On top of the serious health risks diabetes patients face every day, they also live with plenty of irritations.
But one of the worst symptoms of diabetes is also the most common: nerve pain.
Half of diabetes patients say they live with numbness and pain in their hands and feet.
If you're living with this nagging pain, you can find relief. Start with these three natural cures:
1. Capsaicin cream or patches
Capsaicin is normally found in hot peppers, but this spicy ingredient has lots of creative uses in medicine.
The spice has a special ability to block pain signals from your nerves.
In a study of diabetes patients who used capsaicin patches on their feet, almost 20% reported feeling relief from their worst symptoms.
But before you use capsaicin patches, or a homemade capsaicin rub, check with your doctor.
The spicy, burning treatment can sometimes cause allergic reactions and heat sensitivity.
It's also not safe if you have open wounds or cuts on your feet.
2. Alpha-lipoic acid
It can ease the pain in your hands and feet, and also helps regulate your blood sugar (which also reduces nerve pain).
A study found that taking 600 milligrams daily improved nerve pain symptoms by 19% after only five weeks.
3. Manage your blood sugar levels
This cure isn't easy or sexy, but it is effective.
Medication can soothe nerve pain, but not reverse or slow down nerve damage caused by high blood sugar.
To do that, you'll need to make some lifestyle changes:
- Add regular exercise - even very gentle exercise - to your daily routine
- Eat a healthy diet, including fruit and vegetables with very few processed foods.
- Quit smoking, which also constricts your blood vessels and adds to nerve pain.
You can manage your foot pain in other ways, including by keeping your feet clean and dry.
Diabetes patients are prone to wounds on their feet, so keep on top of yours and check for cuts and blisters regularly.
Finally, invest in special clothing, including arm and foot braces, or diabetic shoes and socks, to protect your body.
Which treatment do you rely on for your nerve pain?