Print Overview Diabetic neuropathy is a type of nerve damage that can occur if you have diabetes. High blood sugar (glucose) can injure nerve fibers throughout your body, but diabetic neuropathy most often damages nerves in your legs and feet. Depending on the affected nerves, symptoms of diabetic neuropathy can range from pain and numbness in your extremities to problems with your digestive system, urinary tract, blood vessels and heart. For some people, these symptoms are mild; for others, diabetic neuropathy can be painful, disabling and even fatal. Diabetic neuropathy is a common serious complication of diabetes. Yet you can often prevent diabetic neuropathy or slow its progress with tight blood sugar control and a healthy lifestyle. Symptoms There are four main types of diabetic neuropathy. You may have just one type or symptoms of several types. Most develop gradually, and you may not notice problems until considerable damage has occurred. The signs and symptoms of diabetic neuropathy vary, depending on the type of neuropathy and which nerves are affected. Peripheral neuropathy Peripheral neuropathy is the most common form of diabetic neuropathy. Your feet and legs are often affected first, followed by your hands and arms. Signs and symptoms of peripheral neuropathy are often worse at night, and may include: Numbness or reduced ability to feel pain or temperature changes A tingling or burning sensation Sharp pains or cramps Increased sensitivity to touch — for some people, even the weight of a bed sheet can be agonizing Muscle weakness Loss of reflexes, especially in the ankle Loss of balance and coordination Serious foot problems, such as ulcers, infections, deformities, and bone and joint pain Autonomic neuropathy The autonomic nervous system controls your hea Continue reading >>
Can Diabetes Cause Fatigue, Body Ache?
May 18, 2011 at 07:47 | Report abuse | Reply Heather, I have had tremendous success dealing with my sleep-related fatigue problems (non-restorative sleep) and significantly reduced my fibromyalgia by taking a low dose (30mg to 40mg) of desipramine just before bedtime. Desipramine is a low dose antidepressant and been in use for years. I have been using it for the last 18 years with great success. Your symptoms sound exactly like mine just before I started this treatment. Just a suggestion. It is important to note that at its early stages, diabetes does not cause many symptoms and may pass unnoticed. But the disease develops silently, causing damage to eyesight, kidneys and the cardiovascular system. PS – men can also have fibromyalgia. It is either underdiagnosed (possibly) or may be more common in women. I know a few men who have been diagnosed. Not enough is known about it to make the assumption that it doesn't occur more often (than diagnosed) in men. May 18, 2011 at 07:51 | Report abuse | Reply I am in the Marine Corps and need to run atleast 3 milesbut can't run 1/2 mile anymore. I am on a Beta blocker for chest pain and atrial tach. I lift weights and I try to run but have a shortness of breath while attempting to run, yard work, and walking up one flight of stairs. Cardiologist says all is good with my heart no obstructions. What else could be causing my shortness of breath. May 18, 2011 at 08:05 | Report abuse | Reply Have you been to a cardiologist who ran a stress-test scan on your heart? That particular test lets the examiner look at your hear function under duress. Your problem may be respiratory-related, maybe you should see a pneumologist, as compromized lung function may tax your heart and give you chest pain. Also, you might want to lay off the weight Continue reading >>
Diabetic Foot Pain
by Kenneth B. Rehm, DPM Includes photo of Dr. Kenneth B. Rehm, DPM Diabetes is one of the most common reasons people seek relief for painful feet. With diabetes, four types of foot problems may arise in the feet. Nerve Problems due to Diabetes The most common contributor to diabetic foot pain is a nerve problem called Peripheral Neuropathy. This is where the nerves are directly affected by the disease process. There are basically three types of peripheral neuropathy: sensory, motor, and autonomic neuropathy. A large percentage of pain diabetic patients complain of is due to sensory neuropathy. This can show up as "sensitive pain," where the amount of pain is not proportional to the amount of insult that is causing it. For instance, just touching the skin or putting a sheet over your feet in bed could be painful. This can be present at the same time as numbness in the feet. Sensory neuropathy symptoms can include burning, tingling or a stabbing pain. Relief is foremost on someone's mind when painful neuropathy has raised its ugly head. The first thing to do is to check your blood sugar for the past several weeks to see if there has been a trend toward high blood sugar (Editor's Note: The A1c test is traditionally employed to determine this, and should be repeated about every three months.) Persistent high blood sugar can contribute to this type of pain. Massaging your feet with a diabetic foot cream, or using a foot roller, often takes the edge off the pain. Vitamin B preparations are often recommended; and there are a variety of prescription medications that do work. Using cushioned, supportive shoes and foot support inserts is always needed to protect the feet from the pounding, rubbing and irritating pressures that contribute to neuropathic pain. Motor neuropathy can Continue reading >>
Can Diabetic Neuropathy Be Reversed?
Diabetic neuropathy refers to nerve damage caused by diabetes. Neuropathy is a common condition impacting 60 to 70 percent of adults with diabetes. However, it mainly concerns those with uncontrolled blood sugar levels or those who have had diabetes for more than 25 years. The nerve damage caused by diabetic neuropathy is irreversible but there are ways to lessen symptoms and prevent further harm. Contents of this article: What is diabetic neuropathy? Diabetic neuropathy is a family of progressive nerve disorders related to type 1 and 2 diabetes. Although research is still taking place on this type of nerve damage, doctors think that blood sugars may damage nerve cells by impairing nerve fibers and reducing or confusing signaling. However, nerve damage is likely to be caused by a combination of factors, such as how the immune system functions, genetics, smoking, or alcohol use. Neuropathy can cause a range of symptoms, including pain, loss of sensation, numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness. Although neuropathy can occur wherever there are nerves, it tends to affect the legs and feet. Those with diabetic neuropathy tend to: have poor blood sugar control be over the age of 40 be overweight or obese have had diabetes for at least 10 to 25 years, depending on the severity Types Diabetic neuropathy is typically divided into four categories depending on which nerves are affected. Peripheral neuropathy Nerve damage that impacts the ability of the peripheral nerves to sense things, such as temperature and touch. Peripheral neuropathy most commonly affects the arms, hands, legs, feet, and toes, often causing pain or loss of feeling. It is the most common form of diabetic neuropathy. Proximal neuropathy Nerve damage resulting in pain in the hips, thighs, pelvis, and buttocks. Continue reading >>
Diabetic Nerve Pain: 10 Foot Care Tips To Protect Yourself
Diabetes can mean double trouble for your feet. First, diabetes can reduce blood flow to your feet, depriving your feet of oxygen and nutrients. This makes it more difficult for blisters, sores, and cuts to heal. And second, the diabetic nerve damage called peripheral neuropathy can cause numbness in your feet. When you can't feel cuts and blisters, you're more likely to get sores and infections. If you don't notice or treat the sores, they can become deeply infected, and lead to amputation. Diabetic peripheral neuropathy can also cause sharp pain in your feet. You may become excruciatingly sensitive to the lightest touch, like the sheets on your bed. Fortunately, a little TLC goes a long way in preventing foot problems from diabetes. Look over both feet carefully every day, and be sure you check between all of your toes. Blisters and infections can start between your toes, and with diabetic neuropathy, you may not feel them until they've become irritated or infected. If a physical challenge keeps you from checking your own feet, ask a family member to help. Wash both of your feet briefly each day with warm -- not hot -- water. You may not be able to feel heat with your feet, so test the water with your hands first. Avoid soaking too long in water, since waterlogged sores have a harder time healing. Dry your feet right away, and remember to dry gently between all of your toes. It's an investment worth making. Even the slightest rubbing or misfit shoe can cause a blister that turns into a sore that becomes infected and never heals. Buy better-fitting shoes, or try different socks, even at the most minor signs of redness or irritation, since you may not be able to feel when it's getting worse. Before buying or putting on the shoes check your shoes for rough seams, sharp e Continue reading >>
Diabetic Nerve Pain
Tweet Diabetic nerve pain is a syndrome that affects people with diabetes. This type of nerve pain can affect both type 1 and type 2 diabetes sufferers. Nerve pain, also known as neuropathic pain, is a result of one of the complications of diabetes, called peripheral neuropathy, or diabetic neuropathy. Why does diabetic nerve pain occur? Diabetic nerve pain most commonly occurs when a person with diabetes has prolonged spells of high blood sugar levels. It is thought that high blood glucose affects the nerves by damaging the blood vessels which supply them. High blood pressure, in addition to hyperglycemia, also has a detrimental effect on the nerves. Smoking and alcohol are also known to increase the risk of nerve pain occurring. Where does diabetic nerve pain typically occur? Diabetic nerve pain usually occurs in peripheral regions or extremities, such as feet and legs, hands and arms. Neuropathic foot pain is one of a number of conditions affecting the feet which are termed as problems of ‘the diabetic foot’. For this reason, people with diabetes are advised to undergo a foot examination once each year. A foot exam can help in two ways, by helping to diagnose new problems, such as diabetic neuropathy or circulation problems and it can also help to spot further complications of the foot such as wounds, blisters and a joint disorder known as charcot arthropathy or charcot foot. What are the symptoms of diabetic nerve pain? Diabetic nerve pain symptoms can include: Prickling or tingling feelings A burning sensation Sharp, stabbing or shooting pains in the aforementioned areas. These can range from mild to extreme. In serious cases the whole area may become numb. A condition known as dysesthesia can develop, in some people, which affects one’s sense of touch causin Continue reading >>
6 Emergency Complications Of Type 2 Diabetes
People with type 2 diabetes are at increased risk of many serious health problems, including heart attack, stroke, vision loss, and amputation. But by keeping your diabetes in check — that means maintaining good blood sugar control — and knowing how to recognize a problem and what to do about it should one occur, you can prevent many of these serious complications of diabetes. Heart Attack Heart disease and stroke are the top causes of death and disability in people with diabetes. Heart attack symptoms may appear suddenly or be subtle, with only mild pain and discomfort. If you experience any of the following heart attack warning signs, call 911 immediately: Chest discomfort that feels like pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain in the center of your chest, lasting for a short time or going away and returning Pain elsewhere, including the back, jaw, stomach, or neck; or pain in one or both arms Shortness of breath Nausea or lightheadedness Stroke If you suddenly experience any of the following stroke symptoms, call 911 immediately. As with a heart attack, immediate treatment can be the difference between life and death. Stroke warning signs may include: Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, especially if it occurs on one side of the body Feeling confused Difficulty walking and talking and lacking coordination Developing a severe headache for no apparent reason Nerve Damage People with diabetes are at increased risk of nerve damage, or diabetic neuropathy, due to uncontrolled high blood sugar. Nerve damage associated with type 2 diabetes can cause a loss of feeling in your feet, which makes you more vulnerable to injury and infection. You may get a blister or cut on your foot that you don't feel and, unless you check your feet regularly, an infection Continue reading >>
Nerve Damage (diabetic Neuropathies)
What are diabetic neuropathies? Diabetic neuropathies are a family of nerve disorders caused by diabetes. People with diabetes can, over time, develop nerve damage throughout the body. Some people with nerve damage have no symptoms. Others may have symptoms such as pain, tingling, or numbness—loss of feeling—in the hands, arms, feet, and legs. Nerve problems can occur in every organ system, including the digestive tract, heart, and sex organs. About 60 to 70 percent of people with diabetes have some form of neuropathy. People with diabetes can develop nerve problems at any time, but risk rises with age and longer duration of diabetes. The highest rates of neuropathy are among people who have had diabetes for at least 25 years. Diabetic neuropathies also appear to be more common in people who have problems controlling their blood glucose, also called blood sugar, as well as those with high levels of blood fat and blood pressure and those who are overweight. What causes diabetic neuropathies? The causes are probably different for different types of diabetic neuropathy. Researchers are studying how prolonged exposure to high blood glucose causes nerve damage. Nerve damage is likely due to a combination of factors: metabolic factors, such as high blood glucose, long duration of diabetes, abnormal blood fat levels, and possibly low levels of insulin neurovascular factors, leading to damage to the blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients to nerves autoimmune factors that cause inflammation in nerves mechanical injury to nerves, such as carpal tunnel syndrome inherited traits that increase susceptibility to nerve disease lifestyle factors, such as smoking or alcohol use What are the symptoms of diabetic neuropathies? Symptoms depend on the type of neuropathy and which Continue reading >>
Managing Chronic Pain
Pain affects millions of people with diabetes. For most of these people, the pain is chronic, defined as pain persisting for more than six months, experienced almost every day, and of moderate to severe intensity, or that significantly interferes with daily activities. In some cases, a person’s pain is clearly related to complications of diabetes; in other cases, it is not. Regardless of the cause, however, studies show that chronic pain makes diabetes self-management much more difficult and often leads to higher blood glucose levels. Surveys of people with diabetes report rates of chronic pain anywhere from 20% to over 60% – much higher than rates in the general population. The types of pain most often reported by people with diabetes include back pain and neuropathy pain in the feet or hands. (Peripheral neuropathy, or nerve damage in the feet and hands, is a common complication of diabetes.) Headaches and other pain sites are also frequently reported. Many people with diabetes also have arthritis, fibromyalgia (an arthritis-related illness that causes widespread muscle and joint pain and fatigue), or other painful conditions. Pain has been shown to interfere with self-management activities, sleep, physical functioning, work, family relationships, mood, and quality of life. To make matters worse, pain is often invisible to others, so family members, coworkers, and health-care professionals often have no idea what a person in pain is going through. Many people feel that their physicians don’t understand and tell them they “just have to live with it.” Why is there so much pain, and what can be done about it? Acute versus chronic pain When speaking of pain, it’s important to understand the difference between acute and chronic pain. Acute pain is what a person Continue reading >>
What Is Diabetic Nerve Pain?
If you have diabetes and shooting, burning, pins and needles pain in your feet or hands, you could have painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy—also known as diabetic nerve pain. It is a common complication of diabetes. The most common cause is poorly controlled blood sugar over time. Diabetic nerve pain can take years to develop. In the early stages, you may have no signs at all, and then only start to feel a tingling or numbness in your feet. As it progresses, you may also feel the pain in your hands and it is often worse at night. This means that your nerves may be damaged for a long time before you experience painful symptoms. Nerve damage can’t be reversed, but controlling your blood sugar can help prevent further damage. Talk to your doctor if you experience any symptoms of diabetic nerve pain. Symptoms of diabetic nerve pain These are some of the most common symptoms of diabetic nerve pain: Shooting Burning Pins and needles Numbness Electric shock-like Throbbing Tingling Stinging Stabbing Radiating Sensitivity to touch How is diabetic nerve pain different from other pain? There are two types of pain—muscle pain or nerve pain. Both types of pain are your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong but each has its own cause, symptoms, and management. Muscle pain is a "protective" form of pain. It is caused by something specific like an injury or inflammation. The nerves in the injured muscle or joint send electric signals to the brain as a warning that damage has occurred and the activity you’re doing is causing harm. If you limit or stop the harmful activity, muscle pain can get better over time. Nerve pain is a "non-protective" form of pain. It occurs when your nerves are damaged by an injury or disease, such as diabetes. Your nerves send extra el Continue reading >>
Tips For Treating Diabetic Nerve Pain
Diabetes can cause long-term problems throughout your body, especially if you don’t control your blood sugar effectively, and sugar levels remain high for many years. High blood sugar can cause diabetic neuropathy, which damages the nerves that send signals from your hands and feet. Diabetic neuropathy can cause numbness or tingling in your fingers, toes, hands, and feet. Another symptom is a burning, sharp, or aching pain (diabetic nerve pain). The pain may be mild at first, but it can get worse over time and spread up your legs or arms. Walking can be painful, and even the softest touch can feel unbearable. Up to 50 percent of people with diabetes may experience nerve pain. Nerve damage can affect your ability to sleep, decrease your quality of life, and can also cause depression. Damaged nerves can’t be replaced. However, there are ways that you can prevent further damage and relieve your pain. First, control your blood sugar so the damage doesn’t progress. Talk to your doctor about setting your blood sugar goal, and learn to monitor it. You may be asked to lower your blood sugar before meals to 70 to 130 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) and your blood sugar after meals to less than 180 mg/dL. Use diets, exercise, and medications to decrease your blood sugar to a healthier range. Monitor other health risks that can worsen your diabetes, such as your weight and smoking. Ask your doctor about effective ways to lose weight or quit smoking, if necessary. Your doctor might suggest trying an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), aspirin (Bufferin), or ibuprofen (Motrin IB, Advil), which are available without a prescription but can cause side effects. Use a low dose for a short time to control your symptoms. Other options exist for stronger Continue reading >>
Diabetic Neuropathy: Causes And Symptoms
Diabetic peripheral neuropathy—DPN for short—is diabetes-related damage to nerves that sit near the surface of your skin. DPN usually affects the feet and the hands, but can also harm nerves in arms and legs. Approximately 50 percent of people with type 2 diabetes and 20% of those with type 1 diabetes develop this kind of nerve damage.1 DPN can be extremely painful—or cause numbness so that you have little feeling, especially in your feet. DPN damages two different types of nerves close to the surface of your skin. DPN can affect small nerves that protect your body by sending signals about pain and temperature changes to your brain. This condition can also attack large nerves that detect touch, pressure and help you keep your balance. 2 Symptoms are different for each type. Most people with DPN have damage to both types of nerves. DPN usually affects extremities—feet, hands, legs and arms—where nerve fibers are the longest and most numerous. 3 Causes Experts are still investigating exactly how diabetes harms and kills these nerve cells. “The causes remain unknown,” the American Diabetes Association noted in a definitive 2017 review. One thing is certain: The conventional wisdom—that high blood sugar is the cause—is just part of the story. New research is revealing a bigger cast of culprits. These include high cholesterol, high triglycerides (another blood fat), high blood pressure, obesity and smoking, according to a British research report in a widely-cited 2005 study that tracked 1,172 people with diabetes for seven years. 4 The threats are major: Obesity and high triglycerides each doubled risk in people with diabetes in a 2013 University of Utah study of 218 people with type 2 diabetes. 5 Smoking increased risk by as much as 42% in a 2015 Harvard M Continue reading >>
Diabetic Neuropathic Pain Management
Diabetic Neuropathic Pain Symptoms: Patients can experience diabetic neuropathic pain from damaged nerves that can feel like sharp pain, burning, tingling or numbness in the arms/hands and legs/feet. Diabetic Neuropathic Pain Causes: Diabetic neuropathic pain is caused when there is a prolonged exposure to high blood sugar/glucose levels, causing nerve damage in the body. Other factors that may contribute to diabetic neuropathic pain include inflammation, genetic factors, smoking and alcohol abuse. There are different types of diabetic neuropathy causing different types of pain symptoms. You may have more than one type causing more than one type of diabetic neuropathic pain symptom as well. Most of the diabetic neuropathic pain symptoms do develop gradually and may not be noticeable until significant nerve injury is present. The different types of diabetic neuropathy are listed below. Numbness. Tingling and burning sensations that may be worse at night. Decreased ability to feel pain in the feet causing unnoticed injury that can progress to infections. Commonly, patient can develop ulcers and infection causing deformity and bone and joint pain. Pain with movement. Allodynia or pain to light touch. Weakness. Mononeuropathy also called Focal Neuropathy: This is typically seen more commonly in older adults. The pain symptoms from this condition can occur suddenly but tends to improve and resolve over a period of weeks to months. A specific nerve gets injured, often in the head, torso or leg, but there usually is no associated long-term injury. The pain symptoms of mononeuropathy include: Double vision, difficulty focusing, pain in one eye. Paralysis on one side of the face (Bell’s palsy). Pain in specific area of the leg, thigh or foot. Chest or abdominal pain that can s Continue reading >>
Identifying And Treating Diabetes Joint Pain
Diabetes and joint pain are considered to be independent conditions. Joint pain may be a response to an illness, injury, or arthritis. It can be chronic (long-term) or acute (short-term). Diabetes is caused by the body not using the hormone insulin correctly, or insufficient production of it, which affects blood sugar levels. What would a hormone and blood sugar-related condition have to do with joint health? Diabetes is associated with widespread symptoms and complications. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 47 percent of people with arthritis also have diabetes. There is an undeniably strong link between the two conditions. Diabetes can damage joints, a condition called diabetic arthropathy. Unlike pain caused by immediate trauma, the pain of arthropathy happens over time. Other symptoms include: thick skin changes in the feet painful shoulders carpal tunnel syndrome A joint is the place where two bones come together. Once a joint wears down, the protection it provides is lost. Joint pain from diabetic arthropathy comes in different forms. Charcot’s joint occurs when diabetic nerve damage causes a joint to break down. Also called neuropathic arthropathy, this condition is seen in the feet and ankles in people with diabetes. Nerve damage in the feet is common in diabetes, which may lead to Charcot’s joint. A loss of nerve function leads to numbness. People who walk on numb feet are more likely to twist and injure ligaments without knowing it. This places pressure on the joints, which can eventually cause them to wear down. Severe damage leads to deformities in the foot and other affected joints. Bone deformities in Charcot’s joint may be prevented through early intervention. Signs of the condition include: painful joints swelling or redn Continue reading >>
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Diabetic Neuropathy Overview
Diabetes can damage nerves throughout your body. In fact diabetic neuropathy (neuro- means nerves; -pathy means disease or suffering) is the most common, chronic complication of diabetes according to the American Diabetes Association.1 It affects 60-70% of people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease. 2 Diabetic neuropathy can be extremely painful. It can also pave the way for health-threatening and even life-threatening problems including foot ulcers, amputations, heart attacks, digestion problems and difficulty recognizing low blood sugar episodes. While it cannot be cured, smart lifestyle steps may prevent diabetic neuropathy for some people and slow its progression for others. Medications and other approaches can treat symptoms, such as pain. And awareness—through steps like good foot care, regular foot exams and telling your doctor about other symptoms—can help prevent this blood-sugar-related nerve damage from spiraling into even more serious health issues. The best-known type of diabetic neuropathy is called diabetic peripheral neuropathy. It can cause burning, stabbing or electric-shock-type pain or tingling in your feet, legs, hands or arms. The pain may be worse at night; treatment options range from over-the-counter patches to prescription drugs. But there’s growing evidence that diabetes causes deeper nerve damage that affects more people with high blood sugar than experts once understood. Other types of diabetic neuropathy include: “Silent” diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Up to 50% of people with peripheral neuropathy have no pain3 and may not realize their feet are numb. 4 This boosts the risk for foot ulcers (if you don’t notice cuts or blisters, for example) 5 and inc Continue reading >>