One type of problem that can develop from diabetes is known as diabetic neuropathy. It’s a type of nerve damage that can result in tingling and pain in the hands and feet. It can lead to ulcers that won’t heal as well as amputations. If you suffer from it, there are ways to get the relief you’re looking for without surgery.
Managing Diabetic Neuropathy
One of the most important things you can do is take care of your feet. Even if you don’t notice any problems, you should check your feet every day. Here are several things you can do to keep them in good shape:
- Check your feet for changes like blisters, sores, redness or swelling. Always check between your toes.
- Wash them in warm water, dry completely, and put lotion on.
- Don’t go barefoot, if you’re outside or not. This lessens the chance of an injury.
- Wear good fitting shoes and make sure you wear socks with them.
- For corns and calluses, have a professional remove them. Avoid over-the-counter products that can burn your skin.
- When you sit, get your feet up to keep the blood circulating.
Mechanical aids are devices and products that can help manage and alleviate the pain you’re experiencing by keeping the nerves aligned and supported. They include:
- Specifically made shoes and socks
Have a conversation with your doctor and find out if prescription medication would help you manage your diabetic neuropathy. They don’t work in every case. There are a few that aren’t made specifically for it, but are worth exploring:
- Antidepressants: even if you’re not depressed, some antidepressants like, Tofranil, and Norpramin can help. But there are side effects, mainly drowsiness and a dry mouth. Others include, Cymbalta and Effexor XR. Some side effects are less appetite, nausea, constipation, dizziness and drowsiness.
- Epileptic Medicines: though they’re made to control seizures for epileptic patients, they can alleviate nerve pain. The American Diabetes Association recommends Lyrica, Gralise and Neurontin. Side effects include swelling, dizziness and drowsiness.
Avoid using tobacco in any way. That includes smoking cigarettes and cigars (the belief that cigars aren’t as bad for you is a myth), using chewing tobacco, and dipping snuff. Tobacco use leads to bad blood circulation in your feet. The Cleveland Clinic has a great resource on how to quit smoking.
There are other ways to manage the condition. Here are a few additional ideas for you:
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet
- Control your blood pressure
- Get more, moderate, exercise
- Use Capsaicin cream on your feet
- Try Acupuncture for pain relief
Consult A Professional
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle will help manage your condition. When you need it, don’t hesitate to get professional help. If you’re suffering from diabetic neuropathy, or think you might be, contact Southern Pain Clinic to see how we can help.