Diabetic neuropathy is a specific type of nerve damage that occurs if you have diabetes as having high blood sugar (glucose) can injure the nerves in your body and most often occurs in the legs and feet. The basic symptoms of diabetic neuropathy include muscle weakness, tingling, numbness, and pain in the affected area.
Although not as common, diabetic neuropathy can also affect the digestive system, urinary tract, blood vessels, and heart. This condition can be debilitating and cause you to miss out on the activities and people you love. If you have diabetic neuropathy and are unsure of how to proceed forward, BEST is here to help!
Can You Avoid Diabetic Neuropathy?
There are different approaches to avoiding diabetic neuropathy. However, the exact cause of diabetic neuropathy is unknown. It is assumed that it is caused by uncontrolled high blood sugar that damages nerves which in turn interferes with their ability to send signals thus leading to diabetic neuropathy. High blood sugar can weaken the walls of small blood vessels that supply the nerves with oxygen and necessary nutrients to function effectively.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much that you can do to completely avoid diabetic neuropathy. This does not mean there aren’t ways to slow its progression or at least make it less likely to occur.
For example, quitting smoking as well as maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce your chances of being diagnosed with diabetic neuropathy. Taking good care of your feet and managing your blood pressure can also help in diabetic neuropathy prevention.
What You Can Do To Help Your Neuropathy?
Now having a better understanding of the condition you have, the next step is to find the appropriate treatment plan that fits your lifestyle and needs. There is no one-and-done treatment plan for diabetic neuropathy. This is because this condition has different effects in different patients. However, the following is a generalized treatment plan depending on how diabetic neuropathy affects you.
If it affects your digestive system. Your best course of action would be to keep blood pressure as close to your target range as possible as well as eat frequent, small meals that are low in fat and fiber.
If it causes persistent pain. There are several treatment options if diabetic neuropathy is causing you debilitating pain. Medication is one of those options. It can either be over-the-counter medication or prescription.
Depending on the severity of your symptoms you could be prescribed anti-seizure drugs, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and anti-depressants all of which can help relieve pain caused by diabetic neuropathy.
If it affects your ability to feel your feet. This is a common symptom that can occur in those who have diabetic neuropathy and can be dangerous, in the worst cases leading to amputation. Check your feet every day. Look for blisters, cuts, bruises, cracked and peeling skin, redness, and swelling. Making this a habit will ensure you catch if anything is wrong with your feet.
As previously stated there is no one solution to this condition. Fortunately, conservative treatments are are more than sufficient in reducing symptoms.
This condition will not fully heal so the overall goal of treatment includes:
- Slow progression
- Relieve pain
- Manage complications and restore function
- Slowing progression of the disease
Nevertheless, if you have exhausted all conservative treatment options and have not found the necessary relief for a good quality of life, you may need to consider surgery. If this is the case, worry not, BEST Health System is here to help.
What BEST Health System Can Do For You
If you are still unsure of what your next step should be after being diagnosed with this condition, reach out to the team at BEST Health System today.
We now offer treatment for this condition and this guide can help determine what your next step should be, whether that be conservative treatment or one of our minimally invasive surgeries. We can help you get on the path to recovery!
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