Tips for Treating Diabetic Nerve Pain
Diabetic nerve damage, also known as diabetic neuropathy, is caused over time as nerves are damaged by high blood sugar. About half of all people with diabetes have some form of nerve damage, which can cause nerve pain and numbness ranging from mild to disabling.
There are four types of diabetic neuropathy, each affecting different areas of the body. The most common type affects the legs and feet, but diabetic nerve damage can also affect the digestive system, blood vessels, heart, urinary tract and beyond. Though diabetic neuropathy is common, it’s a serious complication that should be treated with care.
Here are some tips for preventing, delaying and treating diabetic nerve pain.
Control Your Blood Sugar
One of the best ways for diabetics to delay nerve damage is to diligently monitor your blood sugar on a strict schedule. Any shift in blood sugar levels puts your nerves at risk of damage. To ensure your blood sugar stays at a healthy level, regularly visit your doctor for check-ups and maintain a diabetes-friendly meal plan. Those with diabetes should also have the A1C test at least biannually, to ensure their blood sugar is steady. The A1C test indicates average blood sugar level over the past few months, according to the American Diabetes Association.
Take Care of your Feet
Common complications related to diabetic neuropathy show up on diabetic feet. To manage these complications, make annual foot exams with a podiatrist and conduct daily foot assessments on your own. Every day, examine your feet for imperfections. Specifically, look for sores, blisters, cuts, bruising, cracking skin, swelling and any other imperfections. Take time to wash, moisturize and dry your feet every day, and always wear socks and comfortable shoes to protect your feet.
Controlling your blood sugar and taking good care of your feet will help delay diabetic nerve pain. In addition to making these diabetes-friendly choices, trust your gut: if you notice something odd that could potentially be a sign of a neuropathy complication, consult your doctor.