Can diabetic nerve damage be reversed?

The Killer Shoe
The Killer Shoe


I would have to say yes.  Why?  Because I did it.

Here is the lowdown:

I had annoying nerve pain in my feet for years during a time where my average glucose was 200-300.  Then I spent several months working especially hard to maintain normalized blood sugar.  During those 6 months or so I felt the nerve pain worsen dramatically.  I felt it was too late, the damage had been done and now was worse than ever.

I wondered how I would live with the constant pain.

Then the pain disappeared.  That was years ago.  The pain has never returned.  Ok it did but only for a week after 7 straight hours of walking and dancing about at my wedding in 5 inch-high-too-narrow-for-my-feet stilettos (that’s what I get for such nonsense).  Other than that, nothing, nada, zilch.  I’m pain free.

I have since researched to find out what happened in my case.  I discovered that nerve damage which has not gone on too long or too far can be reversed.  Nerves are alive and can heal themselves if the body gives itself the chance.  I had terrible glucose for 10 years and in one year of good glucose control my pain was completely gone!

What does this mean for you?  HOPE.  Hope that you can at the very least lessen your nerve pain.  Don’t kick yourself any longer over your bad diabetes control.  Just begin to make steady changes towards better control, never giving up until you wake up and find you almost always have great glucose numbers (like me).

Reversing damage is not something most doctors will talk to you about, only managing the pain with medications.  You deserve better than painkillers, you deserve to feel like you aren’t a diabetic!

Give it a shot and let me know what happens…and remember, if you begin to improve your sugar averages and feel more nerve pain-don’t be alarmed.  This is a sign your nerves are healing themselves.  It won’t last too long, I promise.

Good luck!

Update-August 17th, 2011

This is a highly read post so I wanted to update everyone on how I’m doing two years after writing this post.  I feel the same.  My A1c has stayed below 6% during the last two years.  Once or twice in the past 2 years I’ve hit 400 and when I do, I feel a bit of tingling in my left toe.  Then once I’m back down the tingling is gone.  So…hanging in there and feeling good.  I wish you all the best.  Damage may be far gone in some people but I don’t think it’s ever too late to simply…try.  Maybe some damage will reverse itself…maybe not.  But what if?…

17 thoughts on “Can diabetic nerve damage be reversed?

  1. Kat

    I am so moved by your story. I am having severe pain in my feet and am now beginning to experience burning and tingling in my fingertips. I am so happy to hear that there is hope in recovering from this nerve pain. I am taking Lyrica which does help, but I am hoping to be able to resolve this so I can go off of the Lyrica.

    Thanks so much for your story, it is heart warming. It makes me very hopful. I hope to be able to write again with a success story.


  2. Sysy Morales Post author

    Thank you for your comment! I really hope you can do what I was able to. I know how awful that pain can be… Keep us updated on your progress and we’ll help keep you motivated! Good luck!

  3. Gaby

    Thank you…thank you…thank you!!!! I am experiencing the same symptoms and was terrified that it could be somthing worst, I never knew about nerve damage and I am extremely happy that it can be reversed!!! I am too just starting to get my blood glucose back to normal…Im trying so hard and its very overwhelming. I’ve been type 1 since I was 15yrs old, I am now 27. Im trying to start a family and I feel so much more comfortable to know this has to do with my body adjusting to normal blood glucose! I thank you very much again!

  4. Sysy Morales Post author

    lol, you’re so welcome! I wish I had known this before my big moments of panic too! I’m very glad for you! Good luck with starting a family!

  5. Tammy

    Have been experiencing slight numbness/ tingling sensation in my toes and pain in my feet for about a year now, I have lost weight and tried to keep my blood sugars under control, they usually run 150 and the high is about 200. Considering what I’ve read of others running 300-400, it makes me think my levels are good. However, I know for me 150-200 is high. I usually feel good but do not like the way my feet feel and just about a month ago my ring finger on my left hand has the same feeling as my toes….I am praying I can reverse this. It certainly gives me hope,knowing you had success in reversing yours. Any tips on how or what you did would be greatly appreciated.

  6. karen

    Hi Sysy

    I am in a wheelchair and do have other medical issues so exercise can be an issue although I did push into town today which is a mile from my house (couple of rests on way lol)
    . I have got to lose weight and get my sugar levels under control (which can be an effort when you have a husband with an extremely sweet tooth!).

    I have no feeling in feet but arms and hands tingle and sometimes hurt. I am making big effort to exercise and to make changes to my diet.

    Your letter has really inspired me that not all hope is gone and I will try even harder now.

    Thank you :)

  7. warren

    July 6, 2012 12:30 pm

    Thank you so much Sysy for sharing your story. It has definitely given me some hope. I have had type 2 diabetes for 17 years and have never really got it under control. And now for about 3 or 4 months I have been experiencing that burning sensation in my toes. And now i have definitely shifted getting my numbers down and losing weight into high gear. And after reading your story, i have quite a bit more confidence that I can do this. And i too will post here again in about 6 months to a year with updated results. Again, thank you for the inspiration. Wcp!

  8. telef

    I am taking cinnamon concoction. I have some nerve problem due to diabetes. Can it be reversed after consuming cinnamon tea?

  9. Jess

    I really hope this is true. This past year I’ve been going through so much. I let myself go for sometime. Since my last a1c I’ve been scared and stressed. I have hope now and will try my best. Thanks for sharing

  10. Karim

    How is everything going? I hope you are still enjoying a pain free experience.

    When did you notice the neuropathy go away? After the initial intensification, did it begin to lessen, or did it rapidly vanish? Do your feet feel like “normal” feet — with normal sensation to cold, heat and touch — or just without pain?

    Thanks for sharing your experiences.

  11. Sysy Post author

    It went away after months of the major pain. It eventually lessened before vanishing. My feet do feel normal, yes, with all sensations. I only feel nerve pain when wearing high heels while having high blood sugar, otherwise i’m fine even in 4 inches. At least for the time being. I’m sure I just prolonged what will eventually plague me :)

  12. Len Platt

    Thanks for sharing. I am a 67 yr male and I finally woke up to the fact that my blood sugar levels have been too high for almost 8 yrs and I am now dealing with neuropathy in my feet, legs, hips and gastro intestinal area. I was told by my doc I was prediabetic and that my neuropathy was from something else. It was only after talking to a neurologist that he nailed it as probable cause because every person is different when it comes to how their body deals with high blood sugar levels. Now I’m losing weight and getting my blood sugar within normal levels. Now I am dealing with the pain of trying to reverse the neuropathy and your article gives me hope. Thank you.

  13. Aj

    Thank you thank you thank you for the hope you just gave back to me. My your life be blessed and your pain continue to stay away.

  14. Yuneisi Latorre

    Thank you for your story as I am helpful for a miracle with my pain. I allowed 3 to 4 years in where i didn’t go to the doctor I went but did not do my bloodwork. I was always thirsty, and had to urinate a lot until November 2017 that I went to the doctor. Had a 9.6 a1c and now it is 6.5% in April. I recall at work when my feet or leg would go to sleep like ants moving. Or more tingling than usual but it would go away but in February it came and though it has improved i cannot cross my legs or I feel tingling waves in my feet and like little shocks on my feet and hands. Can u tell me what dietary changes and exercise habits do you have. I try for my sugar to stay between 80 and 120 and so far with diet eating 0 to very llittle carbs i have manage my sugar to stay normal

  15. Sysy Post author

    Sounds like you’re doing better, good for you! I eat low carb, too–mostly chicken, fish, beef, pork and non-starchy vegetables and some berries, cheese, and yogurt. I mostly walk for fitness but also stuff like squats and push ups, and recently, jumping on a trampoline is my new favorite way to move. Good luck and keep up the good work, I hope your neuropathy pain goes away, too!

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