What Is Diabetic Neuropathy?

Diabetic Foot PainNeuropathy is a collection of disorders caused by damage to the nervous system outside of the brain and spinal cord.  Pain and numbness of the hands and feet are the most common symptoms.  Neuropathy can be caused by traumatic injuries, infections, or even an exposure to toxins.  The most notable cause of neuropathy, however, is diabetes.  Of the 20 million Americans suffering with Neuropathy, over half are diabetic. Neuropathy affects the nerves involved with muscular control, as well as the nerves which allow the body to detect sensation, such as hot and cold.

Signs And Symptoms

Diabetic neuropathy is a result of nerve damage due to high blood sugar levels.  People suffering with diabetes often visit the doctor with complaints of numbness or a tingling sensation in their feet and/or hands. Depending on the exact area where the nerve damage occurs will indicate where and how strong the pain and numbness are to those areas.  Some report feeling an abnormal sensation throughout their entire bodies.

Additionally, diabetic neuropathy can impact blood vessels, urinary tract, and even impairs the body’s digestive cycle.  Loss of bladder control, incontinence, is a very common problem sufferer’s face.  Not only is the pain and discomfort difficult, then there is the embarrassment of facing the potential of having accidents, due to little or no bladder control. Other problem areas associated with neuropathy are speech impairments, muscle spasms, and erectile dysfunction.


While neuropathy is a common complication of diabetes, it can often be prevented or at least the progress of it slowed significantly with proper treatment.  The two simplest ways to handle nerve pain treatment associated with neuropathy is by closely monitoring and maintaining blood sugar levels and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  Some doctors may provide anti-seizure medication to help with nerve damage and pain management, but at this time only three treatment medications for diabetic neuropathy have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.  Doctors also, suggest utilizing a strict weight management program and exercise in your efforts to treat nerve pain.  Properly managing weight and creating a comfortable exercise program will also allow for easier management of blood sugar levels.  As always, be sure to consult your physician immediately, should you notice any changes in your symptoms.



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