Diabetes is a metabolic disease that affects the way insulin is produced and used to control blood sugar levels. Over time, the body loses its ability to produce enough insulin to maintain a normal, healthy level, which can eventually lead to heart disease, kidney disease, nerve and small blood vessel damage, and stroke.
Type 2 diabetes is more common in adults who are overweight and have a family history of the disease. Another health concern that is associated with diabetes is diabetic neuropathy, which is a type of nerve damage that occurs most often in the legs and feet.
Symptoms of diabetic neuropathy
- Pain in the legs and feet
- Numbness or tingling
- Muscle weakness
- Digestive problems
- Urinary tract problems
- Foot ulcers or infections
There are four main types of diabetic neuropathy. If have diabetes and experience any pain, numbness, or changes in your extremities, it is important to contact your doctor immediately.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a cure for diabetic neuropathy available. However, treatment focuses on management of symptoms and slowing the progression of the disease.
In general, there are several things a patient can do to slow the progression:
- Practice good foot care
- Manage blood sugar levels
- Follow a healthy diet
- Quit smoking
- Avoid alcohol