Nerve damage caused by diabetes is called diabetic neuropathy. Nearly half of all people with diabetes have some form of nerve damage. Neuropathy is most common in people who have had the condition for a long time. This nerve damage can lead to many issues. There are four main types of diabetic neuropathy, and an individual can have one or more at any time. Symptoms depend on the kind of neuropathy you have and which nerves are affected. Most cases of neuropathy develop progressively; you may not notice anything is wrong until considerable nerve damage has occurred.
Peripheral neuropathy is the most common type of diabetic neuropathy. This version initially affects the feet and legs, then spreads to the hands and arms. Symptoms are usually worse at night and include numbness or reduced ability to feel pain or temperature changes, tingling or burning sensations, sharp pains, or cramps. Some people with this condition experience amplified sensitivity to touch, muscle weakness, and loss of reflexes, especially in the ankles. Loss of balance and coordination, and severe foot issues such as ulcers, infections, and bone and joint pain can also be indicators of peripheral neuropathy.
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