The most prevalent type of nerve damage that occurs as a complication of diabetes is known as peripheral neuropathy, though there are three additional kinds of nerve damage that can occur as a complication of the disease. Symptoms tend to develop slowly over time and, similar to the diabetes disease itself, can sneakily cause substantial damage to the body before they are caught and treated.
Signs of peripheral neuropathy can depend on which nerves are being damaged. Most often, the legs and feet will be affected first. Then, the arms and hands will typically follow suit later. A tricky part of peripheral neuropathy that can be dangerous is that it can cause numbness that makes it impossible to feel when you have stepped on something sharp, such as a piece of glass or a tack. This is why those with peripheral neuropathy are often advised to wear shoes and to not walk barefoot in the yard, or even around the house, where unsuspecting numb feet could be pierced by sharp objects, which, if unnoticed and untreated, could result in infections.
Common warning signs to watch out for include:
- Trouble Walking
- Muscle weakness
- Problems with your feet including bone pain, joint pain, infections, and ulcers
- Tingling or burning sensations
- Sensitivity to touch
- Lowered ability to sense pain
- Lowered ability to tell when the temperature in a room has changed
- Sharp pain that may get more severe at night
If you experience any of these symptoms make an appointment to see your doctor.
If you are living with diabetes, do you take extra measures to care for your feet and manage blood sugar levels to avoid nerve damage?