Dealing with peripheral neuropathy is not always easy. The pain, numbness, and tingling can make it difficult to get anything done, even sleep. Fortunately, there are a number of different things you can do to manage your neuropathy. These lifestyle changes are not likely to completely make the condition vanish, but they can help you with the symptoms until you can work with a doctor to design a neuropathy treatment plan.

Stop Smoking

Smoking can make neuropathy and many other medical conditions worse. It affects your circulation, which in turn means that less blood is getting to your lower legs, feet, and hands. This means those parts of the body aren’t getting the nutrients they need, which can result in even more problems on top of making your neuropathy worse.

Change Your Diet

If your peripheral neuropathy is being caused by an underlying condition such as diabetes, changing your diet may help with the pain. You want to cut out as many sugars as you can and watch how many carbs you eat. Ideally, your diet will revolve around low-fat meat, vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and dairy products. Decrease your alcohol intake if you’re a moderate to heavy drinker. You don’t have to punish yourself with your diet but do pay attention to what you’re eating and moderate carbs, sugars, and unhealthy foods.

Don’t Put Extra Pressure on your Knees or Elbows

If you put a good amount of pressure on your knees or elbows, it can further damage the nerves running through them. It’s not always easy to notice behaviors that may cause this type of damage. Some people rest their head on their hand, but that keeps the elbow bent and pressed against the table. Sitting cross-legged on the floor can put stress on the nerves running down your legs.

Get a Massage

Having your feet and hands rubbed and massaged can help temporarily relieve neuropathy pain. Massage helps to stimulate the nerves and improve circulation, both of which will help with neuropathy. Note, however, that massage is only a temporary measure, and you’ll need to have one regularly.

Take Care of Your Feet

If your peripheral neuropathy is mostly in your feet, you may find it very uncomfortable to have anything touching them. This can make it difficult to wear shoes or to even have a light sheet over your feet at night. While you may have to wear shoes, you can make sure they’re comfortable. Look for ones that are padded and fairly loose on your feet. You can also purchase a half-circle device that holds the blankets up off your feet at night. These devices are available at a number of medical supply stores and online.

How to Cope with Neuropathy

In addition to making use of some of these ways to manage your peripheral neuropathy, you may also need to learn how to cope with it until you can see a doctor. While you should acknowledge that you have this condition, you don’t have to accept that it has control over your life. You may have to accept certain limitations for now, but never feel like neuropathy has defeated you. It hasn’t.

Instead, you need to prioritize what you do. Overworking yourself can make your pain feel worse, so be sure you’re doing the things you need or want to do first. If you start feeling run down later, it’s okay. Whatever’s still on your to-do list can wait. Continue to exercise, see your friends and family, and participate in your hobbies. Otherwise, you may become so focused on your pain that you fall into depression, and that won’t help at all.

We’re Here for You

If you’re suffering from peripheral neuropathy, Fox Integrated Healthcare is here to help. We will assist you in managing your neuropathy while you move forward with treatment that deals with the underlying condition. Contact us today to learn more.