Self-Care & Motivation

Diabetic Neuropathy : Putting your best foot forward

Reviewed by

Shifa Fathima

Neuropathy indicates nerve damage as a result of excess sugar in the body. It, in turn, causes numbness, tingling, burning in the toes or fingers. If left untreated, you can lose all the sense of feeling, and the consequences can be life-threatening. However, there are some ways by which we can prevent this or slow down its progression.

Causes of Diabetic Neuropathy

With diabetes, there is a reduction in the blood flow towards your feet, which elongates injury healing time. Moreover, excess blood sugar in the body causes damage to the walls of the nerves and disrupts the transfer of messages to the brain. All this can result in numbness or complete loss of sensation in the extremities

Symptoms of Diabetic Neuropathy

Some of the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy include:

  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Prickling
  • Pins and needles
  • Burning
  • Pinching
  • Cold
  • Buzzing
  • Deep stabs of pain

Diabetic Foot Care Tips

If you have diabetes but don’t have any foot problems, the best thing you can do is control your blood sugar levels to prevent possible neuropathy. However, almost 50% of diabetic patients can get diabetic peripheral neuropathy in their feet. It includes common issues like ulcers, sores, which sometimes may even require amputation if not treated. Getting a detailed foot exam every year goes a long way in preventing neuropathy from progressing further.

  • Check your feet every day. There are chances that you don’t feel any cuts, blisters, bruises, or cracked skin. Still, examine both feet properly, especially between all the toes.
  • Wash your feet with warm water every day. Check the temperature with your hand and see if you can feel the warm water on your feet. Don’t soak your feet in the water and properly dry them, including toes.
  • Wear the right fitted cushioned shoes. Even a slight misfit shoe can cause blisters that can result in infection that will never heal. Also, wear clean and dry socks made with cotton or soft fabric.
  • Use a moisturizer on your feet to avoid dryness but do not use too much of it. Keep your feet dry and not sticky or damp. Do not apply lotion or moisturizer between your toes.
  • Carefully trim your toenails and file all the sharp edges. 

FAQs

Can you get rid of diabetic neuropathy in your feet?

No, you can not get rid of diabetic neuropathy in your feet. Once the nerve walls get damaged, they can not get repaired by themselves. The body can’t naturally repair the nerve damage. The only option left is to slow its progress by managing blood sugar levels and opting for a healthy lifestyle. 

What is the best treatment for diabetic foot care?

There is no known cure for diabetic neuropathy. The goal of any treatment is to slow its progression, relieve pain and manage complications. This can be done by maintaining target blood sugar levels and relieving pain through medication.

How do you stop diabetic nerve pain in your feet?

Various pain-reliever medications can stop the nerve pain in your feet. For this, you should consult a doctor to know which medicine will be the best in your case. The medications can include anti-seizure drugs or antidepressants, or a mixture of both.

How do you reverse diabetic foot neuropathy?

At present, there is no way to reverse foot neuropathy. As the body can not reverse the nerve damage naturally, the condition can not be reversed. However, scientists are working on possible treatment procedures.

Is walking good for peripheral neuropathy?

Yes, some lifestyle modifications and exercises can help ease peripheral neuropathy pain. For this, you can go for a walk three times a week. It will relieve pain, improve muscle strength, and control blood sugar levels.

What is a good foot soak for neuropathy?

The American Diabetes Association discourages foot soaks for diabetic patients. When your feet are wet and wrinkly, they are more prone to damage. Just wash your feet with lukewarm (not hot) water every day and keep them dry. 

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