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Patients with type 2 diabetes who suffer from neuropathy experienced relief after being treated with a combination of electrotherapy and the drug amitriptyline. The tests were conducted by Dr. Dinesh Kumar at the Los Angeles County University of Southern California Medical Center.
Twenty-six men and women, age 31 to 70 years, who suffered from pain and burning in their feet were given a treatment of the drug amitriptyline. All patients were administered amitriptyline for a 20-week period. After four weeks of amitriptyline treatment, patients complaining of neuropathy pain were put into an electrotherapy group while continuing to take the drug.
When the test was complete, 85 percent of the patients felt that electrotherapy was much more effective in reducing pain. More than one-third of the treatment group reported complete relief from symptoms.
According to the August 1998 issue of Diabetes Care, Dr. Kumar suggests that one explanation for electrotherapy's success is that it improves oxygen in the nerves. The muscles in patients' knees could be seen reacting in contractions to the electric impulses.
Kumar concluded that electrotherapy coupled with the use of amitriptyline was also an effective remedy.
Neuropathy is a common complication of diabetes, affecting nearly one out of every three patients.