Diabetic neuropathy is an issue with your nerves that occurs when you have unregulated high blood sugar levels for a prolonged period. It disrupts the nerves’ ability to accurately send signals to the brain. As a result, you may experience pain and other unpleasant nerve-related symptoms.
Fortunately, if you’re diabetic and are at risk for this condition, you can reduce the likelihood of developing diabetic neuropathy by working with an experienced primary care doctor. A foot and ankle doctor can also provide treatment if you should happen to develop this condition and it affects your feet.
How to Prevent Diabetic Neuropathy
Ultimately, you want to take every step possible to control your sugar levels. This requires incorporating a multifaceted approach to diabetes management.
See a Diabetes Management Doctor
If you want to control your blood sugar to prevent complications like diabetic neuropathy, you should visit a diabetes specialist regularly. Some people may only need to see their specialist every six months, while others may need to visit them every three to four months. You’ll need to discuss a schedule that’s right for you with your doctor.
Part of managing your diabetes properly is eating a proper diet that doesn’t cause high spikes in your blood glucose levels. Generally, you want to opt for complex carbohydrates, such as whole-grain foods, as much as possible. You should eat a diet that’s rich in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat proteins, as well. You’ll also need to manage your portion sizes. You should eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day to avoid fluctuations in your blood sugar.
If you have diabetes, you should exercise regularly. This can benefit you in a number of ways, including by helping you manage your weight. Exercise is also known to lower glucose levels while enhancing your sensitivity to insulin.
Take Medications as Prescribed
If you’re on any medication for diabetes, you should always take it as prescribed. Patients who are on sliding-scale insulin should avoid eating unhealthily in hopes of compensating with insulin. This leads to major highs and lows in your blood sugar, which puts you at risk for diabetes-related complications.
Diabetic neuropathy isn’t curable, but your doctor can slow the progression, manage your symptoms, optimize function in the affected areas, and prevent further complications.
See a Foot and Ankle Specialist
Neuropathy tends to affect your feet first. Therefore, if you have symptoms in your feet, you should see a foot and ankle doctor. Keep in mind that diabetic neuropathy can lead to a toe or foot amputation when left unaddressed or poorly controlled.
Medication for Pain
Your doctor may prescribe a medication for nerve pain, such as an anticonvulsant like pregabalin or gabapentin. Another option is an antidepressant, specifically a tricyclic antidepressant like desipramine or a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) like duloxetine. Your practitioner may advise you to take both of these medications together to effectively manage your diabetic nerve pain. If you still have nerve pain, your doctor may advise you to take over-the-counter pain relievers, as needed.
Why Choose Our West Orange, NJ Medical Practice for Better Control of Your Diabetes
Let the experts at Hudson MD Group help you manage your diabetes and diabetic neuropathy. We are a multispecialty practice with a wealth of experience treating such conditions. You will only receive the best and most effective medical care at our practice.
Book an appointment with Hudson MD Group, serving West Orange and the nearby New Jersey region, for better control over your diabetes and diabetes-related complications. Call us at 973-705-4914, or use our online contact form.