Natural treatments for diabetic neuropathy include regular exercise, taking good care of the patient’s feet, and using botanical oils, evening primrose oil, alpha-lipoic acid, capsaicin and B vitamins, WebMD explains. As elevated blood sugar levels are the root cause of diabetic neuropathy, treatment strategies focus on managing blood sugar.
Regular leg exercise, such as taking frequent walks, has been shown to reduce the risk of neuropathy and slow down its development, WebMD notes. As walking regularly improves blood flow to the legs, it contributes to repairing damaged nerves. It also raises a patient’s threshold for nerve pain.
Good foot care may be especially important for preventing complications, WebMD advises. Helpful ways to take care of feet include wearing socks that have padded fabric on the heel and ball of the foot; having a podiatrist cut the toenails; wearing specially adapted shoes; and thoroughly cleaning feet and observing them for sores and ulcers daily.
B vitamins play a key role in maintaining healthy nerves, and although studies differ over whether B vitamin supplements lower nerve pain, taking them in small doses is safe and generally helpful, WebMD states. High doses of vitamin B-6 over an extended period of time may lead to significant side effects. These effects include numbness and pain in hands and legs, toxicity and problems with walking.