If you have diabetes…
Or you’ve had shingles…
Even if you’ve completed a successful course of chemotherapy…
And you suffer from pain or burning in your feet, legs or hands, you could have peripheral neuropathy.
You’re not alone…
You don’t have to just live with it…
You don’t necessarily have to swallow more pills and pay for more expensive prescriptions…
There are things you can do to help manage your pain.
More than half the people suffering from neuropathy report that they’ve tried some complementary treatments in addition to traditional medicine to relieve their pain.
There are many things you can do daily at home to help you improve your pain. Here are few to think about:
If You Have Diabetic Neuropathy, Control Your Blood Sugar
This may sound like a no-brainer but many people with diabetes don’t realize how toxic high blood sugar is. High blood sugar is what causes nerve pain and damage. Keeping blood sugar levels close to normal can not only stop ongoing damage; some damage may even be reversible. That provides even more promise for fighting neuropathy pain.
Take Care of Your Feet
Nerve pain is usually what brings people in to see their doctors. But the numbness in their feet and inability to feel even the smallest injury can lead to infections and ulceration and ultimately end in amputation. If you suffer from peripheral neuropathy you need to take special care of your feet and be very aware of any sign of problems. Some things you can do are:
• Clean and inspect your feet every day. If you have an injury that’s not healing properly, call your doctor immediately.
• Wear comfortable shoes. Don’t wear shoes that pinch your toes or rub blisters on your heels.
• Wear padded socks to cushion the ball of your feet and the heel.
• Either cut your toenails straight across or have a doctor do it for you.
Walk, or Better Yet Cycle As Much As Possible
You don’t have to run a marathon or even walk one. You don’t have to race a titanium frame bicycle. Just move the big muscles in your legs as often and as much as you possibly can. Exercise, even very gently at first improves circulation and improved blood flow to the legs and feet will help nourish damaged nerves.
A Warm Bath Can Do Wonders
Warm baths increase blood flow; reduce stress and aid in relaxation. All three of these benefits will make the pain a little easier to tolerate. But a word to the wise, check the water temperature with your elbow or your wrist before you get in the bathtub. The nerve damage in your feet makes them an unreliable source for judging temperature. Use a thermometer. We like 100 degrees Fahrenheit with some added minerals and antioxidants.
Take Targeted Supplements
Vitamins B-1, B-12, B-6 and folic acid are all vital to healthy nerves. We have found certain combinations in professionally tailored packages for each case often works best. If you eat a healthy diet, you may still not be getting the recommended daily amount of some vitamins and other nutrients. Talk to your doctor first, though, before you take any supplements to make sure they won’t interact badly with the medications you’re taking.
You can easily check for drug-nutrient interactions. Special caution is advised in thyroid disease and cancer therapies during neuropathy care.
Control Your Alcohol Intake
High intake of alcohol is a toxin to your nerves. And if the nerves are already damaged, it’s even worse. Some people think that a drink a day is good for your health. I respectfully disagree. If you have nerve damage, that’s a chance you don’t need to take. Don’t drink more than four alcoholic beverages a week if you suffer from peripheral neuropathy, and none would be even better
That’s Why NeuropathyDR™ Doctors and Physical Therapists are trained
Before you begin any self-care regimen or add supplements, herbs or vitamins to your healthcare regimen, always talk to your professional first. Virtually everything has some side effects so make sure that what you’re planning to take won’t cause you more harm than good.
And Above All Else…
Don’t give up. Self-care is vital to managing your neuropathy. While you may need a combination of these self-care tips and medication, sorting out yourself is not always wise.
Contact a local NeuropathyDR doctor or physical therapist to explore treatment options in addition to taking care of yourself.