For diabetic patients, diabetic neuropathy is a common complication that most patients encounter as a result of side effect due to the production of a high level of blood sugar which damages the body nerves. Neuropathy mostly damages the nerves of people with diabetes and in some cases those who do not have. Diabetic neuropathy also known as peripheral neuropathy is a condition where nerves are damaged due to the failure of your body to use the hormone insulin effectively. The most affected nerves are on the feet, hands, and limbs.
Most people with diabetes often develop neuropathy although there are those who may not. Neuropathy experience differs from one person to another. There are those who may experience mild symptoms such as numbness while others experience a lot of pain, have digestive and heart problems, blocked blood vessels, or killing some organs. Neuropathy comes with a lot of complication but there is no cure for it but rather various ways of managing it to prevent development. By monitoring blood sugar level, living a healthy lifestyle and having a good diet greatly helps in controlling diabetes.
Common Diabetic Neuropathy Natural Remedies
There are several treatments for diabetic neuropathy that can be achieved naturally apart from medications. These remedies are easy to do at home and have been seen to have a big positive impact on patients. They include:
- Managing your blood sugar level
If you can be able to manage your blood sugar level, then you can easily control neuropathy. Ensure that your blood sugar is in a healthy range to protect your nerves, skin, blood vessels and other vital body organs from being permanently damaged. When your blood sugar is poor then you risk developing Peripheral neuropathy which may result in amputation if it becomes severe. The best way to manage blood sugar level is taking a healthy diet, regular testing of glucose level and taking the right medication on doctor’s recommendation. To improve your blood circulation in the legs, you will need to have a foot massager for diabetics.
The best way to manage your diabetes is by exercising regularly in order to reduce neuropathic symptoms and pain caused by it. It will also help you attain a healthy weight, control high blood pressure and blood sugar, build strength, and improve mobility. It is recommended that you exercise daily by doing low-impact exercise such as cycling, walking or swimming. Your body will be able to respond to low blood sugar or insulin, hence resulting in taking fewer medications.
Exercising has been seen to improve circulation, lower stress, and cholesterol, and improve glucose levels hence protecting nerves. Your therapist may recommend orthopedic shoes or inserts if you experience pain in your feet to enable you to move comfortably. Wear diabetic socks while exercising to ensure your feet are fully protected.
- Taking a Healthy Diet
The diet you take directly influences blood sugar level. A healthy diet helps prevent complications and diabetic symptoms. Your diet should be either whole foods, unprocessed food, sugary drinks or foods to stabilize your blood sugar and less refined carbs. High fiber food with nutrients and less sugar such as vegetables, lean protein foods, avocado, nuts, and others will be good for you. Taking less food with sodium, grains, having balanced meals and taking enough water will also help control your blood sugar.
- Manage stress
Stress worsens inflammation and increases diabetic complication making it necessary to do things that relieve stress. Meditating, exercising or being around people who make you happy helps a lot. Undertaking acupuncture treatment eases stress and neuropathy symptoms with the pain that comes with it.
- Avoid smoking and toxins
Diabetic patients are prone to kidney problems such as kidney stones making it crucial to avoid stress which accumulates toxins. Avoid exposure to pesticides, beauty products, antibiotics, cigarettes or alcohol. Smoking when you have diabetes can cause a heart attack or damaging nerves.
- Take good care of the feet and skin
Always check your feet, legs or skin to spot any nerve damage and injuries such as sores or blisters. Proper skin and foot care help prevent diabetic neuropathy. Wash the feet, toenails, and skin care and dry well to prevent bacteria which may cause infections. Put on recommended diabetic shoes and socks to protect your skin. Cut toenails and use recommended skin creams to reduce pain.
Diabetic Neuropathy Symptoms
People with diabetes mostly suffer from neuropathy where their autonomic, sensory and motor nervous systems are damaged. Peripheral nerve connecting to the central nervous system is the most damaged if you have diabetes. The main cause is high blood sugar which accumulates on the blood vessels walls leaving a small space for blood to pass hence causing pain. Severe nerve damage causes loss of sensation, sores, amputation or even loss of vision.
Other types of neuropathy that may develop
Autonomic neuropathy –this damages nerves in sweating and sexual organs and digestive system. It makes it hard to notice hypoglycemia signs which are dangerous if not treated early.
Proximal neuropathy –this causes pain in the hips or thighs
Damaging the nerve in your blood vessels and heart
Focal neuropathy – makes the muscles weak or causes pain in the whole body
-Hypoglycemia symptoms are also known as low blood sugar such as high heart beat rate, sweating, sweating, dizziness, anxiety, shaking and more.
-Loss of sensitivity on the skin
-Tingling, pain and numbness of the feet, hands or toes
-Low blood pressure when you stand
-Digestion problems such as constipation, loss of appetite, diarrhea and many others
-Lack of balance
-Damage of kidneys
-Damaged urinary track and bladder nerves
-Sweating a lot at night or failure to regulate inner temperature
-Sexual dysfunction including lack of arousal and lubrication in women and erection problem in men
Causes of diabetes and neuropathy
It is hard to control blood sugar since the body will not be able to react to the hormone insulin, hence extra insulin will be needed to inject glucose to the cells in order to control which is found in the blood. There are factors that may lead to diabetes or nerve damage and they include:
-High blood pressure or a lot of fat in your blood
-Unmanaged blood sugar
-Other nerve injuries such as accidents
Complications of Diabetic Neuropathy
-Damage of the heart and blood vessels which may lead to heart disease
-Loss of sensation and pain on the joints or even deformities
-Amputation of the limbs due to severe infections
-Frequent infections due to low immunity caused by nerve damage
-Cataracts, lack or blurred vision or glaucoma
If you’re diabetic, you’re at a risk of developing diabetic neuropathy. The article has explored natural treatments that would help to manage diabetic neuropathy. The symptoms and causes of the ailments have also been explored. It is essential to take care of your legs and body to avoid complications that can lead to amputation of your leg. Also, wear best diabetic slippers while you’re indoors to shield your foot and legs from injuries.