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The Truth About Diabetic Foot Numbness

January 11, 2019

If you have diabetes, you probably have been told to take care of your feet. This is because minor foot problems can quickly become more serious issues. One of those is diabetic foot numbness. The truth is, diabetic foot numbness is due to nerve damage called diabetic neuropathy.

What causes diabetic foot numbness?

Diabetes can cause problems in your hands and feet because of high blood sugar over time. One of those problems is diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN), or nerve damage. More than 70% of people with diabetes will develop some kind of neuropathy. Symptoms are different for everyone, but you might experience pain, tingling, or total loss of feeling in your feet and toes.

Neuropathy is not only uncomfortable, but you are also more likely to develop more serious injuries such as a foot ulcers. This can happen when a small injury grows if you do not catch it early. For example, you may not feel a cut or a pebble in your shoe. If you continue to walk on the small cut or a blister without knowing, it can get worse, become infected, and develop into a foot ulcer.

This is why it's so important to wear socks every day if you have diabetes. Protecting your feet is very important. If you are experiencing any diabetic foot numbness, talk to your doctor about your symptoms.

What can I do if I have diabetic foot numbness?

Unfortunately, diabetic neuropathy cannot be cured or reversed. But the good news is that you can do things to help keep your neuropathy under control and prevent more serious injuries.

If you have neuropathy, keeping your blood sugar under control is one of the best things you can do to manage your symptoms. Sticking to a healthy diet, incorporating exercise into your routine, and talking to your doctor about medication are all good places to start.

If you're also experiencing any pain in your feet and toes, there are products you can try to reduce pain. Foot creams, Epsom salt soaks, supplements, and even switching to diabetic shoes made to support your feet can help ease discomfort.

Disclaimer: Neuropathy symptoms may vary from individual to individual. Please consult with your doctor before pursuing any type of treatment.

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Why people with diabetes at risk for foot ulcers

Why Are People with Diabetes at Risk for Foot Ulcers?

January 9, 2019

If you have diabetes, you’ve surely heard of how important it is to avoid foot ulcers. These pesky wounds can wreak a lot of havoc if they aren’t treated properly.

Unfortunately, the many side effects of diabetes make foot ulcers a very common complication. The good news is, knowing what to look for will give you a much better chance of preventing them.

In this post, we’ll outline the most common causes of diabetic foot ulcers, the symptoms to look for, and how to prevent ulcers in the first place. By the time you finish reading, you’ll have a much better idea of how to spot foot ulcers and what to do to avoid them.

What Causes Foot Ulcers?

The formation of foot ulcers is often a direct result of other complications of diabetes. While many of these complications may seem manageable individually, they can seem much more serious when they surface as a foot ulcer. The causes of diabetic foot ulcers range from poor circulation to untreated wounds or scrapes on the feet to poorly managed blood sugar.

If you have diabetes, you might experience poor blood circulation, especially you're not managing your blood sugar levels. Low circulation can result in Ischemic foot ulcers (also called arterial ulcers). These ulcers occur when a wound on the foot can’t receive enough healthy blood flow to heal properly. Wearing shoes that fit too tight can also reduce blood flow and lead to these kinds of ulcers.

Nerve damage (also known as peripheral neuropathy) is one of the main causes of foot ulcers. The longer you live with diabetes (and the older you get) the more likely you are to experience neuropathy. This type of nerve damage in your feet can keep you from noticing wounds or sores that develop, as you can't feel them if your nerves are damaged. These injuries may then develop into ulcers when left untreated for too long. This type of ulcer is often referred to as a neuropathic ulcer, since neuropathy is the main cause.

Continuing to walk on a wound or sore makes it harder for it to heal and increases the chances that it will turn into an ulcer. This is why it’s so important to check your feet daily for signs of injury, especially if you have diabetic neuropathy.

Diabetic Foot Ulcer Symptoms

The early you spot the signs of a foot ulcer, the best chance you have of preventing it from becoming a serious injury. With that in mind, here are the most common foot ulcer symptoms to look for:

  • Swelling or irritation of the skin
  • Skin that is extra warm to the touch
  • Redness or skin discoloration
  • Odor coming from your feet
  • Signs of black tissue (this could indicate infection or even gangrene)

Ulcers in early stages may have few or no symptoms, which makes them hard to notice. This is why it is so important to check your feet every day to catch signs of injury.

If you’re not sure what to look for based on this description, go ahead and Google “diabetic foot ulcer pictures.” You should always speak to a doctor if you’re concerned about signs of a foot ulcer, but an image search may help you better understand what to look for.

Foot Ulcer Treatment

The treatment for foot ulcers varies depending on the severity of the wound. Staying off your feet is one of the best ways to help ulcers heal, since putting pressure on them over and over keeps them from healing properly. However, if your ulcer is advanced, you might need medication or another form of treatment from your doctor.

A necrotic ulcer can be treated by a process called debridement. Debridement means removing the dead tissue and skin so that blood can flow to a wound and help it heal.

How to Prevent Foot Ulcers

While foot ulcers are treatable, it’s best to prevent them altogether if possible.

Wearing shoes that are specifically made for people diabetes is a good way to prevent or relieve ulcers. These shoes are often wider and offer more cushioning than a standard shoe.

Another way to ward off ulcers is with regular exercise. Exercising keeps healthy blood flowing throughout your body, especially in your extremities such as your feet. This will lower your chances of developing neuropathy and other diabetes-related complications.

Finally, the most powerful way to prevent ulcers is to keep your blood sugar within healthy levels.

If you're interested in learning more about foot ulcers or how you can prevent them, check out our blog posts on 5 Common Symptoms of Diabetic Foot Ulcers andCommon Locations of Foot Ulcers.

Disclaimer: Foot ulcer symptoms may vary from individual to individual. Please consult with your doctor before pursuing any type of treatment.

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5 New Year’s Resolutions for People with Diabetes

January 8, 2019

New Year's is a perfect time to reflect on the year past and the year ahead. The beginning of the year is a natural time to start new habits and set goals for the year to come. If you have diabetes, here are some ideas to focus on when making your New Year's resolutions for 2019.

See your doctor regularly

Talk to your podiatrist, endocrinologist, or general practitioner to come up with a plan for how many visits you should make to the doctor's office each year. If your diabetes is well managed, most physician's recommend a doctor's visit every 3-6 months for a regular checkup including blood work such as an A1C test (see below). If your blood sugar is higher, a doctor may recommend a visit every 3 months.

Make sure to talk with your doctor about what he or she recommends for your individual needs.

Know your numbers

A great goal to incorporate into your New Year's resolutions is lowering your hemoglobin A1C. This number shows your average blood glucose level for the previous three months. Keeping your A1C in check is one of the best ways for your doctor to tell if your diabetes is managed well.

If you don't know your A1C, ask your doctor to give you more information. Keeping track of your A1C can help you make better-informed decisions about your health.  

Plan healthy meals

The best way to make sure you eat healthfully is to plan out and prepare your meals in advance. That way, you know exactly where and when your next healthy meal is coming from. It also keeps you on track with eating constantly throughout the day. Consistent eating helps keep your blood sugar stable, prevents you from overeating, and sets you up to make healthy choices.

Add exercise into your routine

Every little bit helps when it comes to exercise! If you feel overwhelmed by the idea of adding exercise to your day, here are some great ways to sneak it in:

  • Park a few blocks away from your destination to add in a quick stroll.
  • Get outside! Being outdoors can make exercise seem effortless. A quick walk around the block, gardening, or even a swim at your local pool can be fun and get your cardio in.
  • You can stretch before you even get out of bed. Set aside 2-3 minutes every morning for a quick few stretches to wake your body up.

Manage your stress

While we often think about the physical aspects of health, emotional health is equally as important and connected to physical health. Stress can have a massive impact on your health and wellbeing. Something to keep in mind when you're making your resolutions is prioritizing your health above all else and cutting out things that bring you lots of stress. You'll feel happier, and your body will thank you too.

From all of us at Siren, have a safe and happy new year!

Disclaimer: Foot ulcer symptoms may vary from individual to individual. Please consult with your doctor before pursuing any type of treatment.

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Siren Holiday Gift Guide for People with Diabetes 2018

December 20, 2018

It's that time of the year! The holiday season is in full swing, which means gift shopping. If a family member or friend has diabetes or neuropathy, it can be difficult to find something that they will enjoy that is also supportive of their lifestyle. Below are some of our top diabetes-friendly gifts so you don't have to sweat it - or if you'd just like to get yourself a treat!

Diabetes Wallet

These Myabetic diabetes wallets make storing insulin pens and supplies stylish. Their wallets come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors for everyone on your list.

 

Medical ID Jewelry

Medical ID jewelry is incredibly practical and important for communicating in the event of an emergency. But that doesn't mean it has to be boring! Take a look at these options from American Medical ID or Etsy that make perfect holiday gifts to keep loved ones safe.

Pump Peelz

These fun stickers give insulin pumps and glucose monitors a customizable twist. Your loved one will appreciate the opportunity to express themselves and decorate their medical gear with a sticker just for them.

Glitter Glucose Goodies

These cute diabetes-related gifts are designed by health and lifestyle blogger Glitter Glucose, who has type 1 diabetes. Her designs come in a variety of gifts, including mugs, phone cases, shirts, and sweatshirts. There's bound to be something for the lady in your life with diabetes!

One Drop Gear

One Drop offers some of the sleekest and most tech-savvy diabetes gear on the market, including glucose meters, test strips, and lancets. You can choose a subscription option, which sends strips and lancets every 3 months.

Diabetes Meal Service

Everyone always appreciates good food delivered to their door. PlateJoy offers meal plans made especially for those with diabetes, so your loved ones can stay on track with their meal plan, while also enjoying the convenience and tastiness of meals delivered to their home.

For more tips for enjoying the holiday season with diabetes, don't miss our tips for staying healthy during the holidays with diabetes.

Disclaimer: Diabetic neuropathy symptoms may vary from individual to individual. Please consult with your loved one's doctor before purchasing any of the gifts above.

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5 Diabetic Foot Issues To Look Out For

December 18, 2018

When living with diabetes, it’s really important to take good care of your feet. Minor foot problems can quickly become serious medical issues when you have diabetes. Complications like nerve damage and swelling in your feet can make it harder to notice injuries and make it difficult for them to heal. When wounds aren't treated properly they can become infected and lead to problems such as gangrene, or even amputation.

No matter the type of diabetes you have, you should carefully look after your feet to avoid injuries. Here are five of the most common diabetic foot issues you should look out for.

Diabetic Neuropathy

Nerve damage in the hands and feet is a common side effect of diabetes. This condition is called peripheral neuropathy or diabetic neuropathy. Sometimes this type of nerve damage causes tingling or numbness in hands or feet. It can also be painful, and your hands and feet can become extremely sensitive to touch.

If you have diabetic neuropathy, you should keep an eye out for other complications. For example, numbness in your feet could prevent you from noticing a wound or ulcer. Pain or numbness from neuropathy might also force you to adjust your posture in a way that causes sores to form on your feet.

The longer you have lived with diabetes, the more likely you are to have neuropathy. The good news is by controlling your blood sugar levels, you will reduce your chances of developing these kinds of symptoms.

Diabetic Foot Swelling

Swelling in your feet and legs is a common side effect of diabetes caused by poor circulation. Hot weather, standing for long periods of time, poor diet, or more serious conditions like heart or kidney disease can all lead to swelling in your feet. Some diabetes medications can also cause swelling.

Swelling can be very uncomfortable and it may even prevent seemingly minor foot injuries from healing properly. With this in mind, it’s important to do what you can to alleviate the symptoms.

If you are experiencing diabetic foot swelling, let your doctor know so they can help you manage it. You can reduce foot swelling by putting your feet up throughout the day to help with circulation. If you are standing all day, look into buying special stockings to prevent fluid from pooling in your feet.

You can help prevent foot swelling by controlling your blood sugar levels and exercising regularly.

Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Foot ulcers are wounds that can develop on the bottom of your feet. They begin as pockets of fluid, but open up and become infected if not treated effectively. This is why it is important to check your feet for signs of ulcers on a regular basis.

The most common spots to find ulcers are on the ball of your foot or bottom of your big toe. Early signs of ulcers include swollen spots on your foot, redness or irritation of your skin, and foot odor. You may also notice fluid leaking from your foot or damp spots on your sock or shoe. A quick Google search for “diabetic foot ulcer pictures” will help you understand what ulcers look like. If you notice any of these symptoms, let your doctor know immediately.

Ulcers can be caused by poor circulation. For example, if your shoes are too tight, blood won’t be able to flow to the wound, which keeps it from healing. If you have diabetic neuropathy, you should be extra cautious about ulcers, as nerve damage can prevent you from noticing them until they become more serious.

Fortunately, you can treat ulcers in many ways. Staying off your feet is the best way to help them heal. Wearing diabetic shoes provide extra cushioning for your feet, which can help protect your feet from developing ulcers. You can check out our top picks for diabetic shoes here. Compression wraps and braces may also help.

Calluses

Calluses are a thick layer of skin that develop when your foot rubs against your shoes, or when you walk barefoot on rough surfaces. For many people, calluses are not anything to worry about, but for people with diabetes, they can become problematic.

Foot ulcers and other wounds can form beneath calluses, which prevent you from noticing them until they become infected. Calluses can also block air flow to injuries, which keeps them from healing. The best way to avoid complications from calluses is to visit a podiatrist regularly to have them removed.

If you notice that calluses develop in the same place over and over, switching to a different pair of shoes may help.

Ingrown Toenails

When living with diabetes, it’s important to treat ingrown toenails very carefully so they do not become infected. Unfortunately, any numbness in your feet may make it harder for you to notice ingrown toenails until they are already infected. Be sure to check your toes often for redness and swelling. Always let your doctor know if you suspect you have an ingrown toenail.

To avoid ingrown toenails, always trim your nails straight across, and don't cut them too short. Avoid wearing tight shoes, and have a professional help you find a pair that fits perfectly.

How to Treat and Prevent Foot Issues

Diabetic foot treatments depend on the issue you might be having, but there are a few things you can do to prevent foot problems in the first place. Building a foot care routine into your daily lifestyle will help you notice any issues before they become serious.

Perform regular inspections of your feet to help you spot any injuries early. Check your feet each day before bathing. Here’s what to look for:

  • Cuts or sores
  • Signs of redness or swelling
  • Areas that are extra warm to the touch
  • Ingrown toenails
  • Dry or cracked skin and calluses

Taking good care of your feet is the very best way to prevent any of the complications above from occurring in the first place. Make sure to wash your feet daily with warm water. After cleaning them, pat your feet dry with a soft towel. Then, moisturize your feet to prevent cracks and dry skin, which can let bacteria in and cause infections.

To protect your feet from wounds, always wear socks and shoes to protect your feet, and make sure your shoes fit properly.

If you're interested in learning more about other conditions you should look for if you have diabetes, read our blog post on five diabetes-related skin conditions you should know about.

Disclaimer: Diabetic neuropathy symptoms may vary from individual to individual. Please consult with your doctor before pursuing any of the actions listed above.

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5 Diabetic Foot Issues To Look Out For

December 18, 2018

When living with diabetes, it’s really important to take good care of your feet. Minor foot problems can quickly become serious medical issues when you have diabetes. Complications like nerve damage and swelling in your feet can make it harder to notice injuries and make it difficult for them to heal. When wounds aren't treated properly they can become infected and lead to problems such as gangrene, or even amputation.

No matter the type of diabetes you have, you should carefully look after your feet to avoid injuries. Here are five of the most common diabetic foot issues you should look out for.

Diabetic Neuropathy

Nerve damage in the hands and feet is a common side effect of diabetes. This condition is called peripheral neuropathy or diabetic neuropathy. Sometimes this type of nerve damage causes tingling or numbness in hands or feet. It can also be painful, and your hands and feet can become extremely sensitive to touch.

If you have diabetic neuropathy, you should keep an eye out for other complications. For example, numbness in your feet could prevent you from noticing a wound or ulcer. Pain or numbness from neuropathy might also force you to adjust your posture in a way that causes sores to form on your feet.

The longer you have lived with diabetes, the more likely you are to have neuropathy. The good news is by controlling your blood sugar levels, you will reduce your chances of developing these kinds of symptoms.

Diabetic Foot Swelling

Swelling in your feet and legs is a common side effect of diabetes caused by poor circulation. Hot weather, standing for long periods of time, poor diet, or more serious conditions like heart or kidney disease can all lead to swelling in your feet. Some diabetes medications can also cause swelling.

Swelling can be very uncomfortable and it may even prevent seemingly minor foot injuries from healing properly. With this in mind, it’s important to do what you can to alleviate the symptoms.

If you are experiencing diabetic foot swelling, let your doctor know so they can help you manage it. You can reduce foot swelling by putting your feet up throughout the day to help with circulation. If you are standing all day, look into buying special stockings to prevent fluid from pooling in your feet.

You can help prevent foot swelling by controlling your blood sugar levels and exercising regularly.

Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Foot ulcers are wounds that can develop on the bottom of your feet. They begin as pockets of fluid, but open up and become infected if not treated effectively. This is why it is important to check your feet for signs of ulcers on a regular basis.

The most common spots to find ulcers are on the ball of your foot or bottom of your big toe. Early signs of ulcers include swollen spots on your foot, redness or irritation of your skin, and foot odor. You may also notice fluid leaking from your foot or damp spots on your sock or shoe. A quick Google search for “diabetic foot ulcer pictures” will help you understand what ulcers look like. If you notice any of these symptoms, let your doctor know immediately.

Ulcers can be caused by poor circulation. For example, if your shoes are too tight, blood won’t be able to flow to the wound, which keeps it from healing. If you have diabetic neuropathy, you should be extra cautious about ulcers, as nerve damage can prevent you from noticing them until they become more serious.

Fortunately, you can treat ulcers in many ways. Staying off your feet is the best way to help them heal. Wearing diabetic shoes provide extra cushioning for your feet, which can help protect your feet from developing ulcers. You can check out our top picks for diabetic shoes here. Compression wraps and braces may also help.

Calluses

Calluses are a thick layer of skin that develop when your foot rubs against your shoes, or when you walk barefoot on rough surfaces. For many people, calluses are not anything to worry about, but for people with diabetes, they can become problematic.

Foot ulcers and other wounds can form beneath calluses, which prevent you from noticing them until they become infected. Calluses can also block air flow to injuries, which keeps them from healing. The best way to avoid complications from calluses is to visit a podiatrist regularly to have them removed.

If you notice that calluses develop in the same place over and over, switching to a different pair of shoes may help.

Ingrown Toenails

When living with diabetes, it’s important to treat ingrown toenails very carefully so they do not become infected. Unfortunately, any numbness in your feet may make it harder for you to notice ingrown toenails until they are already infected. Be sure to check your toes often for redness and swelling. Always let your doctor know if you suspect you have an ingrown toenail.

To avoid ingrown toenails, always trim your nails straight across, and don't cut them too short. Avoid wearing tight shoes, and have a professional help you find a pair that fits perfectly.

How to Treat and Prevent Foot Issues

Diabetic foot treatments depend on the issue you might be having, but there are a few things you can do to prevent foot problems in the first place. Building a foot care routine into your daily lifestyle will help you notice any issues before they become serious.

Perform regular inspections of your feet to help you spot any injuries early. Check your feet each day before bathing. Here’s what to look for:

  • Cuts or sores
  • Signs of redness or swelling
  • Areas that are extra warm to the touch
  • Ingrown toenails
  • Dry or cracked skin and calluses

Taking good care of your feet is the very best way to prevent any of the complications above from occurring in the first place. Make sure to wash your feet daily with warm water. After cleaning them, pat your feet dry with a soft towel. Then, moisturize your feet to prevent cracks and dry skin, which can let bacteria in and cause infections.

To protect your feet from wounds, always wear socks and shoes to protect your feet, and make sure your shoes fit properly. Siren Diabetic Socks can also prevent further injuries from developing by helping you find signs of potential injuries you might not be able to see or feel. Read more about how they work and can help you from developing more serious foot injuries here.

If you're interested in learning more about other conditions you should look for if you have diabetes, read our blog post on five diabetes-related skin conditions you should know about.

Disclaimer: Diabetic neuropathy symptoms may vary from individual to individual. Please consult with your doctor before pursuing any of the actions listed above.

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Can You Heal Diabetic Foot Ulcers Naturally?

December 17, 2018

Foot ulcers: no one loves to talk about them, but they are a painful fact of life for many people living with diabetes. These complications form as a result of skin tissue breaking down and exposing the other tissue underneath. This can sometimes start small with an irritation, blister, or wound, and can turn into a bigger problem if not treated properly.

There are several different types of treatment for foot ulcers, including antibiotics and other prescription medications. However, these types can be costly and have some unwelcome side effects. Luckily, many people looking to heal diabetic foot ulcers naturally have also found success with ayurvedic, homeopathic, or other natural remedies. Read on for how these treatment options may work for you, too.

Herbal Treatments for Foot Ulcers

Though Chinese medicine and herbal treatments have only recently become popular in Western culture, there are several proven herbal treatments and homeopathic remedies for diabetic foot ulcers. According to Podiatry Today, aloe vera has been shown to decrease inflammation and pain. Aloe vera is also used to treat sunburns, so you can often find it in most drugstores or pharmacies.

WinViVo Healing Balm is a topical ointment that has been shown to help heal foot ulcers. It is made from camellia oil and extracts of tree peony bark, coptis root, and rhubarb root. This balm can be found online or in some drugstores.

Hepar Sulphuris Calcareum, while hard to pronounce, can also help prevent pus in a foot ulcer, which prevents further irritation to the wound.

Using Honey for Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Honesy is typically the natural method for treating foot ulcers that gets the most attention. Honey has many therapeutic benefits, including reducing inflammation and preventing growth of harmful bacteria.

Oftentimes people who wish to use honey as a natural foot ulcer remedy will first clean the area with salt water, and then coat the wound with honey before wrapping in gauze. In a recent study, 12 patients with foot ulcers used honey in this way and were all healed within three weeks. They also reported decreased pain. Honey is especially helpful for people living with diabetes who may have used antibiotics for their foot ulcers before. Since bacteria can sometimes develop resistance to antibiotics, honey can be another healing option.

Other Over-The-Counter Foot Ulcer Treatment

Besides the ones listed above, there are a few other natural remedies for foot ulcers your doctor may recommend. Diabetic shoes, compressions, socks, and wraps may all help keep inflammation at bay, decrease pain, and ease movement. You can read about some of our favorite diabetic foot orthotics here.

Disclaimer: Foot ulcer symptoms may vary from individual to individual. Please consult with your doctor before pursuing any type of treatment.

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Do Your Diabetic Neuropathy Symptoms Worsen At Night?

December 13, 2018

Though it is treatable, diabetes-related nerve damage, or neuropathy, can cause pain and add complications to your life. You may need to monitor your diet and exercise, and it may be difficult to stay on your feet for long periods of time. One less obvious impact is that many people find that their neuropathy is worse when lying down. Some even find that they have peripheral neuropathy symptoms in their feet only at night.

If this describes you, you’re not alone. A recent study confirmed that people on medication for neuropathy reported their pain was the worst around 11 p.m.

Reasons Why Nerve Pain is Worse at Night

So why is neuropathy worse at night? Though research hasn’t confirmed the exact reasons, there are a few scientific guesses.

Many times, people who have peripheral neuropathy have symptoms that include abnormal sensations or sensitivity to touch - even the touch of a lightly-draped sheet. This could make it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep.

When you’re trying to sleep, it’s often necessary to “quiet your mind” to rest and to take a break from the distractions of the day. However, the normal events of the day may be helping keep your mind off your neuropathy pain. When you are lying down in the dark, you have less distractions, and it may be more difficult to not focus on the pain you’re feeling.

Some pain-relieving medications, like codeine, have also been shown to disturb sleep. It may be best to speak with your doctor about the medications you are currently taking to see if one could be making your sleep symptoms worse.

Finally, a lack of sleep itself could contribute to your problems with neuropathy keeping you up at night. When we don’t have enough sleep - at least 7-9 hours a night - this can lower our tolerance for pain. This can cause you to enter a cycle of not being able to sleep, which causes further sleep disturbances.

How to Help Peripheral Neuropathy At Night

Neuropathy symptoms at night can be difficult, but there are ways to help treat your pain when lying down our trying to sleep. One of the first steps is keeping track of your sleep schedule and routine to see if there are any factors that may contribute to your symptoms. Make sure you are going to bed and waking up at the same time each day.

Creating a comfortable environment is also key to a good night’s sleep and preventing nighttime pain. Make sure your bedroom, bed, and pillows are comfortable and limit your exposure to screens (TV, iPad, phone, etc.)  If you are very sensitive to touch at night, elevate your bed sheets so they’re not touching your legs or feet.

Some people living with diabetic neuropathy find that creating a habit of cleaning their feet and giving themselves a quick massage helps increase circulation. You can find some of our favorite treatments and creams for diabetic foot pain here.

If none of these treatment options is working for you, it may be time to talk to your doctor about other ways to help relieve your nerve pain at night. Speak with them to see if there are any medications that you can add or take away to help you sleep. If anxiety or depression are contributing to your symptoms, they may recommend treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy or trying meditation and relaxation exercises before sleeping.

Interested in learning more about ways to alleviate diabetic foot pain? Read our post on five things you can do to manage pain symptoms.

Disclaimer: Diabetic neuropathy symptoms may vary from individual to individual. Please consult with your doctor before pursuing any of the actions listed above.

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Chronic Pain and Diabetes

Top 5 Products That Help Diabetic Foot Pain

December 12, 2018

Diabetes can cause different problems over time. One of the main areas of your body that can be affected by high levels of blood sugar is your feet and toes. This can lead to pain, which is called diabetic foot pain. While diabetic foot pain can often be overwhelming and scary, the good news is that there are products that can help.

What Does Diabetic Foot Pain Feel Like?

Over 70% of people with diabetes will experience some form of damage called diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN). Over time, factors like high blood sugar cause this kind of nerve damage, usually in your hands and feet. Symptoms are different for everyone, but you might experience:

  • Numbness or reduced ability to feel pain or temperature changes
  • Tingling or burning sensation
  • Sharp pains or cramps
  • Increased sensitivity to touch (for some, even the weight of a bedsheet at night may be painful)
  • Serious foot problems, such as ulcers, infections, and bone and joint pain

Diabetic neuropathy cannot be reversed, but there are plenty of products on the market to help manage painful symptoms.

Top 5 Products That Help with Diabetic Foot Pain

Here are some of our favorite products to help with diabetic foot pain:

Capsaicin Cream

Capsaicin cream can block pain signals using an ingredient found in hot peppers. Capsaicin cream can be applied to the skin where the pain is felt the most and comes as a patch, jelly, or lotion. You can learn more about some of our other favorite diabetic foot creams here.

Epsom Salts

Add Epsom salts to your bath for an extra soothing soak to aid with pain and swelling. Be sure to consult your doctor before you try soaking your feet, as it could irritate some injuries or swelling. Also make sure to dry your feet thoroughly, especially between your toes.

Vitamin B Complex

B vitamins keep your nervous system running smoothly. Not getting enough vitamin B12 can actually lead to nerve damage, and vitamin B6 may help to keep nerve endings healthy.

Alpha-Lipoic Acid Supplement (ALA)

This powerful antioxidant is found in some foods and may help relieve nerve pain symptoms in some people. You can find ALA in drugstores and health food stores.

Diabetic Shoes

Finding the right shoe can protect your feet and reduce the risk of further injury. Diabetic shoes can also relieve foot pain as you walk by reducing pressure at the bottom of your feet and providing arch support.

If you're interested in learning more about how to manage diabetic foot pain, check out our post on "5 Ways to Alleviate Diabetic Foot Pain."

Disclaimer: Diabetic neuropathy symptoms may vary from individual to individual. Please consult with your doctor before pursuing any of the actions listed above.

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How to Stay Healthy During the Holidays with Diabetes

November 29, 2018

Holiday celebrating can also mean a lot of food - and not always the healthiest kind. With all the sweat treats, cheese platters and heavy side dishes, managing your diabetes and enjoying the holiday season can seem at-odds with one another. The good news is, with a little preparation, you can stick to your diabetes management plan and make the most of your holiday season.

Set Goals for Managing Your Diabetes During the Holidays

Make a list of the things you'd like to do accomplish this holiday season to help keep yourself accountable and what you really want top of mind. You can refer back to your list to keep yourself on track. Consult with your Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE), doctor and the rest of your health team.

Make Smart Holiday Food Choices

  • Don't skip meals. It can be tempting to save your appetite for a big meal, but make sure you eat regularly. Consistent eating keeps your blood sugar stable, prevents you from overeating and sets you up to make healthy choices.
  • Trade off between carbs and sweets. If you have one, save the other for next time.
  • Bring a healthy dish to your holiday parties or gatherings. You'll know you'll have at least one healthy item you can fill your plate with and other guests will be grateful for something to balance their meal too!
  • Stay away from alcohol. Drinks can be full of calories and sugar, so try to minimize how much you drink.

Get In Your Exercise

Getting outside can be a welcome break from all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, reduce stress and keep you on track with your health goals. Walk around your neighborhood to see the holiday decorations and lights, or take a detour through the mall or around your neighborhood shops as you shop for gifts. Even small things add up! Invite your family and friends to go with you, they'll enjoy spending time with you and getting active too.

Don't Forget to Enjoy Your Holiday Season!

Don't be too hard on yourself! It can be easy to get down on yourself when you feel like you have gone off your routine, but the holidays are really about enjoying time with your family and loved ones and leaving room for the occasional splurge with foods you really love. If you don't stick exactly to your plan, don't beat yourself up, simply get back up and try again. It's about progress and doing your best, not perfection.

If you'd like more information on how to stay healthy during the holiday season, check out our 7 tips for staying healthy with diabetes during the holidays.

Disclaimer: Diabetic neuropathy symptoms may vary from individual to individual. Please consult with your doctor before trying something new.

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