Dietary and Lifestyle Tips to Manage Diabetic Neuropathy

Dietary and Lifestyle Tips to Manage Diabetic Neuropathy

The kidneys filter toxins from the blood and pass them into the bladder, after which the clean blood flows back into the body. The filtering happens inside small blood vessels in the kidneys, but high blood glucose levels damage the blood vessels, causing them to leak. As a result, nutrients are lost in the urine, while toxins may remain in the bloodstream, causing severe, even fatal, complications. On average, 30% of Type 1 and 40% of Type 2 diabetics suffer from kidney damage, a condition called diabetic nephropathy.

Early signs of kidney damage due to diabetes

  • Swollen feet, hands, and face
  • Sleeping issues or difficulty concentrating
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Dry and itchy skin
  • Loss of appetite
  • Drowsiness
  • Muscle twitching
  • Irregular heart rhythm

Diagnosis of diabetic nephropathy
Diabetic nephropathy is often diagnosed by the presence of proteins in the urine. A diabetic patient should get their urine test done regularly to check the sugar levels in their bodies. Blood tests begin to show protein levels in urine only when 60% of the kidney is damaged. A healthcare professional can test for this damage with yearly urine microalbumin checks and by regularly testing blood pressure levels. They can also guide one toward making healthy dietary and lifestyle changes to manage diabetes with kidney problems.

Dietary changes to manage diabetes effectively
Making healthy diet choices, leading an active lifestyle, and taking the prescribed medications are the most important dietary and lifestyle changes to make to manage diabetes. Here are some diet tips to help improve the condition:

  • Increase the intake of fresh fruits and vegetables in the diet.
  • Include more fiber and fewer carbohydrates in the daily diet.
  • Avoid high-fat products and include healthy oils in cooking, like olive and canola oils.
  • Opt for poaching, baking, steaming, or grilling food instead of frying it.
  • Avoid fat in meat and switch to lean meat and poultry.
  • Avoid processed and preserved food.
  • Avoid carbonated drinks and drink fresh juice instead.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Eat 3 small meals and 3 snacks with an interval of 2 to 3 hours every day.
  • Avoid a late dinner.

Lifestyle changes to manage diabetes
Apart from the above-mentioned dietary changes, the following lifestyle changes should be incorporated for better results:

Quit smoking
Smoking reduces blood flow in the body, which affects the functioning of the heart. One should consult a healthcare team to get help to quit smoking.

Exercise regularly
Working out for 30 mins every day improves metabolism, which helps the cells to absorb glucose from the blood. Walking, aerobics, cycling, and swimming are effective exercises that help regulate blood sugar levels.

Reduce excess weight
Individuals who are overweight or obese should work hard on losing the extra pounds to avoid health complications.

Take prescribed medicines
Taking the prescribed medicines regularly helps in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels and helps prevent other severe complications.

Avoid alcohol consumption
Excess intake of alcohol is hazardous as it can cause blood sugar levels to rise or fall drastically, and it also increases triglyceride levels.