7 Unusual Treatments for Diabetic Foot Pain
May 10, 2013 (updated Jan 25, 2014)
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The treatments for diabetic neuropathy run the gamut from complex to simple daily living routines, but if you're looking for some lesser known remedies, try these 7 tips.
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Amp up the heat
Capsaicin is the component that gives chili peppers their heat. Creams that contain capsaicin can be applied to the skin to help reduce pain sensations in some people, while pills may help ease pain from the inside. Not everyone appreciates the burning sensation capsaicin can bring, so be sure to start slow when using this compound.
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Get your raisins drunk
Eating nine golden raisins that have been soaked in gin is a much lauded remedy for arthritis, but some say it also eases diabetic neuropathy pain. A small handful of these "drunken raisins" contains only a few drops of alcohol, but many swear by its pain-easing properties. For more information, and the recipe, click here.
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Sure, it involves needles, but acupuncture is actually painless. Though research on the practice is conflicting, many people swear by its effects, and it has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for over two thousand years.
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Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, or TENS, delivers tiny electrical impulses to specific nerve pathways through electrodes that are placed on the skin.
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Supplement with antioxidants
Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) is a naturally occurring antioxidant found in liver, spinach, broccoli, and other healthy foods. But many people who don't have a flawless diet could use an ALA supplement. Recent studies also suggest it could be useful in treating peripheral neuropathy.
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Take "moderate" seriously
When doctors recommend moderate exercise for diabetics, they mean moderate! Intense exercise such as running can injure feet, and it can endanger tiny blood vessels that are already at risk because of high blood sugar. The overall benefits of exercise outweigh the drawbacks, but walking, bike riding, swimming, and other moderate forms are best.
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Practitioners use biofeedback machines to learn how to control physical processes such as heart rate, muscle tone, heart rate, and perceptions of pain. After a time, people who are taught to use biofeedback are able to control some of their pain responses without being hooked to a machine.