WHAT IS DIABETIC NEUROPATHY?
Diabetic neuropathy is a common, serious complication of diabetes.
It is a type of nerve damage that can occur if you have diabetes. High blood sugar (glucose) can injure nerve fibers throughout your body, but diabetic neuropathy most often damages nerves in your legs and feet.
Depending on the affected nerves, symptoms of diabetic neuropathy can range from pain and numbness in your extremities to problems with your digestive system, urinary tract, blood vessels, and heart. For some people, these symptoms are mild; for others, diabetic neuropathy can be painful, disabling, and even fatal.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
The signs and symptoms of diabetic neuropathy vary, depending on the type of neuropathy and which nerves are affected.
- Numbness or reduced ability to feel pain or temperature changes
- A tingling or burning sensation
- Sharp pains or cramps
- Increased sensitivity to touch — for some people, even the weight of a bed sheet can be agonizing
- Muscle weakness
- Loss of reflexes, especially in the ankle
- Loss of balance and coordination
- Serious foot problems, such as ulcers, infections, deformities, and bone and joint pain
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