Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetic neuropathy is nerve damage due to diabetes. Over time, high blood glucose (blood sugar) can damage the tiny blood vessels that supply your nerves, especially in the legs.  If you have diabetes, you can develop nerve problems at any time. Serious nerve problems can develop within the first 10 years after being diagnosed with diabetes. The risk of getting neuropathy grows the longer you have diabetes. About half of people with diabetes have some form of nerve damage.

These are the most common symptoms of diabetic neuropathy:

  • Numbness in the hands or feet, often on both sides
  • Pain in the hands, feet, or legs
  • Multiple foot problems. These include calluses, dry skin and skin breaks, claw toes, and collapse of the ankles
  • Problems with your internal organs, such as the digestive tract, heart, sex organs, or eyes. This can lead to:
    • Indigestion
    • Diarrhea or constipation
    • Dizziness, especially when first standing up
    • Bladder infections
    • Erectile dysfunction
    • Vaginal dryness
    • Weakness
    • Weight loss
    • Depression
    • Visual changes, including inability to see or drive in the dark

Your healthcare provider will figure out the best treatment for you based on:

  • How old you are
  • Your overall health and past health
  • How sick you are
  • How well you can handle specific medicines, procedures, or therapies
  • How long the condition is expected to last
  • Your opinion or preference