Over time, people with diabetes may develop nerve damage throughout the body.
Sometimes this damage occurs without symptoms, and other times patients feel pain, tingling, or numbness in the appendages. This is called diabetic neuropathy.
The best way to prevent pain from neuropathy is to keep your glucose levels close to normal, which helps protect nerves throughout your body. Maintaining healthy glucose levels may also help prevent or delay the onset of future problems.
How to Relieve Pain from Diabetic Neuropathy
Sixty to 70 percent of diabetics experience peripheral neuropathy, mostly affecting the feet. The most common treatments prescribed by doctors are oral medications, including antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and opioids or painkillers. Other treatments include skin ointments or patches.
You can sometimes treat the pain without a medical doctor by using a combination of ointments and supplements found at your local pharmacy.
Use a topical application, such as capsaicin cream (made from red chili peppers). It feels hot to the skin, but the chemicals bind to pain receptors to lessen pain over time.
Take fish oil supplements. Both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids help relieve pain and inflammation.
Wear comfortable shoes that don’t put pressure on your toes. (This means no high heals, ladies!)
Relieve stress, which can increase inflammation and pain. Try yoga, meditation, or acupuncture to reduce the effect of stress hormones.
Call your doctor immediately if you notice black or blue spots on your feet, toes, or fingers.