Diabetic Neuropathy is a type of nerve damage that stems from diabetes. Depending on which nerves are affected, diabetic neuropathy symptoms can range from pain and numbness in the extremities to problems with the digestive system, urinary tract, blood vessels and heart. High blood sugar causes injury to nerve fibers in the body, most often leading to damage in the legs and feet.
Diabetic Neuropathy Causes
Diabetic neuropathy is most commonly caused by prolonged exposure to high blood sugar. Other factors that may contribute to the condition include:
- Inflammation in the nerves caused by an autoimmune response.
- Genetic factors that make people more susceptible to nerve damage.
- Smoking and alcohol abuse, which can damage nerves and blood vessels.
Diabetic Neuropathy Treatment
There is no cure for diabetic neuropathy. Traditional diabetic neuropathy treatment focuses on relieving pain and slowing the progression of the disease. Instead of relying on medication, there are several natural treatments you can try to help relieve pain and stabilize blood pressure levels.
1. Manage Blood Sugar Levels
One of the best diabetic neuropathy natural treatments is to manage your blood sugar. Keeping your blood sugar levels in a healthy range can help prevent damage to the nerves, blood vessels, eyes skin and other parts of the body. To safely manage your blood sugar levels, exercise on a regular basis, eat a diet full of whole foods and check in with your doctor every once in a while to get your blood sugar levels tested.
2. Eat a Healthy Diet
Your diet plays a large role in preventing diabetic neuropathy. Limiting or reducing processed foods, refined carbs and added sugar and focusing on unprocessed, whole foods can help stabilize your blood sugar levels. Be sure to drink plenty of water and limit soda. Add healthy fats, high-fiber foods and lean protein to your diet.
3. Exercise and Try Physical Therapy
Exercising on a regular basis can prevent diabetic neuropathy by helping you maintain a healthy weight and control blood pressure levels. A study published in the Journal of Diabetes Complications found that regular exercises also leads to significant reductions in pain and neuropathic symptoms in diabetics.
4. Reduce Exposure To Toxins
If you suffer from diabetic neuropathy, it’s important to take added pressure off of your kidneys. People with neuropathy are more likely to develop kidney stone symptoms as well as kidney disease. Preventing added stress to your kidneys means lowering your exposure to pesticides and chemicals such as household cleaners and beauty products, alcohol and cigarettes. Diabetic smokers are much more likely than diabetic non-smokers to develop nerve damage, have a heart attack or have a stroke.
5. Manage Stress Levels
Stress can lead to inflammation, which worsens pain and raises the risk of diabetic complications. Meditating, exercising, spending time in nature or taking up a new hobby can act as natural stress relievers. Acupuncture may also be a beneficial treatment to help lower stress and pain.
6. Naturally Lower Pain Levels
Diabetic neuropathy natural treatment often involves lowering pain levels naturally. Research has shown that natural oils, vitamins and nutrients with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties can help reduce pain. Try:
- Evening primrose oil – Primrose oil is an anti-inflammatory oil that lowers tingling, burning and neuropathy numbness. Take 360 milligrams a day.
- Cinnamon – Cinnamon is known to help stabilize blood sugar levels. Add 1-2 teaspoons to a meal per day.
- Essential oils – Essential oils such as peppermint, lavender and frankincense can help lower inflammation and reduce pain.