4 Ways to Prevent Diabetic Neuropathy

4 Ways to Prevent Diabetic Neuropathy

Jun 16, 2021, 3:06:08 AM Life and Styles

Diabetic neuropathy, a form of nerve damage, has the potential to occur in patients with diabetes. High glucose levels associated with diabetes can cause harm to the body’s nerves, resulting in neuropathy cases. Nerves in the legs and feet are the most likely to be affected by diabetic neuropathy.

Different cases of neuropathy can lead to different symptoms, depending on the nerves that have been damaged. Overall severity also varies from person to person. Symptoms can range from pain and numbness in the legs and feet to complications with the digestive system, urinary tract, blood vessels, and even the heart. Other possible symptoms include:

  • Difficulty feeling pain or changes in temperature.
  • Severe sensitivity to touch (leading to pain).
  • An inability to feel or notice low blood sugar levels, also known as hypoglycemia unawareness.
  • Weak, potentially shrinking thigh muscles.
  • Bell’s Palsy, or paralysis of half the face.
  • Ulcers, infections, and pain in the feet.

Diabetic neuropathy isn’t uncommon. Despite its potential severity, the disease occurs in as many as half of patients with diabetes. Thankfully, neuropathy is preventable and can be delayed.

How to Prevent Diabetic Neuropathy

 Proper Blood Sugar Management

Correctly managing glucose levels with a blood glucose meter can help keep levels consistent. Patients should receive an A1C test once or twice a year to see an average of blood sugar levels from the past several months.

Generally, it’s recommended that adults have an A1C level under 7%. An A1C level higher than this can indicate a need for dietary or lifestyle changes that can lower the risk of developing neuropathy.

 Take Care of Your Feet

Be aware of numbness in your feet. If you have difficulty feeling pain, this may be an indicator of diabetic neuropathy—further; numbness can increase the risk of unnoticed (and thus untreated) injuries. So, it’s important to check your feet for injuries. Use your eyes, a mirror, and your hands. Check for bumps, hot or cold spots, sores, cuts, swelling, toenail infections, or any other indications of damage or injury to the foot.

It’s also vital to keep your feet protected. Use lotion whenever necessary, wear socks and shoes that fit correctly, always wear clean socks, and regularly wash your feet with warm water.

 Stay Up to Date on Research

There is new research being done every day to better understand diabetes. Recently, studies have looked into the Klotho protein. Klotho is an anti-aging hormone capable of predicting the progression of both cardiovascular and retinal disease. Research has shown that, in patients with diabetic foot syndrome (neuropathy affecting the feet), lower serum Klotho concentrations were found. These patients also displayed reduced expression of Klotho—at the protein level and at the gene level, as well as in their vascular beds. Klotho therapy is using these findings to potentially combat the development and progression of diabetic neuropathy in the future.

 Early Treatment is Key

As with most conditions associated with diabetes, the earlier it’s detected and addressed, the less lasting damage will be done. Tests such as corneal confocal microscopy have been shown to detect diabetic nerve damage accurately, even at an early stage. Klotho therapy also shows great promise. Continue to be aware of potential symptoms and see a doctor as soon as possible if you see symptoms arise.


Published by Shahbaz Awan

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