Diabetic neuropathy is a type of nerve damage that can occur if you have diabetes. High blood sugar (glucose) can injure nerves throughout your body. Diabetic neuropathy most often damages nerves in your legs and feet.
Depending on the affected nerves, diabetic neuropathy symptoms can range from pain and numbness in your legs and feet to problems with your digestive system, urinary tract, blood vessels and heart. Some people have mild symptoms. But for others, diabetic neuropathy can be quite painful and disabling.
Diabetic neuropathy is a serious diabetes complication that may affect as many as 50% of people with diabetes. But you can often prevent diabetic neuropathy or slow its progress with consistent blood sugar management and a healthy lifestyle.
There are four main types of diabetic neuropathy. You can have one type or more than one type of neuropathy. Your symptoms will depend on the type you have and which nerves are affected. Usually, symptoms develop gradually. You may not notice anything is wrong until considerable nerve damage has occurred.
The American Diabetes Association recommends that screening for diabetic neuropathy begin immediately after someone is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and five years after diagnosis for someone with type 1 diabetes. After that, screening is recommended annually.
The above information is for general education purposes only. Please ask your doctor specific questions during your visit.