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Exercising safely with diabetic neuropathy

Posted by CarePoint Health on Nov 13, 2015 8:00:00 AM

safety exercise tips for people with diabetic neuropathyDuring American Diabetes Month this November, let’s discuss not only diabetes and how to avoid it, but ways you can keep yourself healthy if you already have diabetes. Seeing your physician regularly, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly are the best ways to keep yourself in the best health possible and minimize complications from the disease.

But if you have diabetic neuropathy, you may be wondering how you can exercise safely and still reap the benefits. Diabetic neuropathy is a common complication in diabetes. It typically affects the nerves in your hands and feet, and can cause numbness, tingling, and pain. It can lead to problems if a person gets an injury or sore on the foot and can’t see or feel it, leading to infection or more serious injury.

The good news is, many people with diabetic neuropathy can lead active lives if they know how to take proper care of their condition. Follow this advice to make sure you’re getting the recommended physical activity in a safe and healthy way:

  • Avoid activities of high impact or long, strenuous distances. Jumping or high-impact aerobics can be more dangerous for someone with neuropathy because of the hard force on the feet. Instead, low-impact activities like walking, bicycling, or swimming may be more comfortable and beneficial.
  • Always wear supportive, properly fitting shoes. If you have neuropathy, any old pair of shoes won’t do. Make sure you have proper arch support, and that shoes are not too tight or too loose, or rubbing your feet in any area. This is good practice for everyday shoes, too — not just exercise ones. And, once your shoes start to show signs of wear inside or out, they need to be replaced. You may wish to go to a shoe specialty store where they can properly fit you and recommend certain types of footwear.
  • Check your feet every day — especially before you exercise. If you have blisters or ulcers, your physician may recommend you allow them to heal completely before exercising. You may need to use a mirror to check the bottom or back of your feet.
  • Work with your physician to keep your glucose under control. The better your blood sugar control, the better your overall health will be. This will help minimize neuropathy and other complications, helping you feel better — which will enable you to exercise more.

Talk with your physician about exercises he or she recommends for you. Instead of assuming you can’t exercise if you have diabetic neuropathy, get creative and enjoy the physical and emotional benefits that regular exercise can provide. For some people, bariatric surgery has been shown to improve or eliminate type 2 diabetes, so if you’re overweight and struggling with diabetes, consider talking with your physician about whether you are a candidate for this procedure.

CarePoint Health Bariatric Surgery

CarePoint Health Center for Bariatric Surgery offers a number of different weight-loss surgeries to help you meet your weight-loss goals, including sleeve gastrectomy, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery, and adjustable gastric banding. To learn more about our bariatric surgery options, contact us at 201-795-8175 and register for our free seminar.

Content on our website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911. Always consult your physician before making any changes to your medical treatment.

Topics: Bariatrics, Nutrition, Health, Diabetes