Diabetic Neuropathy Medications To Help: How To Diagnose It?

Diabetic Neuropathy Medications To Help: How To Diagnose It?

Diabetic neuropathy, a nerve-damaging condition commonly associated with diabetes, presents a significant challenge for many patients worldwide. Effectively managing diabetic neuropathy requires a comprehensive approach, incorporating lifestyle changes, meticulous glycemic control, and various medications. In this blog, we delve into several examples of diabetic neuropathy medications, exploring the benefits and practical strategies to improve quality of life.

How Is Diabetic Neuropathy Diagnosed?

How Is Diabetic Neuropathy Diagnosed?Diabetic neuropathy is diagnosed through a combination of methods, primarily focusing on the patient’s medical history, symptoms, and a series of tests. Here’s a breakdown of the typical diagnostic process:

  • Physical Examination

A thorough physical examination is conducted to assess the patient’s muscle strength, tendon reflexes, and sensitivity to touch and vibration. This can help to determine the presence and extent of neuropathy.

  • Blood Tests

Blood tests are often performed to check blood sugar levels and to rule out other possible causes of neuropathy. Such as vitamin deficiencies or other metabolic disorders.

  • Nerve Function Tests

These tests, such as electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction studies, measure the electrical activity of muscles and the speed of nerve signals. They can help confirm the diagnosis and determine the severity of the neuropathy.

  • Quantitative Sensory Testing

This method tests the nerves’ ability to sense changes in temperature or vibration. It can help detect nerve damage even before symptoms appear.

  • Autonomic Testing

Diabetic neuropathy can also affect the autonomic nerves. This control functions like heart rate, blood pressure, and digestion, tests like heart rate variability tests may be performed to assess autonomic nerve function.

  • Foot Examination

For diabetic patients, regular foot exams are crucial because neuropathy can lead to foot injuries and ulcers without the patient realizing it due to the loss of sensation.

  • Imaging Tests

Rarely, imaging tests like MRI or CT scans may be used if there’s suspicion of other causes for the symptoms.

  • Reflex Testing

Testing reflexes, especially in the ankles, can help assess whether the sensory nerves and motor nerves are functioning properly.

The diagnosis of diabetic neuropathy is often a process of excluding other potential causes and confirming the diagnosis through a combination of these methods. Individuals with diabetes need to have regular check-ups and report any unusual symptoms.

What Are Some Best Diabetic Neuropathy Medications?

What Are Some Best Diabetic Neuropathy Medications?Diabetic neuropathy is a common complication of diabetes, affecting nerves throughout the body and causing symptoms like pain, numbness, and weakness, especially in the hands and feet. Here’s a look at some of the best diabetic neuropathy medications used:


Antidepressants are often used in the treatment of diabetic neuropathy, not just for their mood-lifting effects but also for their ability to interfere with pain signals in the brain. Duloxetine (Cymbalta) has been FDA-approved specifically for the treatment of painful diabetic neuropathy. It works by inhibiting the reuptake of both serotonin and norepinephrine, neurotransmitters associated with pain modulation. Amitriptyline, a tricyclic antidepressant is commonly used off-label to manage neuropathic pain.

Anti-Seizure Medications

Medications initially developed for epilepsy have been found effective in reducing nerve pain. Pregabalin (Lyrica) and Gabapentin (Neurontin) are two such medications. They work by stabilizing electrical activity in the brain and interfering with the transmission of pain signals along the nerves. Both have been approved for the treatment of neuropathic pain associated with diabetes.

Pain Relievers

For mild symptoms of diabetic neuropathy, over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or aspirin might be used. However, they are generally less effective for severe nerve pain. In cases of more intense pain, prescription-strength medications may be necessary. Tramadol is a prescription painkiller that acts in the brain to alter the perception of pain, while opioids, though effective, are used sparingly due to their high risk of addiction and dependency.

Topical Treatments

Topical treatments offer an alternative to oral medications and can be particularly useful for localized neuropathic pain. Capsaicin cream, derived from chili peppers, can be applied to the skin to reduce pain sensation. It works by decreasing the amount of a natural substance that helps pass pain signals to the brain. Lidocaine patches, another topical treatment, provide temporary and localized pain relief by numbing the area where they are applied.

Other Medications

Besides the primary medications for neuropathy, other drugs can indirectly help in managing the condition. For example, antihypertensive medications not only control blood pressure but can also have a positive effect on nerve health. Supplements like Alpha-lipoic acid and acetyl-L-carnitine have been studied for their potential nerve-protective properties and ability to improve neuropathic symptoms, though more research is needed to firmly establish their efficacy.

It’s important to note that the treatment of diabetic neuropathy is highly individualized. Hence, what works for one person may not work for another. A healthcare provider can recommend the best treatment plan based on the individual’s specific symptoms, health status, and response to previous treatments.

What Are The Benefits And Risks of Diabetic Neuropathy Medication?

Benefits And Risks of Diabetic Neuropathy MedicationDiabetic neuropathy medications offer significant benefits but also come with potential risks. It’s important to understand these to make informed decisions about treatment options.


  • Pain Relief: One of the primary benefits is the reduction of pain and discomfort associated with neuropathy. Medications like antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and pain relievers can significantly decrease the intensity of pain, enhancing quality of life.
  • Improved Sleep: By reducing pain, these medications can help improve sleep quality. This is often disrupted in people with neuropathic pain.
  • Enhanced Daily Functioning: Effective pain management can lead to improved mobility and function. And, allowing individuals to engage more actively in daily activities and enjoy a better overall quality of life.
  • Mood Improvement: Certain medications, especially antidepressants, can help improve mood. This is beneficial since chronic pain can often lead to depression and anxiety.
  • Slowing Disease Progression: Strict glycemic control achieved through certain medications can help slow the progression of neuropathy and possibly prevent further nerve damage.


  • Side Effects: Most medications come with potential side effects. For example, antidepressants may cause dizziness, dry mouth, and weight gain. Anticonvulsants can lead to drowsiness, dizziness, and swelling in the extremities.
  • Interactions with Other Medications: These drugs can interact with other medications, potentially altering their effects or increasing side effects. It’s important to manage these risks under the guidance of a healthcare provider.
  • Worsening of Other Health Conditions: Some medications can exacerbate other health issues. For example, certain antidepressants might not be suitable for patients with a history of heart problems.
  • Long-Term Use Complications: Prolonged use of certain medications, like opioids, can lead to tolerance (needing more of the medication to achieve the same effect) and physical dependence.
  • Variable Efficacy: Medications can vary in their effectiveness from person to person. What works well for one individual might not be as effective for another, and it often takes time and experimentation to find the right medication and dosage.

Considering these benefits and risks, individuals with diabetic neuropathy need to have a detailed discussion with their healthcare provider about the most suitable treatment plan. This plan should consider personal health history, current medications, and lifestyle.

What Are The Lifestyle Strategies To Help Diabetic Neuropathy?

Lifestyle Strategies To Help Diabetic NeuropathyManaging diabetic neuropathy effectively involves more than just medication; it requires a holistic approach that includes several key lifestyle strategies. Here are some essential lifestyle strategies to help manage diabetic neuropathy:

  • Blood Sugar Control

The most crucial aspect of managing diabetic neuropathy is to keep blood sugar levels within a healthy range. High blood sugar levels can damage nerves over time, exacerbating neuropathy. Regular monitoring and maintaining a balance through diet, exercise, and medication, as advised by a healthcare provider, is essential.

  • Healthy Diet

A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can help control blood sugar levels. Foods high in Vitamin B12, such as meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products, are also important since B12 is crucial for nerve health.

  • Regular Exercise

Regular physical activity can help control blood sugar levels, improve circulation, reduce pain, and enhance overall nerve health. It’s recommended to engage in moderate exercises like walking, swimming, or cycling for about 30 minutes on most days of the week.

  • Foot Care

Diabetic neuropathy often affects the feet, leading to numbness and sometimes injuries that can go unnoticed. Daily foot inspections, wearing proper footwear, and avoiding walking barefoot can prevent complications. If any cuts, sores, blisters, or other foot injuries are noticed, they should be treated promptly to avoid infections.

  • Quit Smoking and Limit Alcohol

Smoking can affect circulation, further worsening neuropathic symptoms. Similarly, excessive alcohol consumption can also contribute to nerve damage and should be limited.

  • Stress Management

Stress can exacerbate pain and affect blood sugar levels. Practices like mindfulness, meditation, yoga, or tai chi can be effective in managing stress. Also, staying socially active and seeking support from friends, family, or support groups can be beneficial.

  • Sleep Hygiene

Poor sleep can aggravate pain and affect overall health. Maintaining a regular sleep schedule, creating a comfortable sleeping environment, and addressing any sleep disorders can improve the quality of life for those with diabetic neuropathy.

By incorporating these lifestyle changes, individuals with diabetic neuropathy can play an active role in managing their condition, reducing symptoms, and potentially slowing the progression of nerve damage.


In conclusion, diabetic neuropathy is a challenging but manageable condition. By understanding the various diabetic neuropathy medications available and their potential benefits and risks, individuals can work closely with their healthcare providers to develop an effective treatment plan. Complementing medication with crucial lifestyle strategies can significantly enhance quality of life.

While managing diabetic neuropathy requires a comprehensive and individualized approach, maintaining open communication with healthcare professionals empowers patients to navigate this journey more effectively. Do you want to get rid of diabetes? Join our online diabetes treatment program and reverse Diabetes naturally through lifestyle changes such as a Personalized Diet plan, Exercise, Yoga, dieticians, and health coaches.