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Additional factors to keep in mind if you have diabetes:

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Being overweight. Being overweight may increase your risk of several complications of diabetes.

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Hypertension. This condition is also known as high blood pressure and is a risk factor for both cardiovascular disease and diabetic neuropathy.

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Check your feet regularly. Diabetic patients are at high risk of unconscious injury of their feet due to numbness. Numbness is the result of nerve impairment which commonly starts in the feet in these patients. Your feet should be checked regularly by your doctor or yourself.

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Smoking. If you are diabetic, cigarettes increase your risk for neuropathy and smoking cessation is of utmost importance to facilitate the blood sugar control and limit the development of diabetic complications.

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Duration of diabetes. Your risk of diabetic neuropathy increases the longer you have diabetes, especially if your blood sugar level isn't well-controlled.

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Poor blood sugar control. This is the greatest risk factor for diabetic complications including nerve damage. Keeping blood sugar consistently within your target range is the best way to protect the health of your nerves and blood vessels.

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Kidney disease. Diabetes can cause damage to the kidneys, which may lead to increased loss of essential vitamins which are crucial to a healthy nervous system.

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For some people, symptoms are mild, for others, diabetic neuropathy can be painful and disabling. As the nerve damage increases, the loss of sensation in the feet can reduce a person’s ability to detect temperature or to feel pain. People with diabetic neuropathy are more likely to develop foot problems such as skin lesions and ulcers because, due to their lack of sensitivity, they often don’t notice when their feet become injured.

Diabetes influences the metabolism of neurotropic vitamins B1, B6, and B12 and therefore the risk of these vitamins deficiencies gets higher. As these vitamins are essential for nerve health, their deficiency should be avoided.

Not many know that diabetes may affect negatively the way our body absorbs and uses the neurotropic B1, B6, and B12 vitamins. That’s the reason why, for a diabetic person, the risk of deficiency of these vitamins gets higher. As neurotropic B vitamins are essential for nerve health, trying to keep their level in the normal range is of vital importance.

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