A disorder of the nerves, diabetic neuropathy is one of the most common complications arising from diabetes with an estimated 60 to 70% of all diabetic patients suffering from this disorder. When the blood sugar levels in the body rise, it has a detrimental effect on the nerves. This negative effect makes the nerves lose their ability to function in a proper manner as time progresses, resulting in what is called diabetic neuropathy. While the symptoms vary from person to person, most people report feeling a tingling or burning sensation, usually in the lower extremities of the body such as the feet.
For millions around the world, diabetic neuropathy is a harsh reality and something that is discomforting and worrying at the same time. Those who suffer from this nerve disorder know all too well that it is not to be taken lightly as even the slightest negligence in treatment can severely restrict movement. Furthermore, what makes this form of neuropathy all the more terrifying is the fact that it remains in the system forever, and the pain can strike at any point in time once the disorder has been contracted. Fortunately though, there are several measures that can ease the pain caused by diabetic neuropathy and help patients live a normal life by coping with it.
1. Know the Risks
In order to live with diabetic neuropathy and minimize its symptoms, it is crucial to be aware of the risks it poses. In most cases, people who have had diabetes for quite some time and are quite old have a higher probability of contracting diabetic neuropathy compared to other diabetic patients. Being overweight also poses a serious threat as various studies suggest that obese diabetic patients suffer from neuropathy a lot more. Moreover, high and uncontrolled blood sugar levels also contribute in making individuals contract this disorder.
2. Get Tested
Diabetic experts recommend that patients get tested every now and then. Comprehensive foot tests that evaluate the condition of the nerves and determine their functionality go a long way in helping individuals stay safe from extreme and detrimental situations. These tests not only ensure that neuropathy is kept at bay, but they also help treat it better.
3. Purchase Comfortable Shoes
Shoes are the last thing many individuals turn to while going shopping. However, the significance of wearing comfortable and proper shoes is a lot for diabetics. Shoes that are made of comfortable materials and have soft soles provide protection as well as comfort. On the other hand, shoes that are restrictive in nature and compress the feet are considered bad for people with diabetic neuropathy. Bad footwear can further compress the foot nerves and cause more pain.
4. Create a Daily Assessment Routine
As diabetic neuropathy usually affects the feet, looking after them regularly and taking good care is crucial. By creating a routine that involves an in-depth evaluation of the feet, the risk of contracting infections can be reduced. In addition to this, the routine should also involve washing the feet on a regular basis and putting on a cream or a lotion to keep them moist.
5. A Healthy Diet
There is a reason why doctors emphasize so much on the value of a good diet, particularly for diabetics. As diabetic neuropathy is caused by high blood sugar levels in the first place, it is imperative that the blood sugar levels are kept in check and the best way to do so is by consuming a healthy diet. The diet should include foods that contain little or no glucose. Moreover, in order to strengthen the immune system and make the bones stronger, a healthy intake of all the essential nutrients is also a must.
6. Keep the Feet Moisturized
The high levels of glucose in the body tend to create dryness in the skin and this may result in infections as dry skin is susceptible to cracks. Therefore, try and keep the skin moist at all times by using a moisturizing cream such as a petroleum jelly or a similar product. However, do not use a product without referring to a doctor.
Like a healthy diet, exercise is also important for reducing the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy. Exercise is considered highly significant because not only does it improve the blood circulation, but it also keeps the muscles moving and stimulates them. All too often, people with diabetic neuropathy tend to stay bed ridden. While getting rest is good for the overall health, going out and being physically active also matters.
8. Quit Smoking
Dealing with diabetic neuropathy requires people to alter their lifestyles and this means quitting bad habits such as smoking. Smoking is considered detrimental for diabetic neuropathy because studies have shown that it aggravates the symptoms associated with the disorder. According to a research conducted by Todd Call of the Mayo Clinic College, around 62% of people with diabetic neuropathy admitted to smoking as compared to 33% who did not.