Unfortunately, nobody understands how much you are suffering as much as you do. Very few people can relate to the challenges of daily life with diabetic neuropathy. Yes, it’s unfair that you have to live this way. Yes, this condition makes your life far more difficult. If it was a simple task to control your symptoms relating to neuropathy, then surely you wouldn’t be suffering. Reality check – IT IS HARD to manage this illness! That is why so many people suffer MORE THAN THEY HAVE TO. Sadly, Just because someone tells you how you can reduce your symptoms does not make it easier to actually do it. As far as I am concerned you have two options here:
1. Make excuses as to why you can’t do the things you NEED to do.
2. Do whatever it takes to do the things you CAN do.
It definitely isn’t easy, but then again, what in life is? You have been unlucky enough to develop this condition and you can’t change that. The only thing you can do is take some advice, do your best to stay positive, and know that YOU CAN FEEL BETTER with hard work and being disciplined!
I read a great article about Diabetic Neuropathy published by the Harvard Medical School Health blog titled “Diabetic neuropathy – the agony of da feet.” Check out the article by clicking this link. Our wicked smaht (I’m a New Englander, I couldn’t help myself) friends down at Harvard bring up a good point: People tend to think of diabetes as a “silent, painless condition.” The truth is, people who suffer from diabetic peripheral neuropathy would tell a very different story. The constant agony of burning, pain, and numbness in the feet and hands can range from annoying to potentially life threatening.
Diabetes causes high blood sugar levels and in turn damages nerves and blood vessels throughout the body. Usually, the first nerves to see the effect of this are the ones that are in your feet. When this happens, there are many different symptoms that accompany the nerve damage. These symptoms can include: burning sensation, numbness, pins and needles, sharp pains, balance issues, extreme sensitivity to touch. Nerves can get so damaged that the often accompanying numbness can cause blisters or sores to go unnoticed. This can lead to infection. If the infection gets bad enough, it can lead to amputation of the limb. How’s this for a brutal statistic: Diabetes leads to roughly 70,000 lower limb amputations per year in the U.S. alone.
Unfortunately, there is no magic cure-all for diabetic neuropathy. Like most medical conditions, achieving the best results takes a change of lifestyle and a willingness to be compliant and dedicated to make appropriate changes. If you as a patient can commit to that, you have a much greater chance of limiting further damage and decreasing symptoms. Most sufferers of chronic pain and medical issues accompanying diabetic neuropathy have probably heard it all before. But, here are some tips on how you can best control the symptoms of Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy:
PROTECT YOUR FEET – Make sure you see a podiatrist to maintain good foot health. Always be conscious of your foot health by making sure you keep your feet clean and dry. Change socks several times a day if need be. Wear comfortable shoes to help avoid blisters and sores. Better to be extra cautious than risk it when it comes to your feet!
STOP SMOKING AND DRINKING – Not only can this be good for your general health, but smoking can interfere with blood circulation. This makes the effects of nerve damage worse. Drinking can make you be even more numb to pain and let’s be honest for a quick second; the last thing you need to be doing is stomping around after a few cocktails. Not to mention alcohol often times interferes with the meds you may be taking. I know, I know… We are telling you to give up all the good stuff!! But, if you are interested in bettering your current situation, just do it!!
EXERCISE HOWEVER POSSIBLE – If you can’t exercise regularly do some light walking. If you can’t walk due to pain, work out your upper body. Many patients have balance issues and walking may be painful, so any form of exercise that can get your heart rate up is key. Try swimming, a stationary exercise bike, an elliptical, yoga, or any other low impact exercises you are capable of doing. If you can find a way to get some cardio in regularly, you can greatly improve your current condition!
LOSE WEIGHT BY DIETING – Losing weight can help keep your blood sugar under control. It also takes pressure off of your feet if you weigh less. I hear it all the time: “How am I supposed to lose weight? I can barely walk because of my pain!” Diet is key if you are in so much pain you have trouble being active. The bottom line is this: If it was easy, then everyone would be losing weight. Seek out a nutritionist if you are able or get yourself on a specific diet. Nobody said it was simple, but keep plugging away and stay motivated. Remember this: Where there’s a will, there’s a way… Take control of your situation and your health will benefit!!
BE COMPLIANT WITH MEDICATIONS AND SUPPLEMENTS – Keep in mind that your doctor prescribes medications that he or she feels will best help with your condition. Make sure you take your meds exactly how your doctor prescribes them. Ask your doctor about supplements that may help and take those as prescribed as well. If a current regimen is not working, make sure you discuss it at your next visit with your doctor because everyone is different and everyone responds differently to specific treatments. If you feel like your doctor is not doing a good job at addressing issues or concerns, FIND A NEW DOCTOR!
Make sure you are always monitoring your blood sugar. Be diligent and you can greatly improve your situation. Often times, medications alone are not going to get you results. If you take your meds regularly, but are not active, eat junk, smoke like a chimney, and drink like a fish, how do you plan on getting better? We use Neuroline Solutions Nerve Pain Formula in combination with medications and other treatments to achieve the best results. Like anything in life, if you put in the hard work, things will work out for you. Our Nerve Pain Formula is one piece of the puzzle when it comes to neuropathic pain.