If you are diabetic, you know the disease can affect many organs and body systems. Nerve pain in the limbs, especially the feet and hands is among the many side effects of Diabetes. Is there a cure? How do you manage symptoms? And what are the dangers of diabetic nerve pain or numbness? Read on for more information.
Why Does Diabetes Damage My Nerves?
Insulin is the substance your body makes to convert blood glucose into fuel. Diabetes is a condition where your body either doesn’t produce enough or it processes insulin correctly.
If you have Type 1 Diabetes, your body doesn’t produce enough insulin to meet your body’s needs. Type 2 Diabetes is a condition where your body has become desensitized to insulin, requiring more and more to do the same job. Both types lead to the same result, too much glucose in the blood.
Elevated blood glucose can damage the little blood vessels feeding your nerves. Malnourished nerves can lose function and die, much like any other bodily tissue, but nerve tissue isn’t as regenerative as other tissues in the body. If left untreated, nerve damage may become permanent.
Managing Diabetes Will Help Manage Nerve Pain
Because elevated blood glucose is the source of the problem, managing glucose is the best solution to halting or lessening nerve pain. To do that, consider the following:
- Your doctor or nutritionist should be able to tell you a blood glucose range to aim for. Test often and make the appropriate adjustments to your insulin as directed by your doctor, whether through a pump, pill, or injection.
- Focus on high-fiber, nutrient-dense foods as close to their natural condition as possible. For example, apples have sugar, but the fiber in an apple slows down the absorption of that sugar, limiting the insulin response. Eating the apple raw also retains most nutrients, whereas cooking it would destroy some of them. That’s not to say you should eat everything raw. Cooking fruits and vegetables can increase flavor and make some high-fiber vegetables easier to digest. The more foods you add to your diet in their natural, organic form, the more nutrients your body can access.
- A Food Journal will help you monitor your portion sizes and keep track of snacks. Sometimes, we eat more than we think as we graze throughout the day.
- Plan on balanced smaller meals every three hours to keep insulin secretion steady. Insulin highs damage your body, and low blood sugar drives your hunger.
- Exercising 30 minutes daily will help increase circulation, lower blood sugar levels as your muscles use the glucose, and increase good cholesterol. Good cholesterol acts like a pipe cleaner in your veins, improving blood flow, which helps all your nerves get enough nutrients.
- Managing blood pressure also protects your blood vessels and the nerves they feed. If you have high blood pressure, consult your doctor about the best way to manage your blood pressure, drink adequate water, and limit your salt intake.
- Review your medication regimen with your doctor. Some drugs are linked with neuropathy, and it never hurts to verify your doctor has all of the information they need to to advise you about your health.
Some Additional Lifestyle Tips
To mitigate nerve pain and improve diabetic neuropathy treatment, you may also want to try the following:
Lower Stress Levels– Elevated stress levels increase nerve pain. Lowering stress alleviates pain. Journal writing, yoga, mindfulness meditation, repetitive motion exercises like walking, hobbies, prayer, time in nature, gardening, music, calm animals, and interacting with loved ones all lower stress levels. Find something that suits you and your lifestyle and practice it regularly.
Skin Care– Diabetics sometimes have difficulty feeling injuries, which can be dangerous; even minor injuries can get infected without treatment.
- Inspect your skin, especially your feet, daily. You can use a hand mirror if it’s difficult to see the bottoms of your feet or heels.
- Shower daily
- Moisturize your skin
- Take all injuries seriously. Keep the wound covered and clean. If it doesn’t heal quickly, see your doctor.
- Watch for signs of infection, including redness expanding rather than shrinking around the wound, red or purple marks radiating from the wound, increased temperature, swelling, pus leakage, or bad smells. If you notice these symptoms, immediately go to a same-day appointment or the ER.
Check out chiropractic neuropathy treatment. We focus on creating an environment within your body that is natural and conducive to healing. Our goal is to determine the underlying cause of the issue rather than simply masking the symptoms.
Even if you’ve been told nothing more can be done to help you, don’t lose hope. Researchers discover new treatments, therapies, and nutrition that benefit neuropathy patients every year. The various branches of medicine are also trained differently. Perhaps trying another discipline will lead you to the answers and pain relief you seek.
DISCLAIMER: THIS ARTICLE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE
The information, including but not limited to, texts, graphics, images, and other material contained in this article are for informational purposes only. None of the material mentioned is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new care regimen. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this article.