Diabetes Leg Pain

Diabetes Leg Pain

With diabetes comes a myriad of complications if it is not adequately controlled. Leg pain due to diabetes is one such complication that can occur due to damaged nerves and poor blood sugar control. This article will cover the causes of leg pain in diabetes, its treatment, alternative treatments, and home remedies. How to prevent diabetes-related leg pain will also be discussed.

Why Does Diabetes Cause Leg Pain?

When blood sugar remains uncontrolled for a prolonged period, it can damage nerves. This leads to a poor ability of the nerves to send signals. Increased blood sugar levels can cause the weakening of the small blood vessel walls. This can result in a decreased supply of oxygen and nutrients to the nerves. Due to this, you may feel pain, numbness, and tingling in your legs. If this is not adequately controlled, it can lead to other foot-related complications like injuries and amputation.

Treatments

The best diabetes foot treatment  pain prevention. The main aims of treatment are pain relief and management. Medications to treat the pain can be taken as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Mild to moderate pain relievers or opioid pain relievers may be prescribed depending on the pain level. Other treatment options are to slow progression with adequate blood sugar control and manage complications to restore the function of the leg.

Home remedies

it is advisable to resort to certain home remedies for relief as certain medications for managing leg pain cannot be taken for an extended period. Your doctor recommends certain exercises to ease leg pain that can be recommended to you by your doctor. Besides this, increasing blood flow to your legs by going for short walks or using a stationary bicycle can help. Soaking your legs in warm water can also help relieve the pain. If the bedding causes discomfort during the night, using a bed cradle can help. Alternative treatments like electrical nerve stimulation, light therapy, or acupuncture can benefit.

Exercise

Regular, moderate exercise can help lower blood sugar, improve blood flow, and help your heart health. Including 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity, a week can help to improve blood flow and provide oxygen and nutrients to your legs. However, it is advised that you consult your doctor before beginning any exercise regimen.

Diet

A balanced diet can help maintain weight and manage nerve pain by reducing the underlying swelling. Foods like lean proteins, non-starchy vegetables, fruits (in moderation), complex carbohydrates like oatmeal or whole-grain pasta and bread, and good fats like those from nuts, olive oil, or fish are beneficial to prevent worsening damage by controlling blood sugar. Portion sizes should also be reduced to maintain optimal weight and help with blood sugar control.

Supplements

When their diet lacks nutrients, certain supplements and vitamins can help certain individuals. For relieving leg pain in diabetes, vitamin D, vitamin B12, acetyl-L-carnitine, and alpha-lipoic acid are beneficial. However, before starting any supplements, it is advisable to consult your doctor to understand if you require supplements and whether the supplements will interact with your other medications.

Stop Smoking

Cigarettes contain tobacco, which impairs blood circulation. This results in poor circulation to your feet, which can impede healing. Quitting smoking can positively impact your overall health and reduce diabetes-related symptoms and complications.

Other Options

Besides lifestyle changes, other alternative options can be considered for relieving leg pain in diabetes. Physical therapy and massaging of the lower legs to help improve blood circulation, acupuncture, or soaking the legs in warm water (provided you have no open wounds) can also provide relief. Using a bed cradle at night to prevent the bedding from causing pain can also help. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is another method for relieving leg pain in diabetes. In TENS, small electrodes are placed on your skin. Tiny electrical impulses are delivered to specific nerves via these electrodes. It is relatively safe and painless. Alternative medicines like capsaicin cream (which reduces pain sensation), alpha-lipoic acid (an antioxidant that relieves nerve symptoms), and acetyl-L-carnitine (a nutrient that relieves nerve pain) can also be used after discussing the same with your doctor.

Additional Symptoms

Other than leg pain, you may also experience the following symptoms.

  • A burning sensation
  • Feet that are either extremely hot or extremely cold
  • Overly sensitive feet
  • Tingling in the feet or lower legs
  • Loss of sensation in the feet and legs.
  • Poor muscle tone in the feet and legs
  • Ulcers or open sores on the feet
  • Absence of pain, even in the presence of open sores or blisters

Prevention

  • Preventing leg pain in diabetes can occur by regulating your blood sugar levels to reduce the risk of developing complications. Certain prevention methods are as follows:
  • Consume a balanced diet to help manage weight and control blood sugar. You can seek advice from a nutritionist in this regard.
  • Regular exercise can help increase blood flow to your legs.
  • Strict monitoring of blood sugar levels is essential to help identify whether you require changes in your medication dose, daily management, diet or physical activity.
  • Adhere to the treatment plan as prescribed by your doctor to help control blood sugar levels.
  • Foot care-An annual thorough foot examination can assist in detecting complications in your feet as early as possible. Checking your feet daily for any blisters, cuts, cracks, or abnormalities can begin early intervention and prevent complications. Keeping your feet clean and dry, moisturising your feet, carefully trimming your toenails, wearing clean, dry socks, and wearing shoes that are cushioned and fit well are essential to prevent foot-related diabetes complications.

Conclusion

Leg pain in diabetes usually occurs when your blood sugar levels are not controlled adequately. Strict monitoring of blood sugar levels, along with a balanced diet, adequate exercise, foot care, and other lifestyle changes, can help prevent leg pain and other associated symptoms and complications of diabetes. If you feel that you are experiencing tingling, numbness, or any other changes in your feet, do not hesitate to contact your diabetes specialist doctor.

RJ Frometa
Author: RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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