Pain in your hands and feet is one of the unfortunate symptoms of diabetes. When you have high blood sugar and excess fat — both common with diabetes — it can damage your nerves and cause pain. Neuropathy can happen for many reasons, but if it’s linked to your diabetes, it’s called diabetic neuropathy.
Dr. Jennifer Decker at Wiregrass Podiatry specializes in treating all foot and ankle ailments and is an expert when it comes to diabetic neuropathy. If you have diabetes, Dr. Decker can help you keep your feet healthy and prevent neuropathy from occurring in the first place. If you already have diabetic neuropathy, she can guide you through your treatment options so you can stay as active and pain-free as possible.
Diabetic Neuropathy Treatments
Once your nerves are damaged, there’s not much you can do to repair them, but you can stop the progression of the damage and address the pain. Here are a few of your options.
Socks can make a difference
Diabetic socks are specially designed to protect the feet of diabetics. They have no seams, no tight elastic, and extra padding, and they’re made from fibers that wick away moisture to keep your feet dry.
When you have diabetic neuropathy, you might not be able to feel when your feet are in danger. You could easily have cuts, sores, or bruises without even noticing. You can also get athlete’s foot, ingrown toenails, blisters, plantar fasciitis, or any other foot condition and not feel the symptoms that would normally cause you to seek treatment.
Diabetic shoes are made to keep these risks to a minimum by providing plenty of room, extra depth, more cushion, no seams, excellent support, ergonomic soles, and stretchable uppers.
Creams and ointments may help alleviate some of your diabetic neuropathy pain by increasing blood flow and oxygen to the affected areas of your foot. Besides moisturizing your feet, topical treatments are especially helpful during cold weather, when many neuropathy patients report increased discomfort.
Some people respond well to medication for diabetic nerve pain, but not everyone. If you’re a good candidate, Dr. Decker can prescribe drugs such as antidepressants, which can block certain chemical processes in your brain so you don’t feel pain. Anti-seizure medications have also been successful at treating neuropathy in some patients.
Of course, visiting Dr. Decker for regular check-ups is essential if you have diabetic neuropathy, especially if you aren’t able to inspect your own feet for signs of damage.
Preventing Diabetic Neuropathy
As with most medical conditions, the best way to treat diabetic neuropathy is to prevent it. Lifestyle habits that can help you avoid diabetic neuropathy include:
- Carefully managing blood sugar levels
- Exercise and physical therapy
- Maintaining a healthy blood pressure level
- Avoiding smoking
Properly managing your symptoms can prevent pain and further damage and slow down or prevent the onset of diabetic neuropathy. To find the best treatment option for you, call our office today to make an appointment with Dr. Decker or book one online.