Neuropathy occurs in the feet or hands due to nerve damage. When a patient suffers from neuropathy, they can experience so-called neuropathic pain ranging from mild to severe and described as burning, pinpricks, or sudden shocks of electricity, as well as numbness, tingling, and weakness. The peripheral nervous system utilizes nerves to send messages to and from the central nervous system, which includes both the brain and spinal cord. When these peripheral nerves become damaged and their ability to transmit signals, neuropathy results. Although neuropathy is an encompassing diagnosis, there are many causes.
Diabetes can cause chronic neuropathy. High blood sugar levels can damage nerves, predominantly in the feet. This is why neuropathy more often occurs in people whose blood sugar is not under control than those who maintain low blood sugar levels. Diabetic neuropathy as a result of uncontrolled blood glucose levels can create irreversible damage to the nerves. When diabetes is under control, the amount of sugar in the blood remains at a safe level, thus reducing the risk of potential nerve damage.
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