Diabetic neuropathy is one of the more serious complications that diabetes can cause. Diabetic neuropathy is a type of nerve damage where high blood sugar damages nerve fibers. This nerve damage can occur throughout your body; however, the most common areas affected include the legs and feet. There are four main types of nerve damage that diabetes can cause; however, we’ll focus on the most common one in this article.
Peripheral diabetic neuropathy affects the nerves that lead into the extremities. The legs and feet are often affected first, because the nerve leading from the spine into the legs and feet is so long. Your arms and hands may also become affected.
Approximately 60%-70% of people with diabetes develop peripheral nerve damage; however, you can reduce your risk of developing this nerve damage by by keeping your blood sugar levels close to normal.
Symptoms of the nerve damage develop gradually, and it develops differently for each person. Some people experience tingling or pain while others experience numbness or loss of sensation. The loss of sensation is very serious, because if you develop a sore or ulcer, you won’t feel it. The sore can become severely infected, which can lead to an amputation.
Along with numbness and tingling, other symptoms include burning, pins and needles, stabbing pain, sharp pain, cramps, and even extreme sensitivity to touch.
Chronic high blood sugar can also damage the nerves that interact with muscles. This can interfere with signals that tell the muscles how to move, and this can cause weakness. This can result in difficulty walking, standing, and grabbing.
When to See a Doctor
Early diagnosis and treatment offer you the best chance for reducing your risk of serious complications and nerve damage. Whether you have numbness, pain, or a sore that won’t heal, it is important to have these symptoms checked early.
Apex Medical Center, home to some of the top pain management doctors in Las Vegas and Henderson, offers comprehensive diabetes care and pain management to men and women. Call us today for more information. Book an appointment online!
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