvulsant drugs, which can calm down a hyped up nervous system, “he explains. “But if pain is still a problem, opioid drugs are often the next step.”
Further to this Dr Hayes went on to say, “These morphine-based drugs (such as OxyContin, MS Contin or Kapanol) are now more commonly prescribed for chronic pain because of the concerns about the side effects of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Nurofen, Voltaren or Celebrex. These drugs can raise blood pressure, cause stomach upsets or difficulties for people with kidney disease. But opioids can have a downside, too, points out Dr Hayes.
“Opiods may only have a modest benefit with chronic pain. You can also build up a tolerance to them so you need more and more to get the same effect. But a bigger problem is they can also make the nerves more sensitive to pain. This is called opiod-induced hyperalgesia. My opinion is that opioids can sometimes make people worse rather than better,” he says.
The longer pain continues, the less useful the painkillers and nerve blocks become. This is why it helps to look at other approaches, which include what Dr Hayes calls “an anti-inflammatory lifestyle.”
What this means is that a recent study supports recent findings that say excess weight and highly processed foods produce inflammatory chemicals, these chemicals are some of the main reasons causing hardening of the arteries that lead to type 2 diabetes complications such as either heart disease, stroke and in some cases death.
Simple change will help neuropathy pain:
For instance making changes to your diet and losing weight by replacing refined carbohydrates with more vegetables. These changes are easily implemented into your lifestyle for example swapping white bread, sweets, cakes and biscuits with whole grain foods and healthy low GI choices. Making these changes alone will see further health benefits such as better blood glucose management which helps prevent and control diabetic neuropathy.
“The idea that lifestyle changes may affect the nervous system and improve pain can motivate people to lose weight and eat better and, sometimes, it makes a big difference,” says Dr Hayes. “When these changes are combined with other pain management strategies, such as learning to pace your activity and changing your way of thinking, it can help people manage on lower doses of painkiller or even cope without them.”
Hopefully there will be a lot of people who are suffering from neuropathy pain reading this new information and are now prepared to make dietary changes to reap the benefits of better pain relief!