Category: Diabetes & Complications

10 Natural Remedies for Diabetic Neuropathy

What is Diabetic Neuropathy?

Diabetic Neuropathy is one of the most common yet serious complications of Diabetes disease. Diabetes develops due to the inability of the body to produce a sufficient amount of insulin for processing the sugars present in the blood.

People affected by Diabetic Neuropathy suffer from a kind of nerve damage that can result from Diabetes.

The occurrence of Diabetic Neuropathy is, therefore, linked to the high levels of blood sugar (glucose) in the body. As a result, the nerves throughout the body get injured or damaged. In most cases, Diabetic Neuropathy affects the nerves in the legs and feet; causing pain, numbness, and a tingling sensation.

Symptoms of Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetic Neuropathy is mainly of four types:

Peripheral Neuropathy:

It is the most common type of Diabetic Neuropathy that first affects the feet and legs, then the hands and arms.

Autonomic Neuropathy:

It affects the autonomic nervous system which controls the heart, eyes, bladder, stomach, intestines, and sex organs.

Radiculoplexus Neuropathy:

It affects the nerves in the thighs, hips, buttocks or legs; and occurs mostly in Type 2 Diabetes patients and older adults.

Mononeuropathy or Focal Neuropathy

It affects the nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord and may affect any part of the body such as leg, the middle part of the body (torso), etc.

Causes of Diabetic Neuropathy

It is generally believed that uncontrolled high blood sugar can lead to Diabetic Neuropathy, causing damage to the nerves and disrupting their ability to transmit signals to the body parts.

The nerve damage, which is a key characteristic of Diabetic Neuropathy, is caused by a combination of factors. These factors include:

  • Diabetes (or high blood sugar level)
  • Genetic factors related to Diabetes
  • Nerve inflammation caused by an autoimmune response
  • Obesity
  • Kidney disease
  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol intake.;

Symptoms of Diabetic Neuropathy

The symptoms of Diabetic Neuropathy may be mild in some cases, but painful or debilitating in others. The common symptoms associated with the condition in general are:

  • Pain and numbness in  legs and feet
  • Tingling in the lower part of legs or feet
  • Burning sensation in hands/feet
  • Increased sensitivity to touch
  • Muscles weakness
  • Loss of sensation in the lower legs and feet
  • Loss of reflexes, particularly in the ankle
  • Change in the bone structure in the feet
  • Loss of balance and coordination
  • Serious foot problems, like ulcers, infections, and pain in joints/bones.

Some other symptoms of Diabetic Neuropathy, depending on the type of ailment, usually include problems related to the digestive system, urinary tract disorders, blood vessels, heart weight loss, pain in lower back or pelvis, chest/abdomen pain, eyesight problems, and paralysis on one side of the face.

Natural Remedies for Diabetic Neuropathy

10 Natural Remedies for Diabetic Neuropathy=

Proper diet, healthy lifestyle, and tight blood sugar control form the core of Natural Treatment for Diabetic Neuropathy. Diabetic patients, in particular, can effectively Manage Diabetic Neuropathy, by keeping their blood sugar levels in check.

If you are suffering from Diabetic Neuropathy, you should try the following 10 natural remedies:

Balanced diet

You should eat a healthy and balanced diet to balance the blood sugar levels and manage nerve damage resulting from Diabetic Neuropathy. Such a diet should include non-starchy vegetables, a moderate quantity of fruits, lean proteins, complex carbohydrates like whole-grain bread/pasta and oatmeal, and good fats like those from olive oil, nuts, or fish.

Foods rich in Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is a nutrient that plays an important role in maintaining the normal function of the nervous system. Hence, you should increase the intake of Vitamin B12-rich foods like dairy products, eggs, red meat, organ meat in small quantities, shellfish, breakfast cereals containing B12, and nutritional yeast that has B12.

Mega-3 fatty acids

A diet with an abundance of Omega-3 fatty acids can help you manage the symptoms of Diabetic Neuropathy naturally as they are important fats that can lower the risk of heart disorders. An increase in the levels of Omega-3 fatty acids is believed to be beneficial for the membranes of nerves affected due to Diabetic Neuropathy.

Turmeric

The use of turmeric is also helpful in managing Diabetic Neuropathy. Turmeric has a component called ‘Curcumin’ which is known for its ability to modulate pain sensations, suppress inflammation, manage the pain resulting from nerve damage, and prevent oxidative damage to nerves.

Black pepper

Black pepper is also an effective natural remedy for Diabetic Neuropathy. It contains a chemical called ‘Capsaicin,’ which has the capability to stimulate the nerves that signal pain. The typical application of creams containing Capsaicin can reduce chronic neuropathic pain by desensitizing the nerves to pain.

Ashwagandha’ herb

The Ashwagandha herb (Withania Somnifera) can keep your Diabetes in control, thereby managing the Diabetic Neuropathy symptoms in a natural manner. Taking a small amount of Ashwagandha with milk can lower blood glucose levels and improve glucose tolerance. It can also provide relief from the burning and tingling sensation in hands/feet.

Regular Exercise routine

To manage Diabetic Neuropathy naturally and to stay healthy, it is essential that you should increase your physical activity by doing moderate exercise on a regular basis. Exercise can improve the flow of blood in the body, thereby providing oxygen and nutrients to the legs.

Control your Diabetes

It is difficult to manage Diabetic Neuropathy unless you control your Diabetes by ensuring that your blood sugar levels are within your target range. For keeping the blood sugar levels in check, you should plan your meals properly, do exercise, and try meditation or deep breathing to reduce stress.

Look after your feet

Taking proper care of the feet can reduce the complication of Diabetic Neuropathy. If you are prone to foot problems, you must keep your feet clean, moisturize them to avoid cracks, use covered footwear to protect against injuries, and get your feet examined regularly for preventing callus formation, cuts/breaks, and lesions.

Quit Smoking

If you want to manage Diabetic Neuropathy, you must quit smoking because it affects blood circulation. Smoking can aggravate the symptoms of Diabetic Neuropathy, causing the narrowing of blood vessels, increase pain/numbness, and increase the risk of foot problems reacted to the condition.

Conclusion

Overall, managing blood sugar levels with the help of some dietary and lifestyle changes is the most important Natural Treatment for Diabetic Neuropathy. However, depending on the type of Diabetic Neuropathy you suffer from, it is advisable to consult an expert Ayurveda practitioner to benefit effectively from the natural remedies.

Yogasanas To Control and Prevent Diabetes

Overview

Yoga practice is also useful in the management of various lifestyle disorders including Type 2 Diabetes as the incorporation of yoga practice in daily life helps to attain glycemic control.

Nowadays, Type 2 diabetes has become a common lifestyle disorder which is caused by insulin resistance resulting in chronic hyperglycemia and various other complications. A sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy dietary patterns are the major risk factors for the development of various lifestyle disorders, including diabetes. Psychological stress also increases the severity of diabetes.

Management of Type 2 Diabetes

Yoga, which originated in India more than 5,000 years ago, aims at balancing the body, mind, and soul. Traditionally, yoga is a mind-body practice with the ultimate goal of spiritual enlightenment. It provides opportunities for self-awareness.

The word ‘Yoga’ is a Sanskrit name which means ‘to join’ or ‘to unite’, symbolizing the union of body and consciousness. Yoga is often compared with the tree and comprises 8 aspects or limbs such as:

  • Yama (Universal ethics)
  • Niyama (Individual ethics)
  • Asana (Physical postures)
  • Pranayama (Breath-control)
  • Pratyahara (Control of the senses)
  • Dharana (Concentration)
  • Dhyana (Meditation)
  • Samadhi (Bliss).

Recognizing its universal appeal, the United Nations on 11th December 2014 proclaimed 21 June as the International Day of Yoga.

Many yoga asanas have been found to be beneficial in the Management of Type 2 Diabetes but their judicious use is recommended after a careful assessment of patient’s health.

  • They emphasize on the relationship of mind, body, and awareness and focus on the synchronization of movement and breathing.
  • The key to performing a yoga posture is that it should be performed with stability and comfort and involves stretching, twisting, movements, and relaxation.

Some Yoga Practices Beneficial for the Management of Type 2 Diabetes

  1. Surya Namaskar (Sun salutation)
  2. Vakrasan (Spinal twist)
  3. Trikonasana (Triangle pose)
  4. Bhujangasan (Cobra pose)
  5. Pavanmuktasana (Wind relieving pose)
  6. Om Chanting

1.Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation):

This yogic exercise involves a series of various yogic postures which are performed in a series of a specific sequence.

It is a complete yoga asana in itself and involves 11 steps such as

  1. Pranamasana(prayer pose)
  2. Utthana hasthasana(raised arms pose)
  3. padahastanasana(standing forward bend)
  4. ashva sanchalanasana (equestrian pose)
  5. phalakasana(stick pose)
  6. ashtang namaskar(salute with eight points)
  7. bhujangasana(cobra pose)
  8. adho mukha svanasana(downward facing pose)
  9. ashva sanchalanasana(equestrian pose)
  10. padahastanasana(standing forward bend)
  11. pranamasana(mountain pose)

It increases cellular requirements for oxygen and glucose and to meet these requirements, through brain signaling, insulin production is stimulated.

The diabetic patient should practice 3-7 rounds at a slow speed and according to an individual’s capacity.

2. Vakrasan (Spinal Twist)

It is a very basic asana (pose) and it is recommended for overall body health as well.

  • It is a seated yoga posture which improves the function of pancreas.
  • Vakrasan is a pose having seated spinal twist that squeezes the intestines and massage them to prevent the stagnation of colonic contents.
  • It is recommended that diabetic patients should hold the final pose for 15 seconds or as per their capacity and then gradually increase the duration  upto 1 minute.

3.Trikonasana (Triangle pose):

Trikonasana is a standing pose that works on all areas of the abdomen and further helps in keeping the kidneys in good working condition.

  • It improves blood supply and enhances insulin receptor expression in the muscles.
  • It is recommended to hold the final pose for 15 seconds and gradually increases the duration up to 1 minute.

4.Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose):

Bhujangasana is a prone pose that stimulates and massages the pancreas and helps in the proper functioning of the gland.

  • This pose allows more blood to circulate in the pancreas and the whole body region.
  • Due to an increase in the amount of blood flow, the efficiency of beta-cells increases.
  • Diabetic patients should hold the final pose for 15 seconds and then gradually increase the duration up to 1 minute.

5.Pavanmuktasana (Wind Relieving Pose):

Pavanmuktasana is supine pose often known as ‘gas releasing pose’ and it braces up the entire system of the body including pancreas, liver, spleen, abdomen and abdominal muscles.

  • This asana causes a contraction in the abdominal muscles which improve the functionality of the abdominal organs.
  • Diabetic patients should hold the final pose for 15 seconds and gradually increase the duration up to 1 minute.

Om Chanting

6.Om Chanting

Several types of researches have shown that chanting Om is based on the physics of sound, resonance, vibrations, etc. that has a positive effect on health.

  • Chanting Om results in the removal of negative thoughts, an increase of energy, relaxation of brain and body.
  • Thus, chanting Om in supine posture produces an integrated relaxation response, which may have a clinical significance in the management of diabetes and hypertension.

Thus, Yoga postures help in the stretching of abdominal muscles which help in the regeneration of pancreatic cells and there is an improvement in the sensitivity of beta-cells to glucose, thereby there is an improvement in the secretion of insulin, increase in the blood supply to the muscles and muscle relaxation, thereby improving glucose uptake.

In addition to Yoga Asanas (Yoga Poses), Yogic breathing (Pranayam), Dhyaan (Meditation) have positive effects on the sugar levels and it is recommended in the management of diabetes.

Meditation

Meditation has been shown to cause physiological changes in the brain and meditators are less prone to stress.

  • The mental stability that is attained through Meditation helps diabetic patients.
  • Mindfulness Meditation is advocated for better sleep, greater relaxation, positivity in life etc.

Pranayama

Pranayama is control of breath. “Prana” is a breath or vital energy in the body.  The slow breathing technique involved in Pranayama causes comprehensive changes in the physiology of the body as it controls the autonomic nervous system.

  • Pranayama such as Bhastrika Pranayam (bellow-breathing) is energetic and powerful pranayama known as “the breath of fire”.
  • This pranayama helps in the regulation of pituitary, pineal, and adrenal glands which play an important role in the regulation of metabolism.

Yoga also prevents the development of diabetes in individuals who have a high risk of developing diabetes and also a results in a reduction of fasting blood sugar, postprandial blood sugar (blood sugar after meals), anti-diabetic drug requirements thus suggesting improved glycemic control.

Its regular practice helps in enhancing awareness of the mind and body which is needed in the self-management of diet in diabetes. Moreover, regular yoga practice also reduces the risk of diabetes-related complications.

Effective Home Remedies To Control Blood Sugar Level