(Natural News) Diabetes is a metabolic disease characterized by high blood sugar levels. According to the American Diabetes Association, over 30 million Americans are living with diabetes, 7.2 million of whom are undiagnosed and have a much higher risk of getting complications like leg pain. Diabetes leg pain can be due to neuropathy or nerve damage caused by high blood sugar levels. So how do you stop it?
Have a leg up on leg pain
Diabetic neuropathy can happen in different parts of the body, but it commonly affects the legs and arms. Nerve damage that affects these parts is known as diabetic peripheral neuropathy.
Symptoms of neuropathy often manifest gradually, sometimes over several decades. In most cases, nerve damage caused by diabetes starts in the feet, causing the occasional “pins and needles” feeling diabetics experience in their feet.
The symptoms of diabetic peripheral neuropathy include:
- Sharp leg pain or cramping
- Tingling in the legs or feet
- Burning sensation
- Feet with low heat or cold tolerance
- Loss of sensation in the limbs
- Muscle weakness
Diabetics may find themselves experiencing these symptoms at night. And since they are prone to having poor blood circulation, diabetics may also experience problems with wound healing.
Treatment and prevention
As with any health problem, prevention is better than cure. The first thing a diabetic should do is figure out how to manage his blood sugar levels effectively. Even for healthy individuals, maintaining normal blood sugar levels is important. (Related: Apple cider vinegar can help regulate blood sugar, body fat, and more.)
Leg pain that comes with diabetic neuropathy can affect a person’s everyday activities, so alleviating this pain should be one of the priorities when treating diabetic neuropathy. People often take over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers like aspirin or paracetamol. While they’re more than enough to do the job, they can come with nasty side effects that could affect your overall health.
Instead of these medicaitions, diabetics can opt to use natural painkillers like turmeric and holy basil. They can also take natural remedies that help relieve muscle cramps, such as clove oil and apple cider vinegar.
While OTC drugs can help reduce the pain caused by diabetic neuropathy, there are natural and less expensive ways to get pain relief. Here are some home remedies that can help with diabetic leg pain:
- Exercise. Diabetics can learn exercises that help ease leg discomfort. Moderate intensity exercise helps improve blood flow, which, in turn, enhances oxygen and nutrient delivery to the legs. Exercise also increases your insulin sensitivity and enables your cells to use sugar efficiently.
- Diet. Foods like legumes and whole fruits can help you control your blood sugar and manage nerve pain. Some foods even have powerful anti-inflammatory properties that help relieve pain.
- Quit smoking. Smoking results in poor blood circulation and can prevent essential nutrients from reaching your legs.
- Massage. Massaging your legs and feet can not only help relax your muscles, it can also improve blood circulation in that region.
- Cayenne Pepper. This hot pepper contains a compound called capsaicin, which is often used to relieve pain and improve blood circulation. If this pepper is too hot for you, you can take it in capsule form as a supplement.
Managing your blood sugar levels is key to preventing or reducing the effects of diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Visit Health.news for similar stories and other helpful tips for improving your health.