Diabetes can trigger a number of complications. One of which is leg pain, a result of a nerve damage called diabetic neuropathy. Once diabetes already damages the nerves in your legs or feet, it leads to diabetic peripheral neuropathy. This usually happens as a result of long-term high blood sugar levels. The common signs of diabetic peripheral neuropathy are burning and tingling sensations, numbness, and pain.
To prevent the symptoms of diabetic peripheral neuropathy, early detection is important. This will help prevent the possibilities of a lower leg amputation.
But before anything else, how does diabetes affect your feet?
1. How Does Diabetes Affect Your Feet?
Diabetes can lead to problems with your feet. The first one is diabetic neuropathy. If diabetes is left uncontrolled, it can damage your nerves. Once the nerves in your feet are damaged, you cannot feel pain, heat, or cold there. Now, if you do not feel a sore on your foot because of diabetic neuropathy, it is likely that the problem could get worse and your foot could become infected. The muscles may no longer work properly over time because the nerves are already damaged.
Another problem in the feet that may be triggered by diabetes is peripheral vascular disease, which affects blood flow. Without proper blood flow, it will take longer for cuts to heal. And if you have an infection that won’t heal, you will be at risk for developing gangrene or ulcers.
2. Pain Management: What Things You Can Do to Relieve Pain
Without pain management and treatment, these leg pain problems can be very weakening. However, there are things you can do to reduce the risks of complications. Here are a few:
One of the best and first courses of action for diabetes-related pain management is medication. There are over-the-counter medications available that may help alleviate the pain. Ask your doctor about it.
Other treatment options include the use of opioid medications, including tapentadol, tramadol, some topical remedies, and sprays. But before using, get your doctor’s approval.
2. Dietary Supplements
Some dietary supplements may help ease the pain brought about by diabetes. Although more research needs to be done, it is believed that some nutrients play a great role in repairing damaged nerve tissues. Scientists think that the following supplements make a difference in the treatment for diabetic neuropathy:
acetyl-L carnitine (ALA)
Acetyl-L Carnitine (ALA) is a popular antioxidant that has gained so much attention as a home remedy for diabetes. Though many vegetables like carrots and broccoli contain ALA, it can be taken as an oral supplement. People with diabetes take it to reduce pain and prevent possible nerve damage.
In addition, ALA also mimics the natural chemicals present in the body. It is said to help produce healthy nerve cells. While some say that this supplement has side effects, such as vomiting, it has still been used by many to reduce pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy.
Vitamin B12, on the other hand, can be found in fish and meat. It also helps support the production of red blood cells. According to studies, this vitamin may also promote healthy nerve function. To ensure you are not vitamin B12 deficient, speak to your doctor.
Generally, a healthy diet is essential for diabetes and leg pain relief. Though dietary supplements have not yet been proven to cure leg pain, it doesn’t hurt to get enough nutrients from them. Before taking any of these supplements, discuss with your doctor, especially if you are currently taking medications.
3. Simple Home Remedies
Pain management for diabetes may require more than just taking medications and supplements. And sometimes, they may not be safe to take for extended periods of time. So, what would be another option?
One safe way to manage leg pain caused by diabetes involves the use of some simple home remedies, including:
1. Going out for short, frequent walks.
2. Using a stationary bike to promote and increase blood flow.
3. Soaking your legs in warm water.
4. Using a bed cradle to protect your legs from discomfort at night.
4. Wear the Diabetic Sock
To somehow reduce the risk of complications caused by diabetes, socks and footwear should be worn by diabetics.
The good news is that there is a pair of non-restrictive diabetic high compression socks that have been designed to reduce pressure on both feet and legs. This sock works by managing moisture to prevent the risk of infection.
By wearing this diabetic compression socks, patients can do their normal chores without worrying so much about their feet. It’s built with only the most durable materials, so wearers can live comfortably.
But what makes this product so special? Here are some of its best features:
1. It uses bamboo and cotton for added comfort and for breathability. These materials exhibit antifungal and antibacterial effects that reduce the risk of infection.
2. It has a seamless toe stitching that prevents irritation on the most sensitive parts of the toes.
3. It has a calf compression feature that helps prevent swelling in patients.
4. It has an extra cushion on the parts of the foot that are frequently used.
The rising cases of diabetes are also attributed to the ongoing obesity problem. Being overweight is considered a major risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes. But does exercise really help manage diabetic leg pain?
Until now, exercise and physical activities are among the most basic lifestyle modifications recommended by experts to patients with diabetes. Physical activities help cells to become more sensitive to insulin. They also benefit the body in many ways, such as:
Better blood circulation
Reduced risk of stroke and heart attack
Diabetes may be a common problem today. However, this does not mean you cannot do something to alleviate the pain associated with it. A few changes in your lifestyle, such as exercise and wearing diabetic socks, can make a difference.