• How do you find out if one has peripheral neuropathy for sure? What treatments are there out there.

    Asked by Lafflady on Friday, September 7, 2012

    How do you find out if one has peripheral neuropathy for sure? What treatments are there out there.

    And how do you get your family to give you a break and not expect miraculous recovery instantly. I realize they don't want to hear me moan and groan, but then they get irritated when I am not telling them what's going on.

    2 Answers from the Community

    • abrub's Avatar

      Peripheral neuropathy is shown by symptoms - pain and/or tingling or numbness, usually in hands or feet. A common recommendation is Vitamin B6, 50-100mg 1-3 times a day (recommended by my Memorial Sloan Kettering oncologist.) Something I used after completing chemo, tho I didn't know about it during chemo, and don't know whether I could have taken it then, is Alpha Lipoic Acid; 600-800 mg once or twice a day (I do it once a day, with breakfast). That helped me more than anything else. And some people find acupuncture helpful.

      Some drs will give neurontin (gabapentin) or Lyrica for neuropathy. In most cases, it subsides after treatment; in some cases, some degree of peripheral neuropathy is permanent.

      Ask your dr and/or chemo nurses. Also ask if there is an Integrative Med provider associated with your cancer care center to find alternative care.

      over 8 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      Peripheral neuropathy is usually diagnosed based on symptoms. Any testing that is done is more to identify or rule out cause of peripheral neuropathy rather than diagnose it. My doctor recommended weight bearing exercise (walking, lifting weight, resistance training, etc.) as well as B-6 supplement. It is is slowly getting better. I still have to be careful in a lot of situations though because I have balance problems because of it and tend to drop things I am carrying due to numbness in my fingers. I also have some decreased sensitivity to hot and cold in my feet and hands so I have to be care not to burn myself.

      Regarding you other question, it sounds like you may have set up a catch 22. If you are not telling your family what is going on, they may be assuming all is well which translates to you as them expecting a miraculous recovery instantly. Can you can tell them what is going on without moaning and groaning about it? Or maybe just give them some literature to read about post active treatment issues such as peripheral neuropathy, recovering from fatigue, finding a new normal, etc.

      over 8 years ago

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