If you aren’t careful, diabetes can spiral out of control. It’s one of the major reasons the condition such a dangerous threat to your long term health and happiness—if you aren’t carefully managing the disease, once thing can quickly lead to another, then another.
One of the most common complications of diabetes is peripheral neuropathy, a condition that messes up signals between the feet and brain and leads to sensation loss, even complete numbness, in your lower extremities. This numbness, in turn, can cause you not to notice even serious injuries (no pain response) until it’s far too late, becomes infection, and requires extensive wound care or even amputation. One thing leads to another.
The best course of action, then, is to take action at the earliest possible stage of the chain, preventing complications from advancing beyond control. For those with diabetes, that means having a plan to prevent the development of peripheral neuropathy, or at least prevent it from getting worse.
Number 1, of course, is keeping your blood sugar well regulated. Too much sugar in the bloodstream over an extended period of time will slowly damage the nerves, depriving them of vital nutrients and oxygen. Managing your sugar well will also help you prevent other common diabetes complications, too. Blood tests (A1C) at least twice per year can help you keep tabs on your average sugar levels over a 2- or 3-month timeframe.
This hyper focus on blood sugar should go hand in hand with an overall committing to making healthy lifestyle choices. You greatly decrease your risk of developing neuropathy if you eat healthy and balanced meals (including plenty of the vitamins nerves need to thrive), keep your weight within a healthy range, get plenty of daily activity and exercise, and avoid smoking or abusing alcohol. Your nerves are a part of your body, and a commitment to general wellness will benefit them, too.
We also recommend you visit us at least once per year for a full diabetic foot checkup. During these visits, we’ll provide any maintenance care you may require, and screen for complications, catching problems before they have a chance to spiral out of control. If it’s time for your appointment, please give us a call at (512) 593-2949, or request a time online using our contact form.