Peripheral neuropathy is a condition which affects the nerves in the extremities, and can lead to pain or loss of sensation. Anyone with peripheral neuropathy knows that their symptoms can present as more than just numbness in certain parts of the foot. Oftentimes, peripheral neuropathy sufferers will experience pins and needles, burning, sharp shooting pains and even muscle weakness as a result of their condition. However, did you know that these symptoms can be better managed with small simple lifestyle changes? At The Podiatry Practice in Brisbane, we’ve compiled a list of the top healthy habits which help keep your peripheral neuropathy under control –
- Eat a healthy, nutritious diet – Eating a good diet helps to keep your blood sugar levels stable and prevents spikes which may worsen your neuropathy symptoms. In addition, your weight will stay under control which places less pressure on your feet. Vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins are known to keep nerves healthy. Speak to your GP or dietician about formulating a meal plan that is well-suited to you.
- Exercise – While also good for weight control, exercising will improve your peripheral circulation which assists nerves in receiving the nutrients required for them to heal. Plus you will feel like a million bucks!
- Don’t smoke – Smoking has a negative impact on circulation and nerve health and can undo much of the good work you might achieve through diet and exercise. Speak to your GP about quitting if you currently smoke.
- Limit alcohol – Alcohol is known to exacerbate and even cause peripheral neuropathy. It also wrecks havoc with your blood sugar levels leading to instability in symptoms and nerve health. Alcohol can also interfere with other medicines you may be taking, including those to treat peripheral neuropathy symptoms. Decide with your GP or endocrinologist an amount of alcohol that is healthy for you.
- Be mindful – No, not meditation (although this has many benefits). What we mean here is always being mindful of your neuropathy and inability to sense for trauma of the foot. Check your feet daily (using a handheld mirror or loved one for assistance if needed), test hot water with your elbow or another sensate part of your body before immersing your feet, and avoid walking barefoot. Believe us, its worth avoiding the thumbtack in your foot that you don’t notice for 3 month!
Don’t let peripheral neuropathy stop you from doing the things you enjoy! Use these simple habits and regular check-ups with your podiatrist to keep your neuropathy in check. Call us on 3391 3900 for further information and to make an appointment with an expert today.