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Numb Toes and Aching Soles

Coping With Peripheral Neuropathy

Current books on diabetes reviewed by David Mendosa

Last Update: January 16, 2001

Numb Toes and Aching Soles: Coping With Peripheral Neuropathy
By John A. Senneff
July 1999
300 pages

ISBN: 0-9671107-1-8
ISBN: 0-9671107-2-6

Written from the patient’s standpoint.

John Senneff enjoyed running. An attorney in San Antonio, Texas, he ran to relax and for exercise. But about 15 years ago he started noticing that after a run his feet ached. Then paradoxically he couldn't feel them. Eventually, walking or even standing for a few minutes gave him nearly constant pain.

Something was very wrong with his body. It wasn't until two years ago, however, that a doctor diagnosed the problem: peripheral neuropathy.

Senneff had never heard that term before. But he soon learned a whole lot about it. Now 70 and retired, he has put his knowledge together in the first book about peripheral neuropathy written from the standpoint of the patient.

Peripheral neuropathy, which can attack your hands as well as your feet, is the most common complication of diabetes. Perhaps one-half of all people with diabetes have one form of neuropathy or another. And diabetes causes about one-half of all peripheral neuropathies.

While something other than diabetes gave Senneff his peripheral neuropathy, he is extremely knowledgeable about the various causes of this condition. He also writes about a range of treatments—everything from the most conventional pain medication to the newest alternative treatments. There are discussions of nutrients, experimental drugs, vitamins, non-Western medicine, and even magnetic devices.

Complementing this broad-ranging approach are comments from more than 200 patients who have used a particular treatment. These comments range from glowing endorsements to stories of frustration. The book is further strengthened by the input of a dozen top neurologists.

Senneff illustrates the various treatments without judging them. This arms patients with the information they need so they and their doctor—and not the doctor alone—can decide on what treatments to try. This is especially important for peripheral neuropathy because what works for a specific patient remains very much a trial-and-error proposition.

Well organized, extremely easy to read, and offering a wealth of detail, Numb Toes and Aching Soles is a crucial reference for everyone who suffers from this painful condition. 

This article appeared originally on the, which is no longer on-line.

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