What is Autonomic Neuropathy?
Autonomic neuropathy refers to damage to the nerves that control the body’s automatic bodily functions. This is different from other forms of neuropathy, which predominantly affect the feet and hands, sending pain and numbness sensations to the upper and lower extremities. Autonomic neuropathy is a more severe form of nerve damage because of the way it hinders our body’s ability to perform its necessary functions.
When an individual develops autonomic neuropathy, typically found in individuals with diabetes, they may realize that specific systems lose function or diminish productivity. This includes digestion, blood pressure, body temperature, bladder control, and sexual functions. Individuals with this chronic condition may experience symptoms associated with these systems, such as the inability to control the bladder, abnormal heart rate, blurred vision, and much more.
It is essential to monitor your symptoms with autonomic neuropathy. Additionally, it is very important to continuously consult your doctor and update them on your chronic condition.
At BEST Health System, our excellent team is dedicated to providing patients with priority neuropathy care. We understand how debilitating this condition can be and deeply understand its effects on individuals. Therefore, our neuropathy treatment program has been designed to work in collaboration with the patient to find the solution that feels best for them. Continue reading this article to learn more about autonomic neuropathy and neuropathy treatment with BEST Health System.
Five Tips for Living with Autonomic Neuropathy
Although neuropathy is not a reversible condition, there are certain steps you can take to manage your chronic pain. By following these five steps, you may find that you can better control the symptoms that result from autonomic neuropathy. However, before making significant lifestyle changes, you should speak with your doctor and ensure you are on a healthy track.
- Optimize your diet. Introducing more vegetables, fruits, and fibers into your diet is a great idea if you have been diagnosed with autonomic neuropathy. Since this condition is common in individuals with diabetes, monitoring your blood sugar levels is especially important. You should also do your best to avoid overly-salted foods.
- Minimize alcohol consumption. Laying off the alcohol is an important step when managing your autonomic neuropathy. Alcohol can weaken the autonomic nerves and impair different functions already inhibited by your chronic condition.
- Switch to neuropathy shoes. Individuals with neuropathy commonly experience issues in the feet, including sensitivity, swelling, and numbness. The best shoes for neuropathy take these symptoms into account and provide more support and comfort for neuropathy patients.
- Engage in conservative exercise. Although intense exercise is not recommended, neuropathy patients should ensure they are staying active. This can include physical therapy, swimming, or yoga.
- Quit smoking. Smoking is known to severely exacerbate neuropathy symptoms. Individuals who smoke are more at risk for developing further nerve damage and inhibiting blood flow and circulation.
It is time to begin if you are not already taking additional steps to manage your neuropathy. Autonomic neuropathy is a chronic condition, meaning it is necessary to make lifestyle changes to ensure your condition is under control.
BEST Neuropathy Treatment with Dr. Keith Girton
At BEST Health System, we understand how important it is to take steps to control nerve damage. This includes lifestyle changes, pain management methods, and, if necessary, surgical intervention. Dr. Keith Girton is our designated neuropathy specialist at our Cincinnati BEST Health System location. He dedicates himself to providing patients with premier neuropathy care, from conservative treatment to surgery.
Dr. Keith Girton is a board-certified spine and orthopaedic surgeon specializing in minimally invasive care. This means that our patients can enjoy our services with a shorter recovery time and smaller incisions, all on an outpatient basis.
Are you interested in learning more about neuropathy treatment at BEST Health System? Contact our team today to learn more about the BEST neuropathy treatment program and how you can find a solution to your pain.