Patients with diabetes may be at risk of developing nerve damage (diabetic peripheral neuropathy)1. In most cases symptoms are only experienced later during disease progression.1


50 % of people living with diabetes develop diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) 1


Up to 50 % of diabetic patients with DPN do not experience any symptoms 2

Additional factors to keep in mind if you have diabetes:

Manage your blood glucose.

Manage your blood glucose. Keep your blood glucose levels in a healthy target range to protect the health of your nerves. 1,2

Diabetes duration.

Diabetes duration. The longer you have diabetes, the higher your risk of developing DPN 3

Kidney disease.

Kidney disease. Diabetes can damage the kidneys. Kidney damage sends toxins into the blood, which can lead to nerve damage. 3

Being overweight.

Being overweight. Keep your weight in a healthy range. Being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing several diabetic complications, including DPN. 3,4


Smoking. If you have diabetes, cigarette smoking increases your risk of DPN by damaging your peripheral nerves and decreasing the blood supply to your legs and feet. 3 Make the lifestyle change.


Hypertension. Also known as high blood pressure, is a risk factor for both cardiovascular disease and DPN. 5,6

Check your feet regularly.

Check your feet regularly. Diabetic patients are at high risk of unconsciously injuring their feet due to numbness. Numbness is the result of nerve damage, which commonly starts in the feet of these patients. You or your doctor should check your feet regularly. 6

  • For some people, the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy are mild, for others, it can be painful and disabling. 3 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. 3 Therefore, people with DPN are more likely to develop foot problems such as skin lesions and ulcers. 6
  • If you have diabetes, your body’s ability to metabolise neurotropic vitamins (Vitamins B1, B6 and B12) is affected. 7,8 Therefore, you are at higher risk of a deficiency of these vitamins. Try to keep your vitamin levels up by following a balanced diet. 8,9


1. Huizinga M, Peltier A. Painful Diabetic Neuropathy: A Management-Centered Review. Clinical Diabetes 2007;25(1):6-15.

2. Miranda-Massari JR, Gonzalez MJ, Jimenez FJ, Allende-vigo MZ, Duconge J. Metabolic Correction in the Management of Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy: Improving Clinical Results Beyond Symptom Control. Curr Clin Pharmacol 2011;6(4):260-273.

3. Mayo Clinic. Diabetic Neuropathy. [online] [cited 2019 Nov 13]. Available from: URL:

4. Wilding J. The importance of weight management in type 2 diabetes mellitus. Int J Clin Pract 2014;68(6):682-691.

5. Papanas N, Ziegler D. Risk Factors and Comorbidities in Diabetic Neuropathy: An Update 2015. Rev Diab Stud 2015;12(1-2):48-62.

6. Brutsaert E. Complications of Diabetes Mellitus. Merck Manual Consumer Version [online] [cited 2019 June 25]. Available from URL:

7. Adaikalakoteswari A, Rabbani N, Waspadji S, Tjokroprawiro A, Kariadi SHKS, Adam JMF, et al. Disturbance of B-vitamin status in people with type 2 diabetes in Indonesia – Link to renal status, glycemic control and vascular inflammation. Diab Res Clin Prac 2012;95:415-424.

8. Schellack G, Harirari P, Schellack N. B-complex vitamin deficiency and supplementation. S Afr Pharm J 2015;82(4):28-32.

9. Calderon-Ospina CA, Nava-Mesa MO. B Vitamins in the nervous system: Current knowledge of the biochemical modes of action and synergies of thiamine, pyridoxine, and cobalamin. CNS Neurosci Ther 2019;00:1-9.


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Why is early diagnosis of Vitamin B deficiency important?

B Vitamin deficiencies can lead to serious diseases such as anaemia and peripheral neuropathy, therefore it is important to diagnose and treat them early.
Vitaminas B en adultos

What are neurotropic B vitamins?

These vitamins play different roles in your body. They are also able to nourish and protect your nervous system.
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10 Fascinating facts about B Vitamins

Did you know? The colour of pure Vitamin B12 is deep pink.


For more information, please speak to your doctor or pharmacist.

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