Diabetic neuropathy can affect many parts of the body and have life-long consequences. The sooner you can control or prevent nerve damage, the better off you’ll be. Here are some tips to slow the progression of diabetic neuropathy and treat the side effects.
What Is Diabetic Neuropathy?
Diabetic neuropathy is a type of nerve damage caused by uncontrolled high blood sugar levels. It most often affects nerves in the legs or feet, but it can damage nerves in other areas. Neuropathy may lead to numbness in the hands or feet, which may lead to difficulty walking or, in severe cases, amputation of a limb. Diabetic neuropathy impacts approximately 50% of people who have diabetes.
How to Prevent or Minimize Diabetic Nerve Damage
There is no known cure for diabetic neuropathy at this time. Proactive prevention is always more favorable than reactive treatment. Neuropathy prevention techniques include the following:
- Monitor your glucose levels every day, several times a day. Keep a written or digital log of your glucose levels to share with your doctor.
- Adjust your diet and diabetes medicine as needed to control your blood sugar levels. Keep your levels within your target range as much as possible. Your health log can help you see how much your glucose levels spike after specific meals or during certain times of the day. Your doctor can use that information to create a personalized prevention plan for you.
- Report symptoms of diabetic neuropathy at the earliest signs. If you’ve noticed numbness in your feet or other parts of your body, talk to your doctor about treatment options. Early intervention is key to controlling neuropathy symptoms.
- Conduct visual checks of your limbs each day. Clean your feet regularly, and look over your legs for sores. You may not feel pain because of the neuropathy, but those pain sources can lead to infections. Use your eyes to protect your body.
- Maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle. Controlling your weight and the types of food you eat will reduce your risk of neuropathy.
Treatment Paths for Diabetic Neuropathy
Diabetic neuropathy requires individualized treatment plans. You may do well with a simple medication change to control your blood sugar levels. If you need pain relief for diabetic neuropathy, you could explore targeted pain injections or nerve-blocking medications. Michigan Center For Regenerative Medicine offers innovative pain management procedures for diabetic neuropathy and many other conditions. Reach out to (248) 216-1008 to schedule a treatment consultation.