Diabetic neuropathy is a complication of diabetes and usually occurs in association with chronically elevated blood glucose levels. Elevated glucose levels may damage the nerves--usually in the feet and legs--and this can result in pain, discomfort, and/or numbness. Nerve damage or diabetic neuropathy resulting from chronically high blood glucose can be one of the most frustrating and debilitating complications of diabetes because of the pain, discomfort and disability it can cause, and because available treatments are not uniformly successful.
Some patients find some relief from this nerve damage or neuropathy by keeping blood sugars as closely controlled as possible, getting regular exercise and keeping their weight under control. Using non-narcotic pain relievers consistently throughout the day—rather than waiting until nighttime when symptoms can become more severe—also seems to help if pain is the major symptom. Surprisingly, clinicians have also found that certain antidepressants may be helpful and can take the edge off the pain of neuropathy.