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Peripheral neuropathy
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Peripheral neuropathy

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DIABETES AND ENDOCRINE SYSTEM

Diabetes Complications

From MayoClinic.com 

Prevention

The best way to prevent peripheral neuropathy is to carefully manage any medical condition that puts you at risk. That means controlling your blood sugar level if you have diabetes or talking to your doctor about safe and effective treatments if you think you may have a problem with alcohol.

Whether or not you have a medical condition, eat a healthy diet that's rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein. The best food sources of vitamin B-12 are meats, fish, eggs and low-fat dairy foods. If you're a strict vegetarian, make sure you get enough B-12 by choosing soy products such as tofu, sea vegetables (dulse, kelp, kombu or nori — the wrapping for sushi) or brewer's yeast. You may also want to talk to your doctor about B-12 supplements.

As much as possible, avoid repetitive motions, cramped positions and toxic chemicals, all of which may cause nerve damage.

Self-care

The following suggestions can help you manage peripheral neuropathy:

  • Take care of your feet, especially if you have diabetes. Check your feet daily for signs of blisters, cuts or calluses. Tight shoes and socks can worsen pain and tingling and may lead to sores that won't heal. Wear soft, loose cotton socks and padded shoes. You can use a semicircular hoop, which is available in medical supply stores, to keep bedcovers off hot or sensitive feet.

  • Exercise. Ask your doctor about an exercise routine that's right for you. Regular exercise may reduce neuropathy pain and can help control blood sugar levels.

  • Limit caffeine. Try to avoid foods or drinks high in caffeine, including coffee, chocolate and sodas. Caffeine can make pain worse.

  • Eat healthy meals. If you're at high risk of neuropathy or have a chronic medical condition, healthy eating is especially important. Emphasize low-fat meats and dairy products and include lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains in your diet.

  • Massage your hands and feet, or have someone massage them for you. Massage helps improve circulation, stimulates nerves and may temporarily relieve pain.

Coping skills

Living with chronic pain or disability presents daily challenges. Some of these suggestions may make it easier for you to cope:

  • Set priorities. Decide which tasks you need to do on a given day, such as paying bills or shopping for groceries, and which can wait until another time. Stay active, but don't overdo.

  • Get out of the house. When you have severe pain, it's natural to want to be alone. But this only makes it easier to focus on your pain. Instead, visit a friend, go to a movie or take a walk.

  • Seek and accept support. It isn't a sign of weakness to ask for or accept help when you need it. In addition to support from family and friends, consider joining a chronic pain support group. Although support groups aren't for everyone, they can be good places to hear about coping techniques or treatments that have worked for others. You'll also meet people who understand what you're going through. To find a support group in your community, check with your doctor, a nurse or the county health department.

  • Prepare for challenging situations. If something especially stressful is coming up in your life, such as a move or a new job, knowing what you have to do ahead of time can help you cope.

  • Talk to a counselor or therapist. Insomnia, depression and impotence are possible complications of peripheral neuropathy. If you experience any of these, you may find it helpful to talk to a counselor or therapist in addition to your primary care doctor. There are treatments that can help.

 

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This information is provided for general medical education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a physician relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient's medical condition.
In no event will The DrEddyClinic.com be liable for any decision made or action taken in reliance upon the information provided through this web site.

 


 



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