Neuropathy, also known as “nerve damage,” is an uncomfortable condition common in people with diabetes. People with neuropathy experience weakness, numbness and pain in their hands and feet. The symptoms of neuropathy can have a real impact on daily life, from sleeping to driving and beyond.
At least 60-70% of people with diabetes will develop diabetic neuropathy, but symptoms can take years to appear. Research suggests that consistent high blood sugar levels cause surrounding nerve damage in patients with diabetes. This resulting nerve damage is referred to as diabetic peripheral neuropathy, and symptoms include mild to chronic pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness affecting your feet, legs, arms, or hands.
Chronic pain can be a daily challenge for both the affected individual and their family. Adjustment and dedication to a new lifestyle, as well as building a solid support system, can all help make it possible to live with diabetic nerve pain.
At Neuropathy and Pain Centers of Texas, we’ve successfully treated patients with diabetic neuropathy and helped them get back to enjoying a pain-free life. We’ve gathered our top six tips for living with diabetic neuropathy to help you reduce your symptoms, or the likeliness of experiencing early symptoms of diabetic neuropathy. Prevention and treatment begins with proper diabetic care.
Here are some of our top tips for managing and living with diabetic neuropathy.
- Keeping your blood pressure under control – The most important part of treating diabetic neuropathy is to prevent or slow further damage. Both medicines and healthy eating can help keep blood glucose levels under control.
- Be aware of the symptoms – Know the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy and call your doctor at the first sign. Symptoms range from numbness to pain or tingling, often in your feet, or feeling weak when you try to stand up. But neuropathy can affect just about any nerve and system in your body. So talk to your doctor about any changes in digestion, bowel movements, urination, and even sexual function, or any sudden nerve pain in one area.
- Do daily foot checks – With diabetic neuropathy, you might not feel a cut or blister on your foot or realize it needs treatment. This can lead to infection. Do a self-check every evening to look for foot woes—check the tops, soles, and between each toe. If you can’t easily see the bottom of your feet, use a mirror or ask someone to help. Never ignore a problem you find, and if there’s any delay in healing, see your doctor right away.
- Don’t smoke – Not smoking is the best advice for many health issues, and diabetes is one of them. Smoking is a risk factor for diabetic neuropathy. It increases your risk for dangerous foot problems with diabetes because of its harmful effects on circulation. Get help if you have trouble quitting on your own. Your diabetes care provider may be able to prescribe medication to help you quit, or suggest a smoking cessation program to boost your motivation.
- Exercise and maintain a healthy weight – Staying active and keeping your weight down will help you control your diabetes better, which will have a positive effect on the neuropathy too. In addition, exercise induces the release of endorphins, hormones that make most people feel better.
By following these tips, you’ll be able to reduce pain from diabetic neuropathy and the likeliness of experiencing early symptoms if you were recently diagnosed with diabetes.
At Neuropathy and Texas Pain Centers of Texas, we have a range of nonsurgical treatments to reduce pain and other symptoms you’re experiencing from diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Don’t let pain stop you from enjoying your everyday life.
If you’re experiencing neuropathy or have any symptoms of neuropathy, contact Neuropathy and Pain Centers of Texas at (817) 242-5599 and let us help you treat your Diabetic Neuropathy.