Nerve control can be a difficult task for anyone, especially those who are predisposed to nerve pain and nerve damage from diabetes. There are many ways to keep nerve pain at bay. For instance, doing a few simple things such as committing to a healthy diet and a healthy exercise regimen can help.
If you find yourself struggling with nerve pain or you have diabetes and want to find a way to reduce nerve damage, continue reading. In this article, we will look at what causes nerve pain, the different types of nerve pain, and some strategies that can help you avoid nerve pain.
What causes nerve pain?
Neuropathic pain typically comes from nerve damage. Medical conditions such as diabetes, side effects from therapies like chemotherapy, or physical injuries are some of the things that can cause nerve damage.
Damaged nerves are more likely to misfire and they can send pain signals when you don’t actually have any cause for pain. These can also put you at risk for more serious problems such as foot infections. However, not all causes of nerve pain are known. Researchers have identified several ways nerves can misfire, and it has led to various treatments.
In surveys of people suffering from nerve pain, most say they still suffer from it. If you too are suffering from nerve pain, you might want to look beyond conventional medicine.
Types of nerve damage
There is more than one type of nerve damage and symptoms depend on the type of nerve damage.
Peripheral Nerve Damage
If you feel the sensation of pins and needles or tingling in your feet, you might be suffering from peripheral nerve damage. Your feet might also be sensitive to the touch. For instance, you might feel like your feet have socks on even when you’re actually not wearing any. Peripheral nerve damage can affect your hands, feet, legs, and arms. It’s also the most common type of nerve damage among diabetics.
Autonomic Nerve Damage
Autonomic nerve damage affects your heart, bladder, stomach, intestines, sex organs, and eyes. Symptoms might include:
- Bladder or bowel problems causing urine leakage, constipation, or diarrhea
- Nausea, loss of appetite, and vomiting
- Changes in how your eyes adjust from light to dark
- Decreased sexual response.
Proximal Nerve Damage
Proximal nerve damage affects nerves in the thighs, hips, buttocks, and legs. It can also affect your chest and stomach area. Symptoms might include:
- Severe pain in the hip, thighs, or buttocks
- Trouble standing from a sitting position
- Severe stomach pain.
Strategies for easing nerve pain
You don’t necessarily need to have pharmaceutical therapy to relieve nerve pain. There are many at-home and self-care treatments that can help prevent more serious problems and protect your overall health. Some of these strategies can trigger the body’s natural painkillers, helping you avoid any sort of dependency.
Let’s look at a few ways you can prevent or manage your nerve pain.
Steps to prevent or delay nerve damage
Keep your diabetes under control
There are plenty of things you can do to prevent or delay nerve damage from diabetes. Even if you already have diabetic neuropathy, these steps can prevent or delay further damage for your symptoms.
- Use a blood glucose meter to help you make decisions about your day-to-day care.
- Get an A1C test at least twice a year to understand your average blood sugar.
Checking your blood sugar levels will help you uncover whether your diabetes strategy is working or whether you need to make changes.
A few more tips for diabetics
- Report symptoms of diabetic neuropathy to your doctor
- If you suspect that you have nerve problems, seek a doctor’s consultation right away. Early treatment can help prevent more problems later on. For example, if you can take care of an infection early, you can prevent the infection from developing into a serious condition
- Your feet often feel the effects of neuropathy most. Look for nerve pain by checking your feet — notice if there are any bumps or dry skin, blisters, red areas, swelling, ingrown toenails, and toenail infections. If it’s difficult to reach or see your feet, seek help from a doctor
- Be careful with exercise. Some physical activities will exacerbate your nerve problems. Some activities are not safe for people with neuropathy. If this sounds like you, you should speak with a clinical exercise expert.
A few suggestion to help those with diabetic neuropathy
Consider a vegan diet
Eating a low-fat vegan diet can dramatically improve your blood sugar levels, which can in turn protect your nerves from further damage.
Gluten seems to be in everything. You might be wondering what gluten is. Gluten is another name for the proteins found in wheat, barley, and rye. Many people are allergic to gluten and they might not even be aware of it. Gluten is a common cause of inflammation and it means that removing food such as items that contain wheat, white bread, cake, or baking flour can reduce your nerve pain.
Don’t skip on calories
Studies have shown that caloric intake is more important than the number of meals you eat. That means that you need to maintain your food intake throughout the day. Eating healthy frequently through the day will ensure that you don’t lower your caloric intake accidentally.
Avoid artificial sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners might add flavor to things, but they offer little in the way of nutrients. You might be tempted to think that you can get away with artificial sweeteners because they have no calories. However, it’s best to avoid all sweeteners in your drinks and food. Instead, swap all of your artificial sweeteners with fruits.
Drink adequate water
Your body is made up of 70% water and drinking more can help fuel your body so you don’t feel bogged down by nerve pain. You shouldn’t have to live with pain every day. Regardless of your workout regimen, drinking more water can increase your energy and reduce your nerve pain.
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