Diabetic neuropathy is a condition characterized by damage to nerves due to uncontrolled blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes. As much as high blood sugar levels in the body can affect any nerves throughout your body, the nerves in your legs and feet are the most likely to be affected. If you have diabetes and develop diabetic neuropathy, you can have symptoms ranging from pain and numbness in your legs and feet to digestive system, urinary tract, heart, and even blood vessel problems. Individuals with the condition will react differently, and while others may have mild effects, others may experience severe effects which can cause disability.[1]

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How Do You Stop Diabetic Neuropathy From Spreading?

The best way to stop diabetic neuropathy from spreading, or rather worsening, is by controlling your blood sugar level and taking better care of your feet. Depending on your age, overall health, and how long you’ve been living with diabetes, your doctor will set the optimal range for your blood sugar level, and from there work with various plans to maintain the blood sugar level within range. Keeping your weight in check and observing a good lifestyle can also help with keeping your blood sugar level in the range. Exercising is also good for patients with diabetic neuropathy and usually helps with improving blood flow and keeps your heart healthy. Adding to that, you should avoid smoking tobacco since it can result in death from a heart attack or stroke, and one can also develop circulation problems in their feet.[2]

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Types Of Neuropathy Associated With Diabetic Neuropathy And How To Manage Them

There are several types of neuropathy related to diabetes, and they are; peripheral neuropathy, autonomic neuropathy, focal neuropathy, and proximal neuropathy. For patients with peripheral neuropathy, they can prevent worsening of the condition by checking their feet and legs on a daily basis, wearing well-fitting shoes and at all times to avoid injury, use lotion when your feet are dry. Also, wear clean and dry socks, trim your toenails carefully, and always check your feet for any wounds, cuts, bruises, and other injuries. Drinking plenty of water is also good for patients with diabetic neuropathy as it helps with hydration, and you get to enjoy the diverse benefits of water which help with your overall health.

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Individuals with the autonomic neuropathy type can best stop diabetic neuropathy from spreading by eating smaller meals. This is mainly because it is associated with the digestive system, in particular, the stomach, and may also affect the urinary tract, blood vessels, and sex organs. If the blood vessels are involved, you should avoid standing up or sitting down too quickly to avoid feeling dizzy. Additionally, you can wear a special compression stocking to help ease the symptoms and take medication. For men and women experience problems with their sexual organs such as reduced ejaculation for men and fewer or no orgasms for women, they should seek a doctor’s advice for further review. For individuals who have urinary system problems, they should take medication or else have urination assistance via a catheter.

Focal neuropathy affects special nerves, often those in the head, torso, and legs. In such cases, you should consult your doctor on your symptoms since it can be unpredictable and painful. This form doesn’t cause long-term damage, and it tends to improve on its own over a period of time – weeks or months. For patients with proximal neuropathy, they may experience pain symptoms in the thighs, buttocks, and hips. The best way to control diabetic neuropathy with this type is by taking medication to ease symptoms and go for physical therapy to help with the pain.[2] [3]

Conclusion

Diabetic neuropathy can lead to a number of complications if not managed properly. Some of the possible complication ones can experience include; losing a toe, foot or leg, damage to joints, hypoglycemia attacks as well as hypotension, digestive problems, and even urinary tract infections and sexual dysfunction. To stop or slow down diabetic neuropathy from progressing, you’d need to learn to control your blood sugar levels by consistently monitoring the level and ensuring it stays in range. Additionally, take better care of your feet to avoid any injury which can lead to you losing your foot or even leg.[1]

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Sheetal DeCaria MD

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

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Last Modified On: August 5, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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