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Tips to help control peripheral neuropathy (Part Three)

Home/Nutrition, Side effects, Supplements/Drugs, Tips/Tips to help control peripheral neuropathy (Part Three)

Tips to help control peripheral neuropathy (Part Three)

Common peripheral neuropathy (PN) remedies not working for you? Or maybe you’d like to try something new in addition to steps you’ve already taken to control symptoms. Here are additional suggestions made by fellow patients:

Suzanne suggests, if the neuropathy get too annoying, ask your Doctor to put you on a small dose of nortriptline; it really works to ease the annoying rubber band feeling that PN can give you.

Danny Parker recommends using lipoic acid cream and rubbing it on your hands and feet. I had forgotten that ALA comes in topical form, too.

I may have already mentioned this, but Magnesium oil is another great topical option. So is tried and true cocoa butter. My dear friend, Karl Vollstedt, from Hastings, Minnesota, passed away last year after a decade long battle with multiple myeloma. He swore by a prescription ointment made of amit (2%), keta (0.5%) and lido (2%). I remember him telling me how much it helped.

That reminds me to remind you to check with your doctor(s) and nurses to see what they suggest. There are a number of prescription medications that may help that aren’t on my list.

In Part One, I shared Monica’s suggestion to look into monthly Vitamin B12 injections. Californian myeloma survivor and blogger, Nick Van Dyk, takes a compound called MetaNX, which is simply an extra strength prescription vitamin B supplement.  He notes it has been demonstrated to alleviate neuropathy in alzheimers patients. “Interestingly, the generic did not work for me but the brand name does.”

Acetyl L-carnitine is another important amino acid that might help. It has the added benefit of being credited with helping improve memory in Alzheimer’s patients–those of us with chemo brain can use all the help we can get!

Serious cases can require pain meds. I’ve heard from patients over the years that use Oxycontin, oxycodone, fentanyl patches and morphine sulphate. I mentioned Lyrica and Cymbalta in Part One.

CymbaltaHere’s a post I wrote a few years back about a clinical trial supporting Cymbalta’s use by myeloma patients with painful PN:

BREAKING NEWS: New study proves duloxetine (Cymbalta) effective reducing painful peripheral neuropathy

Posted on April 03 2013 by Pat Killingsworth | 4,417 views

These are all heavy hitters; reminders how serious and painful PN can be. Makes one wonder how things get so bad. But remember, as recently as five or six years ago there weren’t near as many therapy options available to switch to if a drug was causing PN. Back then, if it worked, you stuck with it. It used to be enough just to keep a patient alive; that was an oncologist’s primary directive. Today, most doctors will make dosing changes to try and minimize PN and other unpleasant side effects.

Vitamin’s C (folic acid) and E can help, especially if a patient doesn’t get enough in their diet. Many topical creams include Vitamin E. As with alpha lipoic acid (ALA) be careful taking too much Vitamin C on Velcade infusion days.

Fish oil and other omega 3 supplements are worth a try. Want to include a herbal remedy? How about evening primrose oil. Mayo Clinic suggests trying it on their website.

Acupuncture and therapeutic massage are proven winners. Cost and the time it takes to undergo therapy are two possible drawbacks.

I’ve saved one of the best for last. EXERCISE. A number of patients report the only time they aren’t aware of their PN is when they are on the treadmill or cycling. I agree. I feel best when I’m walking or swimming. It bothers me less for hours afterwards, too.

I’m sure I’ve forgotten to list a few. I’m going to compile a comprehensive list later this week, so there’s still time to get your suggestions to me.

I’m sorry so many of you are hurting. Hopefully using a combination of the suggestions above can help minimize your discomfort.

Feel good and keep smiling! Pat