Neuropathy Diabetic Home Care
- Follow your diabetic diet.
- Do not drink alcohol.
- Stop smoking.
- Avoid exposure to secondary smoke.
- Follow an exercise plan developed with your doctor.
- Get regular checkups for your diabetes, including eye and foot exams.
- Monitor your blood sugar:
- Check your blood sugar every day.
- Keep a log of your results.
- Notify your doctor if your blood sugar remains higher than usual.
- If you have high blood pressure:
- Learn how to take your blood pressure.
- Check your blood pressure every day.
- Keep a log of your results.
- Weight loss if you are overweight
- Take your diabetes medications as directed:
- Don't skip doses of your medication. This makes them less effective.
- Avoid running out of your medication. Refill your prescriptions early.
- Don't stop taking your medication just because you feel better.
- If you feel worse, talk to your doctor before you stop your medication.
- Be aware of the common side effects that may be caused by your medication.
- Do not stop prescription medications without talking to your doctor.
- Learn everything you can about diabetic neuropathy:
- The more you know about your condition, the easier it will be to participate with your doctor in making treatment decisions.
- Ask your doctor about good sources for information.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor
Example of Sliding Scale Insulin Dosing
|Glucose Reading||Regular Insulin Dosing|
|140 - 160||2 units, re-check glucose in 2 hrs|
|200 - 240||4 units, re-check glucose in 2 hrs|
|240 - 300||6 units, re-check glucose in 2 hrs|
|300 - 400||8 units, re-check glucose in 2 hrs|
|400 - 500||10 units, re-check glucose in 2 hrs|
|> 500||See doctor now!|
Neuropathy Diabetic Diet
It is important to follow a healthy diet if you have diabetic neuropathy.
Your daily intake of calories should allow you to maintain a healthy weight. Total calorie requirements vary according to your weight, height and activity. Your doctor and dietitian will recommend a total daily calorie requirement that is right for you.
Carbohydrates should account for 55-60% of your total calories. Carbohydrates include sugars, starches, and fiber. Whole grains, fruits, vegetables and fiber, are better sources of carbohydrate than sugars. Dietary fiber has been shown to prevent constipation, reduce the risk of colon cancer and reduce cholesterol levels. A healthy diet contains 20-35 grams of fiber per day.
Protein should account for 10-20% of your total calories. Those who have normal kidneys should consume about 50 to 60 grams of protein per day. Those who have kidney disease should consume no more than 45 grams of protein per day.
Fat should account for less than 30% of your total calories. Consume only unsaturated fats that are low in cholesterol. About 10% to 15% of your total calories should be in the form of monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil, canola oil and peanut oil. Cholesterol intake should be limited to less than 300 milligrams per day.
Consider replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners. Saccharin (Sweet-n-Low), aspartame (Equal), and sucralose (Splenda) are acceptable alternatives.
Sodium intake should not exceed 3,000 mg per day. Those who have high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease or liver disease should consume no more than 2,000 mg of sodium per day.
Vitamins and Minerals
Diabetes does not require vitamin or mineral supplements.
Alcohol should be limited to two drinks per day.
Neuropathy Diabetic Self Monitoring
- Monitor your blood glucose as directed.
- Learn to use your glucose monitor correctly.
- Daily home glucose monitoring is essential.
- Try to keep your glucose level before meals between 70-110 mg/dl.
- Two hours after meals, your glucose level should be less than 140 mg/dl.
- Check your blood sugar before operating a motor vehicle. Raise your blood sugar level by eating, if it falls below 70 mg/dl.
- Carefully monitor your blood sugars when you are ill. Blood glucose increases when you are ill or have an infection.
When to test your blood glucose:
- Before meals
- Before bedtime
- 1-2 hours after meals
- 2-3 A.M., at least one night per week
Other reasons to test:
- After you have lost or gained weight
- Before you drive a motor vehicle
- Before and after periods of heavy physical activity
- When you have had a change in your diet, insulin dose, or activity level
- When you are pregnant
- When you are ill or under stress
- When you suspect low blood sugar
- When you develop increased urination, thirst, or blurry vision
Urine Testing for Ketones
In the past, urine testing was very useful and important. With the advent of rapid blood sugar testing, urine testing is usually not necessary. The main reason to perform this test is to check for early ketoacidosis. Small or trace ketones may mean nothing or represent the beginning of ketoacidosis. If you find this result, then perform the ketone test again in several hours. Notify your physician immediately if you discover moderate to large ketones present in your urine.
Neuropathy Diabetic Warning Signs
- Difficulty breathing
- Worsening numbness
- Repeated vomiting
- Severe fatigue
- Sudden difficulty walking
- Sudden numbness in one arm or leg:
- Sudden weakness in one arm or leg:
- Worsening leg swelling (bilateral)
- Worsening leg pain (bilateral)
- Worsening skin redness and pain
Continue to Neuropathy Diabetic Outlook
- Corbett CF. Practical management of patients with painful diabetic neuropathy. Diabetes Educ. 2005 Jul-Aug;31(4):523-4, 526-8. 
- Malik RA. Current and future strategies for the management of diabetic neuropathy. Treat Endocrinol. 2003;2(6):389-400. 
- Olson DE, Norris SL. Diabetes in older adults. Overview of AGS guidelines for the treatment of diabetes mellitus in geriatric populations. Geriatrics. 2004 Apr;59(4):18-24. 
- Sullivan KA, Feldman EL. New developments in diabetic neuropathy. Curr Opin Neurol. 2005 Oct;18(5):586-90.