When you have diabetes, your blood sugar level may get too high. Over time, high blood sugar levels can damage nerves. This is called diabetic neuropathy. Nerve damage can cause pain, burning, tingling, and numbness and may leave you feeling weak. The feet are often affected. When you have nerve damage in your feet, you cannot feel your feet and toes as well as normal and may not notice cuts or sores. Even a small injury can lead to a serious infection. It is very important that you follow your doctor's advice on foot care.
Sometimes diabetes damages nerves that help the body function. If this happens, your blood pressure, sweating, digestion, and urination might be affected. Your doctor may give you a target blood sugar level that is higher or lower than you are used to. Try to keep your blood sugar very close to this target level to prevent more damage.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Q- How can I care for myself at Home?
- Take your medicines exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor if you think you are having a problem with your medicine. It is very important that you take your insulin or diabetes pills as your doctor tells you.
- Try to keep blood sugar at your target level.
- Eat a variety of healthy foods, with carbohydrate spread out in your meals. A dietitian can help you plan meals.
- Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days.
- Check your blood sugar as many times each day as your doctor recommends.
- Take and record your blood pressure at home if your doctor tells you to. Learn the importance of the two measures of blood pressure (such as 130 over 80, or 130/80). To take your blood pressure at home:
- Ask your doctor to check your blood pressure monitor to be sure it is accurate and the cuff fits you. Also ask your doctor to watch you to make sure that you are using it right.
- Do not use medicine known to raise blood pressure (such as some nasal decongestant sprays) before taking your blood pressure.
- Avoid taking your blood pressure if you have just exercised or are nervous or upset. Rest at least 15 minutes before you take a reading.
- Take pain medicines exactly as directed.
- If the doctor gave you a prescription medicine for pain, take it as prescribed.
- If you are not taking a prescription pain medicine, ask your doctor if you can take an over-the-counter medicine.
- Do not smoke. Smoking can increase your chance for a heart attack or stroke. If you need help quitting, talk to your doctor about stop-smoking programs and medicines. These can increase your chances of quitting for good.
- Limit alcohol to 2 drinks a day for men and 1 drink a day for women. Too much alcohol can cause health problems.
- Eat small meals often, rather than 2 or 3 large meals a day. Click here to know more about "Diabetic and Foot care"
- Prevent injury by wearing shoes at all times, even when you are indoors.
- Do foot care as part of your daily routine. Wash your feet and then rub lotion on your feet, but not between your toes. Use a handheld mirror or magnifying mirror to inspect your feet for blisters, cuts, cracks, or sores. Click here to know more about "Foot Care"
- Reducing constipation caused by pain medicine- Pain medicines often cause constipation. To reduce constipation:
- Include fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains in your diet each day. These foods are high in fiber.
- Drink plenty of fluids, enough so that your urine is light yellow or clear like water. If you have kidney, heart, or liver disease and have to limit fluids, talk with your doctor before you increase the amount of fluids you drink.
- Get some exercise every day. Build up slowly to 30 to 60 minutes a day on 5 or more days of the week.
- Take a fiber supplement, such as Citrucel or Metamucil, every day if needed. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
- Schedule time each day for a bowel movement. Having a daily routine may help. Take your time and do not strain when having a bowel movement.
- Ask your doctor about a laxative. The goal is to have one easy bowel movement every 1 to 2 days. Do not let constipation go untreated for more than 3 days.
Please watch the video on " Managing Diabetic Neuropathy"
Reference- 1. Neuropathic Pain: Care Instructions. (n.d.). Www.Healthwise.net. https://www.healthwise.net/rxhealth/Content/StdDocument.aspx?DOCHWID=ut2299
2. Managing diabetic neuropathy. (2018, November 15). Managing diabetic neuropathy. YouTube. https://youtu.be/yr8F0QjjXqc