Neuropathy

Definition

Diabetic neuropathy, a common complication of diabetes, is damage to the nerves that allow you to feel sensations such as pain. There are a number of ways that diabetes damages the nerves, but they all seem related to blood glucose being too high for a long period of time.

Diabetes-related nerve damage can be painful, but it isn’t severe pain in most cases.

Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

The areas of the body most commonly affected by diabetic peripheral neuropathy are the feet and legs. Nerve damage in the feet can result in a loss of foot sensation, increasing your risk of foot problems. Injuries and sores on the feet may go unrecognized due to lack of sensation. Therefore, you should practice proper skin and foot care. Rarely, other areas of the body such as the arms, abdomen, and back may be affected.

Symptoms of diabetic peripheral neuropathy may include:

Tingling
Numbness (severe or long-term numbness can become permanent)
Burning (especially in the evening)

Pain
In most cases, early symptoms will become less when blood glucose is under control. Medications can be taken to help control the discomfort if needed.

To prevent peripheral neuropathy:

Work with your doctor to keep your blood glucose under tight control

To help prevent the complications of peripheral neuropathy:

Examine your feet and legs daily
Apply lotion if your feet are dry
Care for your nails regularly. (Go to a podiatrist, if necessary)
Wear properly fitting footwear and wear them all the time to prevent foot injury.

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