Diabetic Neuropathy (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
In addition to having regular medical checkups, the best way to avoid the progression of diabetic neuropathy is to control your blood sugar, take good care of your feet, and practice wise health habits.
Control your blood sugar level
The single most important step you can take to prevent the development and progression of diabetic neuropathy is to keep your blood sugar level (A1c) consistently within a tightly controlled and narrow target range.
Keeping your blood sugar level within the target range also helps decrease your chances of getting other complications from diabetes, such as eye disease and kidney problems. For more information, see the topic Type 1 Diabetes: Living With the Disease or Type 2 Diabetes.
Take care of your feet
Diabetic neuropathy affects the feet more often than any other part of the body. Diabetes interferes with your body's ability to fight infection, so that even a minor foot injury such as a blister, a scratch, or athlete's foot can lead to serious infections or amputation. But serious foot problems are the most preventable complications of diabetes.
Because the nerve damage caused by diabetic neuropathy may make you less likely to notice minor problems with your feet, it is wise to inspect your feet every day. Protect them from injury by wearing properly fitted shoes and socks at all times. Woolen socks are the softest and can help prevent minor injuries. If vision problems from diabetic retinopathy or another eye disease make it hard for you to examine your feet, have someone help you.
For more information, see:
If you have severe numbness, a history of skin sores, or bone and joint deformities (such as Charcot foot), you may benefit from custom-fitted shoes. Medicare and some health insurance plans will pay for these shoes if they are needed.
Practice wise health habits
Many doctors believe that you can further reduce your risk of getting severe neuropathy if you:
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