Symptoms of Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

What is diabetic peripheral neuropathy?

Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is a condition caused by long-term high blood sugar levels, which causes nerve damage. Some people will not have any symptoms. But for others symptoms may be debilitating.

Between 60 and 70 percent of people with diabetes have some form of neuropathy, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

Peripheral neuropathy, the most common form of diabetic neuropathy, affects the legs, feet, toes, hands, and arms.

Many people do not know that they have diabetes. People unaware of their diabetes may not know what’s causing some of the unusual sensations they’re experiencing.

Click through the slideshow to discover what diabetic peripheral neuropathy feels like.

What causes nerve damage?

 Nerve damage is the result of high levels of blood glucose over long periods of time. It isn’t entirely clear why high glucose levels damage nerves.

A number of factors may play a role in nerve fiber damage. One possible component is the intricate interplay between the blood vessels and nerves, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Other factors include high blood pressure and cholesterol levels and nerve inflammation.

Diabetic peripheral neuropathy usually first appears in the feet and legs, and may occur in the hands and arms later.

Feeling numbness

 A common symptom of diabetic peripheral neuropathy is numbness. Sometimes you may be unable to feel your feet while walking.

Other times, your hands or feet will tingle or burn. Or it may feel like you’re wearing a sock or glove when you’re not.

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