Diabetic neuropathy, also referred to as peripheral neuropathy, occurs when a person has nerve damage caused by diabetes. It is one of the many complications of diabetes. This condition happens when a person has frequent high blood sugar levels that affect the nerve fibers all over their body. Studies have shown that diabetes affects approximately 1 in every 3 adults in the United States. Unfortunately, there is no cure for diabetes or diabetic neuropathy. However, there are ways that a person can manage these conditions. If your elderly loved one has diabetic neuropathy, it is important to learn how to assist them.
Managing Their Blood Sugar Levels
The most important way to prevent permanent nerve damage in the eyes, skin, blood vessels, and other areas of the body is to maintain a healthy blood sugar level. Many studies show that people with poor blood sugar levels are at a higher risk of diabetic neuropathy. Eating a healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise can help your elderly loved one to control their blood sugar levels. Your elderly loved one should also regularly see their doctor and get guidance on when and how often to test their blood sugar levels.
Following a Healthy Diet
One way that your elderly loved one can eat a healthy diet is by incorporating high fiber foods in their meal plans. Some of the ways they can achieve this goal include the following:
Vegetables and whole fruits – Your elderly loved one should eat all kinds of vegetables and fruits, especially produce that is high in antioxidants, vitamins, fiber, and electrolytes.
Omit most grains – If possible, your elderly loved one should omit most grains, especially those that contain refined wheat flours.
Watch out for high-sodium foods – Most experts recommend keeping sodium to less than 2.300 milligrams a day.
Another way to maintain blood sugar levels is by eating every couple of hours. This means your elderly loved one should eat regular meals and have snacks throughout the day.
Getting Regular Exercise
There are many benefits of exercising regularly. Most experts recommend that a person should get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. However, it is important to understand that your elderly loved one might want to start slow and split the 30 minutes up during the day until they feel strong enough to do the entire 30 minutes at one time. Some of the ways exercise can help your elderly loved one include the following:
It will help them to control blood sugar levels
It can help your elderly loved one maintain a healthy weight
It can help reduce high blood pressure
Regular exercise can also help your elderly loved one to reduce pain and decrease neuropathic symptoms.
If your elderly loved one has diabetic neuropathy there are things you can do to help them manage it. For instance, you can assist them in eating a healthy diet and encourage them to exercise on a regular basis. Just remember to speak with your elderly loved one’s medical team before they start any new diet or exercise regimen. You can even get home health care providers to help your elderly loved one manage this condition.