How to manage diabetic neuropathy using therapies from natural systems

Topics health | healthcare | diabetic

High levels of glucose in the blood can damage the peripheral nerves in your body, causing decreased sensation in the feet and hands as well as problems to the urinary tract, digestive system, and heart. With over 60 percent of diabetics eventually developing peripheral neuropathy, it is one of the main secondary complications they face. Mild to moderate symptoms include pain, numbness and tingling sensation in the feet and legs. In severe cases, it can lead to potentially serious complications such as gangrenous wounds that necessitate the amputation of a toe, foot or leg. Fortunately, diabetic neuropathy can be prevented if strict control is maintained on blood sugar levels on a daily basis. Lifestyle changes and complementary therapies derived from natural systems of medicine can help achieve this effectively. Three of the most commonly practiced alternative therapies to help prevent diabetic neuropathy are naturopathy, yoga and acupuncture. 


Acupuncture is an ancient form of alternative medicine which originated in China. It uses the science of inserting long, fine needles at various points in the body to stimulate the sensory receptors and stimulate them. This transmits impulses to the hypothalamic pituitary axis, bringing down the levels of hormones like cortisol, adrenocorticotropin, and pregnenolone, which are responsible for sensations of pain and are released when the hypothalamus is hyper-aroused.

Eat to live

The best defense against progressive damage from diabetic neuropathy is to manage the disease itself. Keep your blood sugar levels in check by eating healthy. Ensure that your diet includes a lot of fiber rich foods and whole grains, and very little saturated and trans fats. Structured physical interventions also play an important role in keeping blood sugar levels in check. Make sure you get at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise every day. Meditation and deep breathing can help you manage chronic stress, which is one of the major causes behind elevated serum glucose. 

Supplements: Winter ginseng, also known as ashwagandha, is very effective at keeping the blood sugar in control and managing the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy. Not only does it help increase the level of serum insulin, it also improves the insulin sensitivity of muscle cells as well as the body’s glucose tolerance, thereby easing the severity of diabetic neuropathy. Consuming black seed oil and fenugreek seeds will help keep sugar levels in check. However, these herbal remedies must be adopted after consultation with a qualified naturopath so that you consume the correct dosage in conjugation with your medication.

Yoga for body and mind

Yoga helps improve blood flow to the extremities, improves the body’s glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. I

The poses:  If the condition is not severe, then traditional hatha yoga poses like trikonasana, ustrasana and dhanurasana will do. If the neuropathy is more advanced, it needs the guidance of a trained instructor. However, you can still benefit from gentle twist exercises, meditation and closely supervised backbends.

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