How Can I Prevent The Problems Caused By Peripheral Neuropathy
You can prevent the problems caused by peripheral neuropathy by managing your diabetes, which means managing your blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol. Staying close to your goal numbers can keep nerve damage from getting worse.
If you have diabetes, check your feet for problems every day and take good care of your feet. If you notice any foot problems, call or see your doctor right away.
Remove your socks and shoes in the exam room to remind your doctor to check your feet at every office visit. See your doctor for a foot exam at least once a yearmore often if you have foot problems. Your doctor may send you to a podiatrist.
Stage Four: Constant Numbness
At stage four, nerve damage is permanent. Its still possible to see some improvement, but overall, youre going to have to live with some of this numbness. You do need to seek treatment for whatever condition is causing the neuropathy right away. If its diabetes, its very likely youre already experiencing other issues such as loss of eyesight or kidney damage.
Risk Factors For Diabetic Neuropathy
The longer a person has diabetes and the worse the control of their diabetes, the more likely they will develop diabetic neuropathy.Those people experiencing complications of their diabetes elsewhere in their body are also more likely to have or develop neuropathy, as the same factors that cause these problems also contribute to neuropathy. Smoking, high blood pressure and being overweight also make it more likely that people with diabetes will get nerve damage.
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Causes Of Diabetic Neuropathy
High glucose and lipid levels in the blood, and the toxic byproducts they generate through their metabolism, are thought to be the major causes of neuropathy associated with diabetes. However, good glucose control in people with type 1 diabetes can reduce neuropathy by 60 per cent.The benefits of good glucose control in people with type 2 diabetes are more modest. Improving lipid levels may also reduce the incidence of nerve damage in people with type 2 diabetes.
Prevention Of Diabetic Neuropathy
Be guided by your doctor, but general suggestions to reduce the risk of diabetic neuropathy include:
- Maintain blood glucose levels within the target ranges.
- Exercise regularly.
- Maintain a healthy weight for your height.
- Stop smoking.
- Reduce your blood pressure and lipid levels through diet and lifestyle changes, and medication where appropriate
- Consult your doctor promptly if you have symptoms including pain, numbness or tingling in your hands or feet.
- Have your feet checked at least yearly by your doctor, podiatrist or diabetes educator, or more often if you have signs of problems with your feet or other complications of your diabetes.
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Warning Signs Of Diabetic Nerve Pain
If youre living with diabetes and have experienced a tingling, burning sensation in your hands or feet, you may be suffering from diabetic nerve pain.
Diabetic nerve pain or damaged nerves are a result of an injury or disease. The restriction of blood flow to the damaged nerves leads to the chronic, debilitating pain. Nerve pain can make doing the simplest things very painful.
Diabetes develops in children and adults typically as a result of the body not producing enough insulin. What is insulin? Its a hormone produced by your pancreas. The purpose of insulin is to help cells use glucose or sugar found in food to produce energy.
Now, if there is too much sugar in the blood, this can lead to complications, such as diabetes. Often times affecting the kidneys, heart, nerves and eyes. Diabetes affects as many as 29 million people in the U.S. More than 8 million people are either unaware or have yet to be diagnosed with the condition.
Patients with high blood sugar can experience a variety of health conditions, including diabetic nerve pain, often seen in the feet and legs first.
Here are the more common signs of diabetic nerve pain:
- Deformities on the foot
- Sores or blisters
- Sensitivity to touch
- Tingling or stabbing pain
Dont be surprised if you experience difficulty standing or walking. You may also experience difficulty picking up a spoon or fork to eat your meal or drop items on a regular basis. Most of this is contributed to diabetic nerve pain.
What Is Diabetic Nerve Pain Or Diabetic Neuropathy
Neuropathy is an over-arching term that means nerve pain. There are four types of neuropathy, including:
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Radiculoplexus neuropathy
Peripheral neuropathy refers to nerve pain that is experienced on the periphery of your body, like the hands and feet. This area is enervated by the peripheral nervous system .
There are many conditions that can result in nerve pain in the farthest reaches of the body, including:
- Vitamin deficiencies
- Certain medications
The most common cause of peripheral neuropathy, though, is poorly controlled diabetes.
The hallmark of diabetes is a nearly constant fluctuation of the blood sugar, with spiky highs and cavernous lows. This constant fluctuation damages the capillary walls responsible for delivering blood to the nerves, especially in the hands and feet. As the capillaries become more damaged, diabetic neuropathy symptoms begin to appear.
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What Can I Do To Manage Diabetes
Unfortunately, once you have diabetes-related foot pain, it cant be cured. Doctors can only try to prevent it from getting worse. Here are 5 things you can do at home to help manage your diabetes-related foot pain and prevent complications:
1) Check your feet.
Check the bottoms of your feet every morning when you wake up and every night before you go to bed. Look for cuts and wounds and anything else unusual. These may be signs that your feet are becoming less sensitive and that something is going on with the blood vessels and nerves in your feet.
2) Wear shoes around the house.
When you have diabetes-related foot pain, you cant always feel when you step on things. Wearing shoes helps to prevent cuts and injuries.
3) Follow up with your doctor.
Its important to attend your regular doctors appointments. Not only will your doctor be able to perform foot exams, but they can catch problems earlier on so you dont end up with serious complications.
4) Maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine.
Just because diabetes-related foot pain isnt reversible doesnt mean it cant be improved. Lowering high blood sugar by watching what you eat and exercising regularly can improve some symptoms of nerve pain. Both habits can help improve your blood flow as well, which will lower your risk for complications. Just remember to consult your doctor before starting any new diet or exercise plan.
5) Stop smoking.
How Do You Calm Neuropathy Pain
The most common ways to treat diabetic neuropathy is to maintain a healthy low carb diet, exercise 3-4 times a week, and to eliminate excess sugar from your diet.
But what if you are already doing this consistently and still seeing no results?
If you are already doing your best to maintain a healthy lifestyle but you cant seem to get the results you are looking for this could only mean one thing.
Somewhere in your body there is a deficiency. Which is just a fancy word for the lack of something. This can be essential vitamins or nutrients our body needs to perform in an optimal state.
This lack is primarily the reason why we use supplements. To replenish our body with the nutrients we may not be getting from our diet.
Increased Pain At Night
Whether its because you are no longer distracted by the concerns of the day or the hypersensitivity and pain caused by even the sheet touching your feet, diabetic nerve pain is often much worse at night, making sleep impossible.
Because poor sleep and increased pain are bidirectional, one makes the other more intense in a cycle that is hard to break.
How We Treat It
Because peripheral neuropathy can be caused by other medical conditions, the first thing we do is run tests to make sure your nerve damage is the result of diabetes and not something else.
If its DPN, we start with simple treatments and progress to more assertive measures if necessary. These include:
- Proper footwear
- Analgesics and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen
- Control blood sugar with medication
- Physical therapy
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Treatments For Diabetic Nerve Pain
Damaged nerves cant be replaced. However, there are ways that you can prevent further damage and relieve your pain.
First, control your blood sugar so the damage doesnt progress. Talk to your doctor about setting your blood sugar goal, and learn to monitor it. You may be asked to lower your blood sugar before meals to 70 to 130 milligrams per deciliter and your blood sugar after meals to less than 180 mg/dL.
Use diets, exercise, and medications to decrease your blood sugar to a healthier range. Monitor other health risks that can worsen your diabetes, such as your weight and smoking. Ask your doctor about effective ways to lose weight or quit smoking, if necessary.
What Part Of The Foot Hurts With Diabetes
Peripheral neuropathy is a condition that affects the peripheral nerves. Diabetic neuropathy of this type is the most common. The feet and legs are the first to be affected, followed by the hands and arms. Numbness or a decreased ability to feel pain, as well as temperature changes, are common signs and symptoms of peripheral neuropathy.
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Peripheral Neuropathy Is When Diabetes Causes Damage To Your Nerves Particularly In Your Hands And Feet It Can Affect Different Types Of Nerves In Your Body Including In Your Feet Organs And Muscles
Nerves carry messages between the brain and every part of our bodies so that we can see, hear, feel and move. They also carry signals to parts of the body such as the heart, making it beat at different speeds, and the lungs, so we can breathe.
Damage to the nerves can therefore cause serious problems in various parts of the body for people with type 1, type 2 or other types of diabetes. Common symptoms can include leg pain, muscle weakness or numbness and tingling in your feet or hands.
Can Stress Cause Burning Legs
When anxiety kicks in, your bodys stress response can go into overdrive. This can affect your nervous system and cause sensory symptoms like burning or itching of the skin, with or without visible signs. You can experience this sensation anywhere on your skin, including your arms, legs, face, and scalp.
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What Is Best Medicine For Neuropathy
Amitriptyline, which is often used to treat headaches and depression, is one of the most commonly used medications for neuropathic pain. Duloxetine is also used to treat depression and bladder disorders. Gabapentin and pregabalin are two drugs that are used to treat epilepsy, headaches, and anxiety.
Other Diabetes Nerve Damage
People with diabetes can also get other nerve-related conditions, such as nerve compressions .
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a very common type of entrapment syndrome. It causes numbness and tingling of in the hand and sometimes muscle weakness or pain.
If you think you may have any type of nerve problem, talk with your doctor, so they can check for the cause.
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How Common Is Neuropathy Who Gets Neuropathy
Neuropathy is very common. It is estimated that about 25% to 30% of Americans will be affected by neuropathy. The condition affects people of all ages however, older people are at increased risk. About 8% of adults over 65 years of age report some degree of neuropathy. Other than age, in the United States some of the more common risk factors for neuropathy include diabetes, metabolic syndrome , and heavy alcohol use. People in certain professions, such as those that require repetitive motions, have a greater chance of developing mononeuropathies from trauma or compression of nerves.
Among other commonly cited statistics, neuropathy is present in:
- 60% to 70% of people with diabetes.
- 30% to 40% of people who receive chemotherapy to treat cancer.
- 30% of people who have human immunodeficiency virus .
Keep An Eye On Your Feet
Early warning signs occur most often in the feet. Check your feet daily for blisters, cracks, ingrown toenails, or wounds that are slow-healing or getting worse.
The American Diabetes Association recommends an annual foot exam, but daily foot checks are crucial for early detection and treatment. If you are unable to bend down to see the soles of your feet, use a mirror or ask a family member to help.
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What Are Some Risks If I Dont Get Treatment
Diabetes-related foot pain is more than just pain its a warning sign from your body. This type of nerve pain can lead to complications if you dont see a doctor and get treated. Below are some of the problems that can come from untreated diabetes nerve pain:
Dry, cracked skin. This may not sound too bad, but when your skin is too dry, your risk of getting skin infections goes up. If this happens, plain petroleum jelly or unscented hand creams can help. Just avoid placing moisturizers between your toes.
. This is an area of thickened skin that has less feeling. People with diabetes get calluses faster and more often than those without diabetes. You can use a pumice stone daily to help keep them at a minimum. If they get really thick, a doctor can cut or shave them down. Never attempt to do this at home as it can lead to infections.
Ulcers. These are sores that happen to some people with diabetes due to poor blood circulation. All ulcers need to be seen by a doctor. The longer you go without seeing a doctor, the more likely it is that it will become infected. Infected ulcers can spread and cause you to lose your foot or leg.
Amputations. If the previously listed complications are not treated properly, they can all become infected. Skin infections can cause the skin and muscle tissues to die. Once this happens, it cant be fixed. The only way to stop the infection from continuing to spread is by amputating the infected limb.
Improving Other Risk Factors
Although getting blood glucose under control is important, it might not be enough. It is also important to control other risk factors such as high triglycerides or cholesterol, treat high blood pressure and quit smoking. Daily aerobic exercises are shown to protect the nerves and improve neuropathy outcomes. Losing weight is also important if a patient is obese or overweight.
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How Can I Prevent Neuropathy In Feet
It is possible to prevent neuropathy in your feet. Here are some tips to help you live a healthy lifestyle and prevent damage to the nerves in your feet:
- Eat plenty of whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and lean protein.
- Exercise regularly.
- Avoid excessive alcohol consumption.
- Be aware if you are sitting or standing in a cramped position move around or shift often.
- Avoid repetitive motions if possible, change your routines. For example, swim one day and run the next.
- Discuss new diets and exercise programs with your doctor first.
Drink plenty of fluids, especially when working out and during extreme hot or cold temperatures.
What Problems Does Peripheral Neuropathy Cause
Peripheral neuropathy can cause foot problems that lead to blisters and sores. If peripheral neuropathy causes you to lose feeling in your feet, you may not notice pressure or injuries that lead to blisters and sores. Diabetes can make these wounds difficult to heal and increase the chance of infections. These sores and infections can lead to the loss of a toe, foot, or part of your leg. Finding and treating foot problems early can lower the chances that you will develop serious infections.
This type of diabetes-related nerve damage can also cause changes to the shape of your feet and toes. A rare condition that can occur in some people with diabetes is Charcots foot, a problem in which the bones and tissue in your foot are damaged.
Peripheral neuropathy can make you more likely to lose your balance and fall, which can increase your chance of fractures and other injuries. The chronic pain of peripheral neuropathy can also lead to grief, anxiety, and depression.
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What Does Neuropathy Feel Like
- Gradual onset of numbness, prickling or tingling in your feet or hands, which can spread upward into your legs and arms
- Sharp, jabbing, throbbing or burning pain
- Extreme sensitivity to touch
- Pain during activities that shouldn’t cause pain, such as pain in your feet when putting weight on them or when they’re under a blanket
- Lack of coordination and falling
- Muscle weakness
- Feeling as if you’re wearing gloves or socks when you’re not
Neuropathy can occur anywhere. You know we have no idea what is going on with you and we cannot diagnose you. If your doc is no help, go to a different doc.
Vickn said:Was not expecting to be diagnosed. Just suggestions. My doctor probably more helpful than my previous one. But they go towards the obvious T2 then neuropathy. I told him my a2c is 5.7 and he said someone people dont have controlled t2 and they never get it. Others are controlled as they get it. He says they don’t know why. I wanted go get ideas on what to ask for.I never expect this site to diagnose me. But the people here have guided me a lot. Crowdsourcing solution works better. It gives me what questions to ask and what symptoms are what. So if this is not this then test me for amother concept.