How Diabetes Increases Your Risk of Nerve Damage

Diabetes can lead to many health complications. One of the most common is nerve damage in the feet. Medically speaking, diabetes-related nerve damage is called diabetic neuropathy. 

Diabetic neuropathy can subsequently lead to various complications such as ulcers, bunions, and infections. Our expert foot care specialist team at Lake Ridge and Stafford Foot & Ankle Specialists boast extensive experience helping people with diabetes care for the feet and prevent complications such as diabetic neuropathy. 

Here, they share important information about diabetes and nerve damage and how to prevent complications. 

How diabetes leads to diabetic neuropathy

People with diabetes don’t have enough insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, or their body doesn’t use insulin properly. Insulin helps break down blood sugars. When there isn’t enough properly working insulin, the result is high blood sugar levels.  

High blood sugar levels, the hallmark of diabetes, can lead to a host of health issues, including nerve damage. Nerve damage occurs over time, so the longer you have diabetes, the more likely you will experience it. 

High blood sugars damage your nerves so that they stop sending signals. That nerve signal interference usually starts in the toes and feet and then works its way up your legs. When the nerves are damaged, you can’t feel sensations in your feet.  

Diabetic neuropathy complications

Symptoms of diabetic neuropathy include numbness, tingling, and burning. If your feet are numb, you may not be able to feel a cut or contact with a sharp object, which can lead to a wound. Untreated wounds can become infected. 

You may also develop calluses, bunions, cracked skin, or blisters, leading to complications if not treated. While nerve damage can occur anywhere in your body, it’s most common in the feet and legs.

How to prevent or manage diabetic neuropathy

Fortunately, there are ways to treat diabetic neuropathy complications. Diligent foot care is essential. You should:

The most important step you can take to care for your feet is to manage your blood sugar. If you notice any problems, make an appointment with your doctor.

You should also schedule regular appointments with our team. Our providers will check your feet and alert you to any issues and treat them before they become serious.

Do you have diabetes? Call Lake Ridge and Stafford Foot & Ankle Specialists with clinics in Lake Ridge and Stafford, Virginia, to make an appointment with one of our diabetic foot care specialists.

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