Diabetic neuropathy occurs when nerves sustain damage as a result of complications from diabetes. Unfortunately, neuropathy is one of the most common conditions associated with diabetes — it is thought that up to 70% of diabetic patients will develop some form of neuropathy during their life.
While some cases of neuropathy are relatively minor and may only be uncomfortable or inconvenient, other cases can quickly become dangerous. So, that may leave you wondering, “Is diabetic peripheral neuropathy reversible?” and “What can I do to manage diabetic neuropathy pain?”
Can diabetic neuropathy be reversed? When it might be too late
Some forms of neuropathy can be reversed. For example, peripheral neuropathy caused by a pinched nerve can be treated by surgery, while neuropathy stemming from a vitamin deficiency may be reversed with the right diet and supplements.
Unfortunately, diabetic neuropathy is a different matter altogether. Once diabetic neuropathy develops to a certain point, it can’t be reversed. Why? Diabetes is a chronic condition with no cure itself — after your nerves have sustained significant damage or died, there is no way for the body to repair them fully. In some cases, early intervention may allow living nerve fibers to regenerate and regrow, though this is very rare.
However, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do to fight neuropathy. While no cure exists, there are many things that you can do to reduce your symptoms and help prevent the condition from worsening. As with many diseases and conditions, prevention is often the best form of treatment.
Lifestyle changes make a difference: how you can work to halt or reverse diabetic neuropathy
Managing pain from diabetic neuropathy may seem like a daunting task, but the first step in this process is to have a treatment and pain management plan.
While it may not be possible to reverse diabetic neuropathy completely, there are many different things you can do to help manage this condition so that you can enjoy a high quality of life. For those diagnosed with diabetic neuropathy, one of the most significant things you can do is make positive lifestyle changes. The following management options are ideal for both men and women living with diabetes.
Control your blood sugar levelsa
High blood sugar levels can lead to nerve damage over time — so controlling your blood sugar levels can help you better manage your diabetes and diabetic neuropathy symptoms. It’s important to check your blood glucose levels regularly to ensure they aren’t too high. Doing so will also help you recognize patterns or drastic changes in your blood sugar levels.
Maintain a healthy weight
For obese or overweight patients, reaching and maintaining healthy weight goals may be key to controlling diabetic neuropathy symptoms. One study found that obesity is one of the main factors that contribute to peripheral neuropathy.
Exercise regularly and eat right
A healthy diet can help you keep your blood glucose under control, which is why doctors recommend that diabetics:
- Avoid high-sugar and highly processed foods.
- Eat high-fiber foods, healthy fats, lean proteins, and plenty of vegetables.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
You should also strive to get plenty of exercise throughout the week, including aerobic activity and strengthening exercises.
Avoid toxic substances, alcohol, and smoking
Certain things can exacerbate your neuropathy symptoms, including smoking, excessive drinking, toxic substances, and some medications. So, avoid using substances that can increase your chance of developing neuropathy or make your current condition even worse.
Take your medications
It’s important to take any medications that your doctor prescribes, whether they’re used for treating neuropathy or diabetes. Be sure that you’re taking your insulin and other medications exactly as your doctor instructs.
The best diabetic socks in North America
Aside from the lifestyle changes mentioned above, it’s also important to keep an eye on your feet and legs, as these are the areas that diabetic neuropathy is most likely to affect. Check your feet often for wounds, practice good foot hygiene, and invest in protective garments such as diabetic socks.
Can diabetic peripheral neuropathy be reversed? No, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t take steps to mitigate pain and prevent the condition from worsening. Here at Viasox, we understand that effective diabetic pain management can make a world of difference to our clients. To that end, we’ve worked hard to develop a line of compression socks and non-binding diabetic socks to help you protect and care for your feet in style. We make it easier than ever to find high-quality diabetic socks online. Visit us online today to choose from an array of patterns, sizes, and sock styles, and find the pair that’s best for you.