Tingling feeling in the lower limbs, numbness, or even pain for no reason, that would not get better with conventional pain relievers could be signs of ensuing neuropathy if you have diabetes.
Neuropathy in diabetes is not only limited to limbs but may also involve other parts. Thus autonomous neuropathy may change the functioning of various internal organs. A person may suffer from dizziness on standing, due to the failure of the heart to react to the exertion. There may be an alteration in the bowel function and much more.
When it comes to the treatment of neuropathy, there is not much choice regarding the medications. There are no specific drugs to treat diabetic neuropathy. Hence doctors would generally use either anti-seizure agents or antidepressants. These would help in a small number of cases.
Thus the first line treatment of diabetic neuropathy is to keep blood sugar level in check and take other health measures.
Preventing diabetic neuropathy naturally
- Dietary measures – it is not just about eating a balanced diet that is rich in complex carbohydrates, but for your nerve health, it is vital to include healthy fats in your diet. Several clinical investigations have shown that diet rich in omega-3 fatty acid can not only prevent neuropathy but even has an ability to reverse the symptoms. Fish oil, walnuts, soy oil, canola oil, flaxseeds are some of the rich sources of omega-3 fatty acid. Another thing that is worth mentioning is vitamin B12. Some of the drugs used in diabetes may also cause a deficiency of vitamin B12 and thus worsen the neuropathy (g., Metformin). Fish, milk and milk products, organ meat, are all rich sources of vitamin B12.
- Regular exercise – is proven way to overcome hyperglycemia, lower body fat, improve cardiovascular health. Physical activity is known to be good for both the peripheral and central nervous system. Thus it will not only help to get rid of numbness in limbs but would improve mood and mental functions. Aerobic exercise is perhaps known to be the most effective of all. Ideally one should exercise for at least 30 minutes, five times a week. Clinical research has shown that most people would feel the benefit within three months of regular exercise.
- Lose body weight – research shows that losing 5-7% of body weight can significantly reduce the risk of developing diabetes in those at high risk, while in people with diabetes it can result in decreased dependence on glucose-lowering Weight control dramatically lowers the risk of developing neuropathy.
- Avoid smoking – nicotine has an adverse effect on the vascular health, thus in those living with diabetes, it increases the risk of neuropathy by several times. Smoking along with diabetes are the leading causes of non-healing peripheral ulcers.
- Avoid alcohol – high intake of alcohol is known to worsen the nerve numbness, have an adverse effect on brain health. It is also known to cause a deficiency of vitamin B12, which is essential for healthy
- Manage stress – it increases the level of cortisol, which may harm the nerves. Practicing mindfulness may help to keep daily stress in check. Tai-chi or Yoga could be some of the options.
This graphic shows specific information that you can use to prevent diabetic neuropathy.