Diabetes is the most common cause of peripheral neuropathy. About half of people with diabetes develop some type of neuropathy, a disease that affects the nerves, and very often without symptoms in the beginning.
of diabetics are at risk of developing diabetic peripheral neuropathy
Polydefkis M et al. Brain 2004; 127:1606-1615.
of diabetics develop diabetic peripheral neuropathy
Huizinga MM et al. Clinical Diabetes 2007; 1:6-15.
of diabetic patients with diabetic peripheral neuropathy do not experience any symptom
Miranda-Massari J.R. et al. Curr Clin Pharmacol. 2011; 6(4): 260-273.
Additional factors to keep in mind if you have diabetes:
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.
Duration of diabetes. Your risk of diabetic neuropathy increases the longer you have diabetes, especially if your blood sugar level isn't well-controlled.
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.
Being overweight. Being overweight may increase your risk of several complications of diabetes.
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.
Hypertension. This condition is also known as high blood pressure and is a risk factor for both cardiovascular disease and diabetic neuropathy.
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.
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.
Diabetes influences the metabolism of neurotropic vitamins B1, B6, and B12 leading to a greater risk of their deficiency. As these vitamins are essential for nerve health, their deficiency should be avoided and trying to keep their level in the normal range is of vital importance.
ASC Ref No. M074P112017N
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