That burning, tingling, prickling sensation that runs up and down your limbs is an unpleasant complication of diabetes.
Rather than just learning to live with the pain, you may be able to reduce it in a few different ways.
#1 Bring Down Blood Sugar Levels Slowly
High blood sugar levels will damage nerves and cells, leading to neuropathy. The longer you have elevated levels, the more damage is done. This condition can also hinder healing of nerves and cells, which could potentially lessen some nerve pain. However, the sudden drop in blood sugar levels may cause increased neuropathy symptoms. Your best bet is to work with your doctor on lifestyle changes that can slowly bring blood sugar levels down to safe ranges.
#2 Try Medication
Mild to moderate pain and other sensations can be managed with an over-the-counter pain medication, like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. If you have more severe symptoms, you may want to speak with your doctor about a prescription medication that is more effective for diabetic neuropathy. Some of the most commonly prescribed are pregabalin and gabapentin, which are also used as anti-seizure drugs.
#3 Take Certain Supplements
There are a few supplements that may help ease your symptoms and encourage healing of the nerves. For instance, vitamin D may help protect against nerve pain. According to WebMD, participants in a study who took one vitamin D supplement a week saw fewer neuropathy symptoms within two weeks. Other supplements to consider include, a vitamin B Complex and alpha-Lipoic acid.
#4 Stop Smoking
Smoking cigarettes constricts the blood vessels, hindering the flow of blood to your extremities. This is on top of the narrowing of vessels that can occur from diabetes complications. When the nerves don’t get enough nutrients and oxygen from your blood, it may lead to increased pain.
#5 Take a Warm Bath
It should be noted that a warm bath can help improve the flow of blood. If you want a quick fix for symptoms caused by poor circulation, this may provide immediate relief. However, you should test the temperature of the water before getting in. Neuropathy can make it difficult to tell when you are being burned.
Peripheral Neuropathy and Diabetes. URL Link. Accessed May 25, 2017.
Coping With Painful Neuropathy. URL Link. Accessed May 25, 2017.