As a diabetic, you may be familiar with neuropathy. Neuropathy is the result of damage to the nerves. Peripheral neuropathy pertains to the nerves in your feet, hands, legs or arms. Neuropathy of the feet is a very common side effect of diabetes. When your nerves become damaged, it makes it harder to feel sensations. Neuropathy may also include feelings such as tingling, stabbing, or numbness. Many diabetics develop diabetic neuropathy due to high blood sugar. Over time, high blood sugar levels can damage the nerves, resulting in neuropathy. While you cannot cure or reverse neuropathy, there are ways that you can help prevent and treat it. We've listed a few key things that you can do to either help prevent neuropathy from developing or help manage your symptoms.
Remember to always consult your doctor first with any questions or concerns. Talk to your doctor about steps to prevent, ways to manage your symptoms, or any other treatment options that would work best for you.
Regular exercise can help prevent the onset of neuropathy and relieve symptoms. Exercise plays an important role in better overall health, and will also help with peripheral neuropathy. Exercising regularly can help keep your blood sugar at healthy levels and also improve the health of your blood vessels and arteries, which will help reduce your chance of developing neuropathy and help prevent your symptoms from getting worse. Simply taking a walk 5-6 days a week can make a difference. Practicing yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises can help lower your heart rate, blood pressure, and keep your stress levels down. This promotes better health in your blood vessels and arteries. Try incorporating 15-30 minutes of light exercise, whether it is walking, swimming, yoga, meditation, or another form of exercise, 5-6 days a week. If you are trying new exercises, remember to go slow, take your time, and be careful. Adding regular exercise to your schedule can help prevent the onset of neuropathy and help you manage your symptoms better. Remember to talk to your doctor or physician first about what types of exercises would be best. If you are experiencing pain, burning, or numbness, this may make certain exercises more difficult and painful. Consult a doctor or professional about what types of exercises would be best for you and your condition.
Eating healthy is another way to help prevent or relieve your symptoms. Eating a proper diet and focusing on healthy, whole foods will promote better overall health and help your body function better. The right type of diet can help you manage your blood sugar levels and keep them at a healthy place. As a diabetic, you are most likely very familiar with having a proper diet. Certain foods can drastically affect your blood sugar levels, and it is important to avoid or limit these foods. Check out this article about eating healthy with diabetes for the best foods to eat for diabetics and which foods to avoid. Eating healthy will help keep your blood vessels and arteries healthy as well, which helps with both the prevention and management of neuropathy. Make sure you are also getting the right vitamins and nutrients daily. Diets rich in vitamin D and B12 can help prevent the development of neuropathy and relieve your symptoms.
A simple step for helping to manage neuropathy and relieve symptoms is to keep your feet protected and healthy. Peripheral neuropathy can sometimes lead to numbness or loss of feeling in your nerves. This makes it harder to feel if you have any cuts, sores, or blisters on your feet. For those with diabetes, any cuts or sores can quickly lead to a serious infection. It is very important to keep your feet clean, healthy, and protected. Make sure to always wear a good pair of diabetic socks. Diabetic socks are specifically designed with either non-irritating seams or no seams at all to prevent any rubbing. Rubbing and irritating seams can lead to blisters or sores. For even better protection, try a diabetic sock that is made with moisture wicking fabric to help prevent any bacteria growth. It is also important to wear the right type of shoes. Make sure to wear shoes that fit properly and are not too tight. Because neuropathy can result in a loss of feeling, you may have a cut or sore and not even realize it. If you already have neuropathy, it is very important to check your feet every single day for any cuts, sores, blisters, or any other concerns you may have.
One of the best ways to help prevent or manage neuropathy is to make sure you are managing your diabetes properly. Whether it is taking medication, sticking to a certain diet, or any other steps that your doctor has recommended, make sure to follow them. Also, taking time to relax and keeping your stress levels down can be very beneficial for the health of your heart, blood vessels, and arteries. Practicing these simple steps may help prevent neuropathy from developing and help manage any symptoms that you have.