Does Soaking Your Feet Help with Neuropathy? – DIABETIC SOCK CLUB

Does Soaking Your Feet Help with Neuropathy?

Neuropathy is a common occurrence in diabetes. We call the condition peripheral neuropathy, in which numbness, tingling, and pain occurs. If you suffer from nerve damage, the chances are that you feel all or some of these symptoms in your hands and feet.

The extent of nerve damage varies per person in neuropathy. Some may require prescription medications to help, while others may find relief from a few lifestyle changes and other remedies. In any case, it is discomforting for a person to have tingling, swollen or numb feet and hands and certainly disturbs the quality of life.

If you have been suffering all of this, this article will address factors that could help with your neuropathy, including foot soaks.

Neuropathy, what it is.

Neuropathy is a disease that links with your nerves. When there is a malfunction in your nervous system, you fall prey to this condition. There are several kinds of neuropathy, but the most prevalent is peripheral neuropathy.

In the U.S. alone, nearly eighty million people suffer from this condition. The peripheral nerves spread across our entire bodies and carry out functions such as delivering messages to and fro from our spinal cord and brain. They help us feel things and deliver messages such as our hands or feet are cold, and our muscles need to move.

Distortion occurs when our peripheral nerves cannot smoothly deliver messages between our spinal cord and the brain. It disturbs the rest of our body, and symptoms can include the inability to determine joint position, pain, and lack of sensation, tingling, and numbness.

Causes

You can inherit peripheral neuropathy or acquire it as a result of trauma or sickness. Many common causes give way to neuropathy, including diabetes, physical injury, bacterial and viral infections, toxins from chemotherapy, mutations in genetics, environment, industry, etc. Sometimes one may even not be able to identify the cause of the neuropathy, but it may persevere in a patient.

Soaking Your Feet Helps with Neuropathy

Nerve regeneration is essential for those who develop neuropathy, but it requires effort. First, you need to focus on your foot care and create conditions to soothe and relax your nerves while alleviating symptoms.

Self-care is imperative if you wish to reduce your stress levels and anxiety, which are neuropathy enemies. Self-care, including your foot care, will boost your immune system and reduce inflammation as well.

Meticulous foot care would be a great way of improving your condition. One of the best methods for this is to soak your feet in some warm water containing mineral salts. You can enhance the soak-experience with essential oils, herbs, and sea and salts that will benefit your neuropathic feet.

Foot soaks many benefits, including:

  • Foot soaks can replenish your depleting magnesium stores, an essential element for a sound nervous system.
  • Soaks can also gently detox your feet
  • Soaks offer relief from pains and aches, especially in the feet and calf
  • Soaks reduce inflammation

While you make soaking a regular part of your foot care regime, it would also be a great idea to add massage to the routine. Massaging helps boost your circulation and offer further relief from pain. Many patients also use lavender in their foot soaks because it contains calming properties.

Lavender contains properties that can fight inflammation and relax the muscles, thereby reducing pain. Peppermint soaks containing plantain and calendula also heal and soothe the neuropathic feet.

Moreover, you could consider using Epsom salts for your soaking session that also contains anti-inflammatory powers. Epsom salt regulates your nerve and muscle functions with its naturally present sulfate and magnesium compound.

Dead sea salt contains high mineral content that is wonderful for your lymphatic and blood circulation. If you want a superior alternative to dead sea salt, you must consider using Himalayan salt with its pleasing mineral composition.

The Himalayan salt promotes relaxation and helps ease your muscle aches and pain.

How to Soak Your Feet

Take a small tub or container and add ¼ of Epsom salt or whichever you choose, for every one cup of water you add. Be careful that the water is warm and not over a hundred degrees. Then set your feet in the tub, making sure they submerge entirely into the warm water.

Then all you have to do is sit back, close your eyes, and let the warm water soothe your frayed nerves and ease the pain from your feet. It is important to note that if you have diabetes and/or an infection in your foot, you must not opt for Epson salt or soaking without your doctor’s approval.

Some Other Ways to Manage Your Neuropathy

You can follow a couple of other practices in addition to foot soaking to manage your neuropathy. These include:

  1. Walking and/or exercise are the best cures for almost anything in this world. Regular practice of it since the beginning can prevent several ailments from even occurring.

It would be best to make it a healthy habit to walk at least thrice a week outside. If that is not workable for you, then try incorporating some comfortable and safe exercises in your routine indoors. You must consult your doctor for a proper exercise regime recommendation.

Exercise is essential for you because it will improve your blood flow and restore your damaged nerves. With regular walking and exercise, you will ultimately control your overall blood sugar level and diabetes. Neuropathy automatically lessens as diabetes reduces.

  1. Quit alcohol- or at least reduce consumption at the very least. Alcohol is too toxic for your sensitive nerves and can also send your blood sugar level spiraling out of control. You may be surprised to know alcohol itself is also responsible for certain types of neuropathy. Why continue consuming it when it can destroy your health forever? The best course of action is to give up or reduce your alcohol intake to cure neuropathy.
  2. B Vitamin Complex- you should try incorporating B vitamin complex into your diet. They are essential for your nerve health, and a deficiency of vitamin B12 can result in nerve damage.

Vitamin B6 assists our brain in producing some chemicals that deliver information throughout our body. Depleted levels of these specific chemicals can also cause your pain to worsen. While many people can consume enough B vitamins through their diets, others may require supplements. It is best to consult your doctor for the right foods and supplements to cure your pains.

Vitamin D- this too is as essential as B vitamins. Vitamin D naturally occurs in your skin as a response to direct sunlight. Vitamin D has proved in research that it can protect against nerve pain and those with lower levels of it are more susceptible to diabetic neuropathy.

The fact is that your body needs approximately 800 or 600 IU of vitamin D and food sources alone are not sufficient. It may be necessary to take a supplement along with your food sources for diabetic neuropathy. It is best to seek recommendations from a doctor.

Alpha-Lipoic Acid Supplement- this antioxidant occurs in small portions of your body. However, a study has found that if a person consumes larger doses of alpha-lipoic acid, it will help regulate their blood sugar levels. Consequentially, these substances also reduce nerve pain.

Again study proved that 19% of people experienced improved diabetic neuropathy when they consumed 600 milligrams daily. This substance may prevent further nerve damage from occurring over the long term, but then again, you need to consult your doctor to be sure.

Quit Smoking- Like alcohol, smoking too does not good for your body, especially neuropathy. You must quit smoking if you don’t wish to constrict your blood vessels anymore and impair circulation.  If you continue smoking despite being neuropathic, your blood will lose the rich, essential nutrients, and your peripheral nerves will be malnourished. This will eventually lead to excessive nerve pain.

Final Thoughts

Neuropathy can occur in many forms, but the most common is peripheral neuropathy. In this, your arms and feet may lose sensation, tingle, prick, ache, and feel uncomfortable all the time. You may begin to lose qualitative sleep, ease in movement, and many other things.

You can include proper foot care, among other remedies, to soothe and cure your neuropathic feet. From warm water and Epsom salt soaks to walking and exercising daily, a few practices will go a long way in curing your neuropathy for good.

 

 

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