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March 5, 2003


Question from Harare, Zimbabwe:

Every night after work, my wife's feet give her problems. She complains that they are very hot and she cannot sleep. During the night at times I am awoken by her sobs, and you can tell she is in great pain. The doctor gave her some tablets, but they don't seem to work. Can you tell me what's wrong with her feet? Can this be resolved?


Without a lot of information, I will try. I assume she has diabetes. The daily pattern of discomfort after being on them all day and interfering with sleep is typical for diabetic neuropathy, which is worsened by high blood sugars. Therefore, improving blood sugars help.

Second, there are medications that help with the pain. These medications include Neurontin, amitriptyline, and imipramine, to name a few. Sometimes the medications that are used have to have their doses adjusted upward before they provide the best relief.

Maybe this has to be done with your wife. I would recommend you have your wife contact her physician to inform them of her poor response to the medication.


[Editor’s comment: Also, see Diabetes and Foot Pain at the Diabetes Monitor.