Diabetic neuropathy is nerve damage caused by diabetes. The type of neuropathy occurring in the arms, hands, legs, and feet is known as diabetic peripheral neuropathy. It usually develops slowly and worsens over time; some patients have this condition long before they are diagnosed with diabetes. Having diabetes for several years may increase the likelihood of having diabetic neuropathy.
The loss of sensation makes a patient prone to developing skin ulcers that can become infected and may not heal. This serious complication of diabetes can lead to loss of a foot or even a leg. Signs and symptoms of diabetic peripheral neuropathy include: numbness, burning, tingling, or pain in the feet. Not only is it unpleasant, but because of the numbness a patient may not realize that they have stepped on a small object and cut the skin or have developed an ulcer.
First and foremost, treatment of diabetic peripheral neuropathy centers on control of the patient’s blood sugar level. Medications and specific vitamins are also available to help relieve some of the symptoms.
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