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How is Diabetes Leg Pain Treated?

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  • Written By: Alicia Sparks
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 29 November 2016
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Methods for dealing with diabetes leg pain span from prevention to pain management. This is because diabetes leg pain is often caused by a diabetic neuropathy, or nerve damage caused by symptoms of diabetes. Although diabetic nerve pain most commonly occurs in a person’s legs and feet, the cause of the pain isn’t as isolated. Therefore, doctors generally recommend a mix of preventive measures to avoid diabetes nerve damage and pain management to treat any diabetic leg pain already present.

Diabetes nerve damage often happens when a diabetic patient’s blood glucose levels are out of control, so prevention usually begins by looking at those levels. Properly managing blood glucose levels, also known as blood sugar levels, is crucial for a person with diabetes. Blood sugar levels that are too high or too low can cause everything from feeling a little sick to death. In the middle is diabetes nerve damage, and maintaining proper blood sugar levels can help prevent future damage from occurring and stop current damage from continuing.

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Most diabetes patients are educated about managing blood sugar levels from the beginning. Eating the proper foods, getting enough exercise and rest, and correctly taking medication are all common ways to manage blood sugar levels. Generally, diabetes patients monitor their blood sugar levels following a schedule and with a simple at-home tool. When they notice their levels getting out of control, they can adjust their management plan or contact their doctor. It’s important to take care of blood sugar levels that are too high or too low as soon as possible to prevent diabetes nerve damage from beginning or continuing.

Beyond preventive measures, a doctor might prescribe treatments for existing diabetes leg pain. One treatment example is oral medication such as traditional pain medication, antidepressants, and anticonvulsants. Other examples include topical treatments such as patches, creams, and sprays that include pain medicine. Some doctors might also recommend physical therapy, acupuncture, and biofeedback for dealing with diabetes leg cramps. A doctor can advise a patient about specific medication types and brands, as well as provide referrals to specialists who can use other methods.

Despite there being so many options for the prevention of diabetes nerve damage and the treatment of diabetes leg pain, the damage can still happen and the pain can still persist. For many people with severe diabetes leg pain, pain management is a matter of avoiding or minimizing contact. The most common type of medical device for this purpose is a bed cradle, which prevents the skin from having contact with sheets and blankets. A doctor or pharmacist can recommend additional tools.

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bluedolphin
Post 3

@ZipLine-- I've heard great things about arginine cream for circulation. You might want to look into that.

Stores also sell special diabetes socks to encourage blood circulation. If you're cold, then use a hot water bag at home. Keep it on your feet and legs. When going outdoors, you should wear warm socks and shoes. Wear a second layer of pants if you need to, but nothing too tight or it will prevent blood circulation instead of keeping you warm.

Aside from this, taking a baby aspirin can also improve blood circulation. And always check your feet and legs daily for any cuts or injuries. The last thing you want is an infection. If the pain doesn't go away or if you develop sensations like numbness or tingling, definitely make an appointment with a doctor at the soonest.

stoneMason
Post 2

@ZipLine-- Have you seen your diabetes specialist about this? This is definitely not a topic one ought to ignore. We can all share our opinions and give you advice, but you need a professional's advice and care. If you have neuropathy, the consequences can be detrimental. So please see your doctor about the leg pain. Find out if you have neuropathy and if so, how severe it is.

Also make sure that your blood sugar levels are under control. Are you getting your A1C tests for your 3 month blood sugar average? If you don't have the habit of testing your blood sugar every day, that's a good way to know if you have been on track with your diet, exercise and medications.

ZipLine
Post 1

What can I do for diabetes leg pain caused by poor circulation? My legs are always cold and it's difficult to be outdoors or to stand for long periods of time.

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