A woman looks distressed as her feet are chained to the ice inside of an ice bucket

Neuropathy Tips for That “Tingly” Feeling

Throughout my journey with diabetes, one of the many frustrations I've experienced is diabetic neuropathy. At some point, we might all experience neuropathy. I refer to it as my "Spidey Tingle," LOL.

Although I make light of my diabetes to keep a more positive outlook on my health, diabetic neuropathy is a severe complication that comes with diabetes. Diabetic neuropathy is nerve damage that affects both the feet and hands and could impact other body parts. In most cases, it is an intermittent condition that tends to worsen slowly over time, unfortunately.

What does neuropathy feel like?

Diabetic neuropathy might be an unfamiliar concept to newly diagnosed diabetics. Basically, it is caused by prolonged high blood sugar levels. The result is damage to nerves in the feet and legs. It can sometimes affect the hands and fingers as well.

I describe my neuropathy as feeling like my arm or hand fell asleep. However, before I was diagnosed, I attributed that tingly feeling to working long hours on my feet and walking on concrete all day. Experiencing this pain to the point of not wanting to move or stand on my feet sabotaged my vibe!

Feeling numb, cold, and tingly

While visiting the doctor, I was told that my neuropathy was caused by prolonged periods of lower body circulation. After that, it made me think about finding ways to stay mobile and not overexert myself.

The crazy thing is that the tingly feeling would be followed by a sense of extreme cold for me. It felt like my feet were trapped in an ice bucket. I recall the first severe neuropathy episode that scared me. I got out of bed early in the morning to use the bathroom, and it felt like my left leg was missing.

My left leg was numb, sensitive, and cold to the touch, and I couldn't feel it. This experience was one of those defining moments in my diabetic journey that forced me to take my health more seriously. The thought of not being able to feel my feet when I walk worried me.

Learning more about diabetic neuropathy

Then, watching a few videos online about people losing their limbs because they stepped on a nail or cut the underside of their foot and didn't know was traumatic for me to watch. After some research and trips to my doctor, finding ways to help with my diabetic neuropathy became my mission.

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Helpful tips to minimize neuropathy

Now, this can be different for others because neuropathy can affect other body parts. The feet and hands are the most common, from what I have experienced and read about.

So, here are some helpful tips for me that could be beneficial for you!

Wear compression socks

Compression socks are GREAT. I order compression socks from a popular online retailer with more style than the socks at the pharmacy. You can find some really cool styles and colors online. The socks that your local clinic and pharmacy have are fashionably horrendous. Most importantly, the socks have no fashion style whatsoever...you know, the socks I'm talking about! Either way, compression socks can reduce the tingly feeling of neuropathy in the feet and legs.

Invest in comfortable sneakers or shoes

I can't stress this enough. Moreover, comfortable shoes make a significant difference if you're a person that moves around a lot. Importantly, shoes with plenty of padding that fits your style and needs will work wonders for your foot health.

You don't necessarily have to break the bank on stylish kicks, but you will need to invest in high-quality footwear or insoles. Plus, it gives you an excuse to spend money and contribute to self-care.

Schedule regular pedicures

Whether weekly, monthly or every once in a while, getting a pedicure can feel so good and pampering. I feel like it's a glorious treat! Pedicures are life. Let me ensure I direct this message to the men who have diabetes out there! The foot and leg massage is worth it, but regular pedicures can aid in being proactive and inspecting your foot health.

Stretch in the morning and before bed

This simple yet effective action will help get circulation flowing in your body. I have practiced some light yoga stretches in my daily routine. Yes, this 280-pound man has done some yoga!

Diabetes management is wholistic

Ultimately, you should check for signs of diabetic neuropathy and monitor your blood sugar. I don't know if there will ever be a cure, but we can all attempt to minimize the episodes to become as frequent as possible to prevent diabetes complications.

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