If you have diabetes, you know it well: Too much sugar isn’t good for you. People whose blood sugar is too high or difficult to control are more susceptible to cardiovascular disease, kidney damage, eye problems and other complications, including nerve damage (diabetic neuropathy).
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“High blood sugar is toxic to your nerves,” says Robert Bolash, MD, a specialist in Cleveland Clinic’s Department of Pain Management. “When a nerve is damaged, you may feel tingling, pins and needles, burning or sharp, stabbing pain.”
Diabetic neuropathy typically starts in your toes, feet or ankles and creeps up your body as the condition worsens, he says. However, nerve damage also can affect your hands and wrists as well as your heart, digestive system, sex organs and more.