Sometimes chronic GVHD affects the nervous system. Symptoms may include:
- numbness or a painful, tingling sensation in your hands and/or feet
- a shooting pain in your hands and/or feet
- lack of coordination
These problems, caused by nerve damage, are called neuropathy.
Depending on the severity, neuropathy may be treated with:
- a topical medication such as a lidocaine patch or gel
- oral medications such as amitriptyline, gabapentin or pregabalin
- physical and occupational therapy
- soaking feet in cool water
- Talk to your doctor if you have symptoms of neuropathy. A consultation with a neurologist can help.
- Wash your feet daily with lukewarm water and fragrance-free soap.
- Inspect your feet daily for cuts, bruises, cracking or other changes that may require attention.
- Wear sturdy shoes or slippers at all times.
- Do not apply direct heat to your feet and legs.
- Avoid falls:
- Keep your home free of clutter and slippery surfaces.
- Consider using devices, such as handrails and canes, to help maintain your balance.
Watch this video about managing neuropathy after transplant. Click here to view a transcript of this video and download the slides.
If you use social media, learn more about living with graft-versus-host disease and advances in treatment at #GVHD. Connect with others and show your support for GVHD patients.
(To view this page in Spanish click here.)
Next page: Infection and GVHD
Updated August 2023