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The Link Between Diabetes and Neuropathy

Diabetic neuropathy can occur anytime in patients with diabetes. Whether you’re just beginning to feel tingling or numbness in your extremities or have suffered from this condition far too long, Dan Beeson, DC, DABCI and our team of compassionate health professionals at Beeson Wellness Center in Portland, Oregon may be able to help.

Diagnosing peripheral neuropathy

Up to one half of all diabetics suffer from nerve damage, known as peripheral neuropathy. It may affect their hands, feet, arms, legs, and other vital organs at one time or another. 

So how does peripheral neuropathy develop? Your brain utilizes the nerves in your spinal cord to communicate with the rest of your body. Having high glucose levels in your blood, which is common with diabetes, can injure your nerves, reducing circulation. This causes a loss of feeling as your peripheral nerves become compressed by fluid retention and swollen tissues. 

Typical signs of diabetic neuropathy include:

  • Tingling in feet or hands
  • Increased sensitivity to hot or cold
  • Pain, especially at night
  • Numbness or weakness
  • Weakened leg muscles or unsteady gait
  • Slow-healing sores on feet or legs

Dr. Beeson and our knowledgeable team incorporate a variety of methods, such as digital X-rays, surface electromyography, and ultrasound, to determine the extent of your condition.

Keeping diabetic neuropathy in check

Dr. Beeson provides an array of integrative treatments for those suffering from neuropathy caused by diabetes or other conditions. You can help, as well — here’s how. 

  • Always keep your blood sugar in check to delay or prevent nerve damage.
  • Maintain the health of your feet through comprehensive yearly exams.
  • Wear comfortable, cushioned orthopedic shoes or insoles to help protect your feet.
  • Exercise every day. Walking, yoga, t’ai chi and low impact aerobics can help maintain weight and increase circulation. Specific exercises can also strengthen leg muscles and improve balance.
  • Get up, stretch, and move every 30 minutes or so.
  • Limit alcohol consumption and stop smoking. Tobacco decreases circulation issues to your feet and elsewhere.

Untreated diabetic neuropathy is hazardous to your health

It’s crucial to get help for diabetic neuropathy. Dr. Beeson will devise a program to help stop your pain in its tracks before it leads to more serious complications, such as: 

  • Sudden drops in blood pressure. Our nerves control blood flow that adjusts blood pressure. Any blockages can cause problems, such as dizziness.
  • Digestive issues. Gastroparesis, which causes the stomach to empty too slowly, can hamper digestion and severely affect your blood sugar levels and ability to absorb nutrients.
  • Gangrene. Infections in your feet or hands can eventually spread to the bone, causing tissue death and gangrene, which may require amputation.
  • Sexual dysfunction. Autonomic neuropathy often damages the nerves that affect the sex organs.

Plan for less pain

Dr. Beeson and our experienced team will create a customized treatment plan to help manage your condition and relieve pain. This may include:

  1. Chiropractic adjustments to correct alignment and enhance blood flow
  2. Acupuncture to stimulate the flow of vital chi, or energy, within the body
  3. Physical therapy
  4. Naturopathic medicine
  5. Exercise 
  6. Dietary changes
  7. Massage therapy to reduce discomfort, stimulate blood flow, and eliminate toxins
  8. Trigger point injections to diminish pain
  9. Regenerative medicine to promote the growth of healthy nerve tissue

You deserve good health. When in balance, the body possesses the natural ability to heal itself. Dr. Beeson, along with our integrative team of health professionals, look forward to helping you retune your body without harmful drugs or surgery. If you suffer from diabetic nerve pain or other chronic conditions, give us a call today at Beeson Wellness Center in Portland, Oregon.

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