Sunday, October 26, 2008 Marie, Community Member, asks

Q: What condition could cause neuropathy other than diabetes?

I have had foot pain for years but no pain anywhere else.  The reading that I've done makes my symptoms sound like peripheral neuropathy, but I've been tested and I'm not diabetic. The cold makes my pain much worse. I have a burning, painful, shooting, "ice pick" type of pain, plus pain in both big toes. Who should I see for help?

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Answers (4)
Wendy, Community Member
3/ 5/09 8:53am

I have the exact same thing.  I've been dealing with it for 3 years now and I've finally been diagnosed after extensive testing.  I can tell you from my experience that Cymbalta is a miracle drug.  It works like nothing else!  Only problem, there's no cure for peripheral neuropathy and I don't like the idea of being on Cymbalta or anything else for that matter, for the rest of my life, I'm only 42.  So just yesterday my podiatrist gave me samples of a non-drug med which he called a medical food/super vitamin.  It's called Metanx and it's used to treat peripheral neuropathy.  It's a combination of B-6, B-12 and high potency folic acids.  It does require a prescription but it's all natural without the side effects of long term usage as with Cymbalta!  I'm excited to try it.  However, he warned that I wouldn't feel immediate results.  It'll take up to 3 months to get the full effects.  If it doesn't work for me, I'll be back on Cymbalta because I can't live with this excrusiating pain.


Anyway, hope this helps you out.  I really can relate with your pain and feel for you!


Email me if you'd like to.


Take care,

ungermom, Community Member
9/ 8/12 3:43pm

I too have the same problem and not being diabetic.  I have had a ruptured repaired in the L4-L5 area, but had this problem starting before that.  I was on Topamax for a few years for my horrible migraines and my regular doctor wondered if that might have been what caused it.  I don't know but I had numerous side effects on Topamax and was finally able to get on Amitriptyline with the same results for my migraines.  I started with my right foot, but now it has gone to my left one also.  I can't stand long periods or walk very far to start the pain in my feet.  There must be something out there that will stop the progression of this ailment or at least ease up the pain you get.  I will be following this to see what others have been through to help.  I am on Cymbalta 30mg., one pill a day, so maybe I need a higher dose.

Nece, Community Member
10/26/08 2:13pm
I am in the same boat, but have not had my herniation repaired yet. I know exactly what you are talking about and the best bet is to call one of the hospital physician referral programs and they will give you the name of a couple of podiatrists who can help you. My mom did and she is feeling much better as you could NEVER come even near her toes. The MD put her on Lyrica and Metanx and the combination has really helped her. I am an RN and do a great deal of research on pain as I have not worked in over 3 years now. There are a number of good meds to take to help this problem and my mom and I are not diabetic. So, ask your neurosurgeon or get a podiatrist who can tell you about Metanx. It is not cheap, but it works. Hope this helps you. Nece Reply
Cat, Community Member
5/ 1/09 11:33am

I've been on Metanx for a couple of years and it works really well. However in order for it to have maximum effect I had to cut down my coffee consumption to not more than two cups as this has an affect on the histamines your body produces. You can get a script from your podiatrist.

Renee Culver, Editor
7/ 9/14 3:18pm

Hi Marie,


You're right, peripheral neuropathy doesn't have to be caused by diabetes. It can be caused by many factors, including autoimmune diseases, trauma, medications, vitamin deficiencies, and other factors, like alcoholism. For this reason it's important to talk to your doctor about what may be causing your symptoms. A podiatrist (foot doctor) can help, but your regular physician can also help determine what might be causing your pain.

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By Marie, Community Member— Last Modified: 07/17/14, First Published: 10/26/08