Lifestyle and home remediesBy Mayo Clinic staff
These measures can help reduce your risk of diabetic neuropathy:
- Keep your blood pressure under control. People with diabetes are more likely to have high blood pressure than are people who don't have diabetes. Having both high blood pressure and diabetes greatly increases your risk of complications because both damage your blood vessels and reduce blood flow. Try to keep your blood pressure in the range your doctor recommends, and be sure to have it checked at every office visit. Also consider checking it regularly at home. The American Diabetes Association recommends keeping your blood pressure below 130/80 millimeters of mercury.
- Make healthy food choices. Eat a balanced diet that includes a variety of healthy foods — especially fruits, vegetables and whole grains — and limit portion sizes to help achieve or maintain a healthy weight.
- Be active every day. In addition to helping you achieve a healthy weight, daily activity protects your heart and improves blood flow. It also plays a major role in keeping your blood sugar and blood pressure under control. The American Diabetes Association generally recommends about 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day at least five times a week. However, if you have severe neuropathy and decreased sensation in your legs, your doctor may recommend that you participate in non-weight-bearing activities, such as bicycling or swimming.
- Stop smoking. If you have diabetes and use tobacco in any form, you're more likely than are nonsmokers with diabetes to die of heart attack and stroke. And you're more likely to develop circulation problems in your feet. If you use tobacco, talk to your doctor about ways to quit.
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