Suffering from tingling, prickling, pain, or even total numbness and loss of sensation in your feet? Millions of Americans are in the same boat. The nerves of the lower extremities are especially vulnerable to disease and damage, particularly for those who suffer from diabetes.
And as frustrating as the symptoms themselves can be, the potential complications are even worse. When your nerves don’t work properly, you’re liable to miss the telltale signs of an injury, even a very serious one. Spend a few days walking on an unaddressed open wound or broken bone, and the resulting damage could mean an infection, or even amputation.
The good news is that the problem is usually preventable. If you have diabetes, a family history of nerve issues, or have started to feel tingling sensations a little more regularly, there’s no time like the present to start taking care of yourself! The following strategies can help you prevent sensation loss in your lower legs:
- Watch your sugar. Whether you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes or not, high levels of sugar in the blood act as a toxin for nerves in the feet and legs.
- Keep an eye on your blood pressure and cholesterol, too. As with blood glucose, these can lead to nerve damage.
- Good nutrition. Fruits, veggies, whole grains, and protein are an absolute must, along with nerve-healthy nutrients (particularly B-complex vitamins). Avoid excessive alcohol intake.
- Exercise. Keep the blood flowing and stretch and exercises your legs and feet. This provides a host of benefits—controlling sugar, managing weight gain, improving circulation, and getting more nutrients to the nerves.
Notice a pattern here? You should. Clean, healthy living is good for your nerves, just like it’s good for everything else—weight, cardiovascular health, energy, mood, etc.
That all being said, for some people healthy living alone isn’t going to be enough—especially if you inherited a nerve-damaging condition, like Type 1 diabetes. Healthy living should be accompanied, when necessary, by additional medical treatments, medications, and therapies.
If you need an extra boost preventing or treating a problem with nerve health, please make an appointment with Dr. Patel of Family Foot Care & Surgery today. You can schedule in either Milford of Hamden by calling (203) 876-7736.