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Diabetes Health Center

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Diabetic Nerve Pain: 10 Foot Care Tips to Protect Yourself

9. Consider fitted orthotics.

A podiatrist can also fit you with shoe inserts called orthotics to support your feet if your have diabetic nerve pain or the muscles have become weak from nerve damage. If pain or weakness is so severe that it's too painful or even impossible to walk, a foot brace or orthopedic shoes might help. A podiatrist is your best source for these devices.

10. Control your blood sugar.

The best prevention for nerve pain, ultimately, is to manage your diabetes well. In fact, a 2006 study by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases showed that strict blood glucose control with intensive insulin therapy lowered the chances in people with type I (insulin requiring) diabetes of having symptoms of peripheral neuropathy -- tingling, burning, and pain -- by 64%. These results have also been shown to hold true in type II diabetes, too.

The two most important determinants of whether you get diabetic neuropathy are how many years you have had diabetes and how well you control your blood sugar. Other factors, including controlling blood pressure and blood fats (cholesterol and triglycerides) and not smoking are also important to prevent diabetic neuropathy.

Controlling your blood glucose also helps reduce the symptoms of diabetic nerve pain. So the good news is that controlling your glucose levels with diet, exercise, and if needed, medications can not only help prevent diabetic peripheral neuropathy, but they can also help ease its effects.

Protect Your Feet

Your feet are your source of independence, or at least its foundation. Give your feet a little tenderness, a little loving care, each day. And be sure to have your doctor take a good look at your feet during each of your diabetes checkups in case you've missed anything.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Michael Dansinger, MD on October 22, 2014
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