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Can diabetic neuropathy be reversed?

  • December 18, 2021
  • 4 min read
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Diabetic neuropathy is a condition in which nerve damage occurs because of diabetes. It is believed that the high content of glucose in the blood of diabetic damages the nerves gradually. Neuropathy is a serious complication of diabetes that is repeatedly left unmanaged or untreated. High sugar content harms the nerves present all over the body in diabetic neuropathy and most often occurs in the legs and feet. Is it possible to reverse this nerve damage?

The nerve damage from diabetes is not reversible. On the other hand, patients do have treatment alternatives to aid in managing such signs. Patients experiencing neuropathy must concentrate on how to control the levels of blood glucose. Also, these individuals must check their feet daily for any symptoms of new sores, blisters, or infection. 

Managing diabetic neuropathy

Nerve damage due to diabetes can’t be reversed. This is since it is not possible to naturally renew the damaged nerve tissues. However, it is being investigated to find ways by which the condition can be reversed. While it is not possible to reverse the damage from neuropathy, there are certain approaches by which conditions can be managed, these include:

  • reducing one’s blood glucose
  • treating nerve pain
  • regularly assessing the feet to ascertain they are free of sores, wounds, or infection

Managing the level of blood sugar plays a key role as it aids in preventing any added damage to one’s nerves. A person can better manage his or her levels of blood sugar via the following methods:

  • Avoid food products containing high amounts of excess sugars, such as sugary beverages, sodas, candy bars, fruit juices, as well as processed snacks.
  • Eat food items rich in fiber. These foods characteristically help in keeping the glucose levels at a steady state.
  • Eat food products containing healthy fats, such as those derived from olive oil and nuts, as well as opt for lean proteins such as chicken and turkey.
  • Eat veggies as well as plant-based proteins like beans and tofu often.
  • Exercise at least 5 times each week, half an hour each time. Exercises can be aerobic activity and weight training.
  • Monitor the glucose level as per the doctor’s suggestion and record the levels. This helps in identifying the patterns and any abrupt changes in the glucose levels.
  • Take insulin or oral anti-diabetes medications like metformin (Glucophage), as per the doctor’s instructions. 

What can be done for nerve damage?

Patients with a diabetes diagnosis must discuss the condition with a doctor about preventing neuropathy. Those already experiencing nerve damage must ask about treatment alternatives. In some instances, decompression surgery might be an appropriate treatment option.

Foot care is a vital part of treatment. People experiencing neuropathy must inspect their feet frequently for any injuries. Unmanaged injuries enhance the risk of infested foot sores as well as amputation. Smoking enhances the risk of foot issues as well as amputation, thus quitting plays a vital role in guarding the feet and maintaining overall health. Other treatments can be pain relief medicines or other drugs as per a person’s needs, based upon the type and intensity of nerve damage.

To prevent damage to one’s feet or legs:

  • clip the toenails
  • regularly check feet for any open injuries or sores
  • do not walk barefoot
  • wash feet using a suitable soap and water regularly
  • regularly go for a podiatrist visit

Diabetic neuropathy is a common condition, however can’t be reversed. Still, it can be managed via an array of strategies including:

  • managing blood sugar levels
  • taking medicines as per the healthcare provider’s prescription for the treatment of neuropathy
  • regularly self-checking feet and legs 
  • discussing with a doctor to manage the problem

If a person is diabetic, it becomes important to remain proactive in relation to the blood sugar levels and up to date on doctor appointments so that all signs can be monitored as well as treated as required. While the signs of diabetic nerve damage might be agonizing as well as troublesome, but with proper attention and care, the signs can be lowered down, and even reversed. Together with managing one’s sugar levels, it is vital to take note of foot and legs. Nerves in both areas might be damaged leading to decreased sensation.