Neuropathy is any type of condition that causes damage to nerve cells, which play a major role in movement, sensation, and touch. When people with diabetes develop nerve damage as a result of uncontrolled high blood sugar, it’s known as diabetic neuropathy, and it can cause pain, numbness, burning, and tingling, most commonly in the hands, legs, and feet.
The most common types of diabetic neuropathy include:
– Peripheral neuropathy, which causes pain and numbness in the arms, legs, feet, and hands.
– Proximal neuropathy, which causes pain and numbness in the upper legs, buttocks, thighs, and hips.
– Autonomic neuropathy, which damages nerves that control sexual, urinary, and digestive function.
– Focal neuropathy, which causes pain and weakness in the muscles.
Up to 70 percent of people with diabetes experience some type of neuropathy. However, there are ways to manage neuropathy and prevent further nerve damage.
The Relationship Between Blood Sugar and Neuropathy
Lowering and managing your blood sugar is the most important way to treat diabetic neuropathy and prevent further nerve damage. Over time, high blood sugar interferes with the ability of nerves to send signals and can cause irreparable damage to nerve tissues. It also weakens the walls of the capillaries, or small blood vessels, which provide oxygen and nutrients to the nerves.
4 Critical Tips for Maintaining Your Blood Sugar:
1. Avoid foods with added sugar, such as soda, candy, processed snacks, bakery goods, and fruit juices.
2. Increase your fiber intake, which helps keep your blood sugar stable.
3. Eat plenty of healthy fats and lean proteins, but fill up mostly on plant-based foods like fruits and vegetables, beans, legumes, seeds, nuts, and whole grains.
4. Exercise regularly, and follow your treatment protocol, including monitoring your blood sugar levels and taking medications as directed by your physician.
Preventing Related Problems
For many people suffering from diabetic neuropathy, numbness in the hands, legs, and feet can lead to a serious injury that can easily be overlooked due to a lack of sensation. If you have neuropathy, examine your legs and feet every day for sores and other injuries. Keep your toenails clipped, and avoid going barefoot. Wear comfortable shoes that don’t cause blisters or other foot pain. Wash your feet with soap and water often, and visit a podiatrist each year for a foot-health checkup.
The benefits of a healthy lifestyle include reduced discomfort associated with diabetic neuropathy. A healthy diet and regular exercise are known to improve neuropathy symptoms, and daily supplement to support nerve health can have far-reaching effects for chronic pain.
Controlling Nerve Pain
Diabetic neuropathy treatment is largely focused on relieving nerve pain. A number of medications are used to treat nerve pain, but these often come with serious side effects.
Topical medications containing capsaicin have been shown effective for treating nerve pain, and electrical nerve stimulation works for some people. A number of plant-based compounds have been clinically proven to help treat nerve pain associated with diabetic neuropathy, including several B vitamins, spirulina, turmeric, L-Carnitine tartrate, and benfotiamine.
These and other research-based ingredients are found in Nerveology’s Nerve Support Complex, which supports nerve health and helps reduce chronic pain, burning, and other discomfort associated with diabetic neuropathy.