Diabetic Neuropathy Symptoms
The symptoms of diabetic neuropathy depend on what type of neuropathy you have. Symptoms are dependent on which nerves have been damaged. In general, diabetic neuropathy symptoms develop gradually; they may seem like minor and infrequent pains or problems at first, but as the nerves become more damaged, symptoms may grow. Don’t overlook mild symptoms. They can indicate the beginning of neuropathy. Talk to your doctor about anything you notice—such as any pain, numbness, weakness, or tingling—even if it seems insignificant. Your pain may mean the control of your diabetes could be improved, which will can help slow down the progression of your neuropathy. Pain and numbness are also important warning signs to take very good care of your feet, so you can avoid wounds and infections that can be difficult to heal and even raise risk for amputation. 1 Peripheral Neuropathy Symptoms Peripheral neuropathy affects nerves leading to your extremities—the feet, legs, hands, and arms. The nerves leading to your feet are the longest in your body, so they are the most often affected nerves (simply because there’s more of them to be damaged). Peripheral neuropathy is the most common form of diabetic neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy symptoms include: Pain Burning, stabbing or electric-shock sensations Numbness (loss of feeling) Tingling Muscle weakness Poor coordination Muscle cramping and/or twitching Insensitivity to pain and/or temperature Extreme sensitivity to even the lightest touch Symptoms get worse at night. 2, 3 Autonomic Neuropathy Symptoms The autonomic nervous system is in charge of the "involuntary" functions of your body. It keeps your heart pumping and makes sure you digest your food right—without you needing to think about it. Autonomic neuropathy symptoms i Continue reading >>
Why Does Type 2 Diabetes Cause Your Feet To Go Numb?
Numbness in the feet is a symptom of neuropathy or nerve damage, one of the most common long-term complications of type 2 diabetes. Neuropathy is caused by poor blood sugar control that persists over a long period of time. “The higher the blood sugars and the longer they stay high, the greater the chance of the person developing neuropathy,” says Joel Zonszein, MD, director of the Clinical Diabetes Center at the University Hospital of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore Health System in the Bronx, New York. “The nerves that get affected by high sugars tend to be the longest nerves in the body,” explains Dr. Zonszein. These nerves go from the spine to the toes, which is why the feet get affected before the arms or hands. Diabetic neuropathy also tends to be bilateral. “Both feet will be affected equally,” he says. If blood sugar remains poorly controlled, it can lead to serious complications. In the feet, diabetic neuropathy can not only cause numbness but pain and injuries. It can change the shape of your feet, deforming them so they no longer fit into regular shoes. It can also dry out and damage your skin, cause calluses and ulcers on your feet, and interfere with circulation. The numbness also makes it hard to tell if there is a cut or injury which can increase your risk of infections and amputation. People with diabetes are also at an increased risk for amputation. In 2010, approximately 73,000 non-traumatic lower-limb amputations were performed on adults (20 years or older) diagnosed with diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. The good news is that most amputations are preventable when you manage your diabetes well, take good care of your feet, and wear proper footwear. If you have circulatory problems or you’ve alre Continue reading >>
Burning Or Tingling Feet May Be Warning Of Pre-diabetes
Video available Newswise — Adult onset, or type 2 diabetes, is a growing problem in the United States. Researchers estimate that about 10 percent of Americans will develop diabetes during their lifetime and about twice that number will develop a milder form of diabetes called impaired glucose tolerance, or pre-diabetes. Diabetes and pre-diabetes often do not present any symptoms until a complication arises, making the disease difficult for patients to detect. Physicians already know that people with pre-diabetes can prevent or delay the onset of diabetes with lifestyle changes such as weight loss and exercise. Likewise, people with pre-diabetic neuropathy may be able to reduce their risk for developing severe nerve disease. They may even be able to reverse the neuropathy. Researchers at the University of Michigan Health System are investigating neuropathy, or nerve damage characterized by a persistent tingling, burning or numbness in the hands and feet, as an early warning sign of pre-diabetes. Their preliminary research also suggests that lifestyle modifications, including weight loss and regular exercise, may be able to prevent further nerve damage among patients with pre-diabetes and " very possibly " reverse the damage. "Adult onset, or type 2 diabetes, is a considerable problem in the United States, as well as in many western countries," says James Russell, M.D., a U-M associate professor of Neurology. "We estimate that about 16 to 20 million Americans already have pre-diabetes but, in fact, this may be an underestimate." UMHS, which is very active in diabetes research, is conducting a study, along with universities such as the University of Utah and Yale, that looks at neuropathy associated with impaired glucose tolerance. "People may notice they have an increas Continue reading >>
What Can I Do For Numb, Painful Feet And Legs?
My husband was diagnosed with diabetes almost a year ago. At first he was experiencing numbness in his feet. Over the past few months, he began having pain as well, sometimes as far up his leg as his calf. What can we do to help these symptoms? I have read that vitamin E and even flaxseed oil are good for the circulation. Would those be helpful? 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 >>
Tingling In Hands And Feet
Tingling hands, feet, or both is an extremely common and bothersome symptom. Such tingling can sometimes be benign and temporary. For example, it could result from pressure on nerves when your arm is crooked under your head as you fall asleep. Or it could be from pressure on nerves when you cross your legs too long. In either case, the "pins and needles" effect -- which is usually painless -- is soon relieved by removing the pressure that caused it. In many cases, however, tingling in the hands, feet, or both can be severe, episodic, or chronic. It also can accompany other symptoms. such as pain, itching, numbness, and muscle wasting. In such cases, tingling may be a sign of nerve damage, which can result from causes as varied as traumatic injuries or repetitive stress injuries, bacterial or viral infections, toxic exposures, and systemic diseases such as diabetes. Such nerve damage is known as peripheral neuropathy because it affects nerves distant from the brain and spinal cord, often in the hands and feet. There are more than 100 different types of peripheral neuropathy. Over time, peripheral neuropathy can worsen, resulting in decreased mobility and even disability. More than 20 million Americans, most of them older adults, are estimated to have peripheral neuropathy. It's important to seek prompt medical evaluation for any persistent tingling in your hands, feet, or both. The earlier the underlying cause of your tingling is identified and brought under control, the less likely you are to suffer potentially lifelong consequences. Causes of Tingling in the Hands and Feet Diabetes is one of the most common causes of peripheral neuropathy, accounting for about 30% of cases. In diabetic neuropathy, tingling and other symptoms often first develop in both feet and go up t Continue reading >>
Neuropathy Symptoms: Beware Of Tingling Feet
Don't face Diabetes alone. At Diabetic connect, the world's largest diabetes community, members can Join now at no cost or obligation! Amy Tenderich was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in May of 2003. She is the founder and editor-in-chief of Diabetes Mine and co-authored the book Know Your Numbers, Outlive Your Diabetes. You will frequently find her speaking at diabetes, health, and social media events across the country. Diabetes can cause problems, literally head to toe. And the damage that can occur to your feet is no joke. While most of us have a vague idea that diabetic feet need special care, we usually don’t look into the details until it’s absolutely necessary—in other words, when things are already going wrong. That’s why I encourage you—whether you’ve experienced trouble with your feet to date or not—to take a moment to learn about foot health with diabetes. A lot of people often say things like, “I have this funny tingling in my feet…I wonder if that could have anything to do with my diabetes.” The answer is YES! If you have already experienced noticeable pain or discomfort in your feet, it’s imperative that you see an endocrinologist or podiatrist right away. Intervention can likely slow or halt any damage that may have already been done. If your insurance permits it, you might go straight to the foot specialist (podiatrist), rather than wasting time getting screened first by a general practitioner (also called a “primary care” or “family doctor”). To locate a podiatrist near you, try using Local Podiatry or In Your Area by plugging in your zip code. If you do have neuropathy Treatments depend a lot on your symptoms and the type of neuropathy you have, but the first order of business will be to work on lowering your A1c (the tes Continue reading >>
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 >>
6 Tips For Treating Burning Feet During Diabetes
Have you ever felt like your feet are simply on fire? Many people who suffer from diabetes notice that their feet sometimes go numb, and other times feel like they are standing in coals. But why does this happen? How Do Burning Feet Begin? The main cause of burning feet is nerve damage, or as it is called, neuropathy. When nerve fibres get damaged, they are more likely to become overactive and not work properly. The damaged nerves then send pain signals to the brain, although there is not even a wound or injury. In most cases, it is the nerves in the legs that get damaged first. It usually goes paired with tingling or numbness in the feet. This can then result in burning and pain in the feet, which is often extremely sensitive to the touch. What Causes Burning Feet? Diabetes and an overconsumption of alcohol are the most common causes of neuropathy in the legs. Other causes of burning feet are: Chronic kidney disease known as uremia. Small fiber neuropathy. Vitamin deficiency. Especially Vitamin B12, folate, and occasionally vitamin B6. Peripheral artery disease (PAD). The poor circulation of blood to the feet causes pain, tingling, and burning feet. Especially while walking. How Can I Treat Burning Feet? The best way to treat burning feet is to immediately stop whatever is causing nerve damage in your body. By treating the nerve damage at the core, you can start to alleviate the symptoms like burning feet. Here is how you handle different risk factors for neuropathy… Unbalanced Blood Sugar. In the case of diabetic neuropathy, the treatment means ensuring that your blood sugar levels are stable. Vitamin deficiency. Taking additional vitamin B12 orally or by injection can replace low levels of this nutrient. Alcoholism. Stop excessive drinking in order to prevent ongoi Continue reading >>
“pins And Needles” And Diabetes
Paresthesia. This is the medical term for the annoying and sometimes painful tingling, numbness, and “pins and needles” sensations that can sometimes come from diabetes. A good example of a temporary paresthesia is a foot “falling asleep” from sitting on it or the dead feeling in a hand after you slept with it tucked under your head. Compression of a nerve in your wrist can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome, making your hands ache and fingertips numb. Sometimes disc problems in the spine lead to numbness and pain. Those are also instances of parasthesia, but they are not caused by diabetes. The cause of our tingling and numbness from diabetes is usually peripheral neuropathy, or nerve damage in the arms, legs, hands, and feet. This complication results from high blood glucose levels damaging nerves and blood vessels. Since the damage hits our smallest blood vessels first, the nerves these vessels feed may develop paresthesia quickly. So tingling and numbness in our toes and fingers are often some of the earliest complications of Type 2 diabetes. But there are many other possible causes of paresthesia. A few of them are hypothyroidism (low thyroid), vitamin B12 deficiency, arthritis, poisoning, stroke, cancer, and conditions such as Lyme disease and HIV. People with diabetes often have problems with hypothyroidism and B12 deficiency. If you are plagued by paresthesia, it is a good idea to get blood tests for these conditions. “If I woke up without pain, I’d think I was dead” This phrase made me laugh, but only because it is so true. Pain is frequently part of life as we age. But I have found that paresthesia caused by diabetes can improve. Getting your blood sugar to the target recommended by your health-care provider will help over time. But in the meantime, Continue reading >>
Does Pins And Needles Sensation Means You Have Diabetes?
The sensation of “pins and needles” is technically known as a form of paresthesia. Paresthesias are abnormal sensations and include sensations of burning, tingling, prickling, skin crawling or itching, often in the hands and/or feet. All the forms of paresthesia are due to nerve damage, either because of some disease affecting the nerves (eg. Multiple sclerosis or diabetes), by traumatic injury or entrapment (eg. Carpel tunnel syndrome), by strokes or by tumors pressing on the nerves. Paresthesias can also be caused by Vitamin B12 deficiency, heavy metal poisoning, alcohol abuse and by a low-functioning thyroid (hypothyroidism). Paresthesias can also be caused by various medications such as antihistamines, blood pressure medication, antibiotics and other medications can cause paresthesias such as that sensation of pins and needles. Just about everyone has experienced temporary paresthesias—these are those times when your leg “fell asleep” as you sat cross-legged or your hands were tingling or vibrating for some time after weed whacking or using some power tool. Paresthesias are usually not painful unless they are cause by spinal or traumatic injury, but they can become chronic (long-term) and can affect your overall quality of life. For example, if the “pins and needles” sensation doesn’t let you sleep, that can affect your quality of life. If that “pins and needles” sensation make it difficult for you to type, hold a pen, use a tool, sew, garden or perform another activity that you enjoy—or that you have to do—THAT can affect your quality of life. In diabetes, paresthesias often precede and are part of a complication of diabetes, peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy is believed to result from chronically high levels of blood sugar. Continue reading >>
Tingling In Hands And Feet: Symptoms & Signs
Tingling in the hands and feet is often associated with other symptoms like pain, burning, or numbness in the hands and feet. These type of sensations commonly reflect damage to the nerves in the area (neuropathy); because these are peripheral areas of the body, the term peripheral neuropathy is used to refer to this type of symptom. Peripheral neuropathy has a number of causes and varies in severity among affected people. Vitamin deficiency, diabetes, and kidney failure are among the medical causes of tingling in the hands and feet due to nerve damage. Taking certain medications can also cause tingling in the hands and feet. Other potential causes of peripheral neuropathy include autoimmune diseases, toxins, alcoholism, and infections. REFERENCES: Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015. United States. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. "Peripheral Neuropathy Fact Sheet." Dec. 18, 2014.
Suddenly Developed Tingling Feet
Diabetes Forum The Global Diabetes Community Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community I was diagnosed type 2 in December (but suspect I had this for a while as my numbers were very high). The past two days I've had tingling/burning sensations in my feet- sometimes moving up to my calves. Is this likely to be neuropathy? Is there anything else I can do other than try and manage blood sugar? According to my meter my average levels over the past 2 weeks are 7.7 - which is a big improvement on my diagnosis levels, so wonder why this has suddenly come on. If you think you are exhibiting signs of diabetic neuropathy you should discuss this with your GP. Getting your blood sugars down to non-diabetic numbers would be a good idea to help in that situation. How is your diabetes being treated? What is your diet like? I suffer from autonomic neuropathy and peripheral neuropathy and both have similar symptoms. I'm on pregablin 100mg twice a day prescribed by my doctor. It's been a great help getting the symptoms under control. It might be worth discussing with your specialist about it, they may prescribe something. Nerve pain isn't well understood by GPs but it's fairly well known by the diabetic community. If you think you are exhibiting signs of diabetic neuropathy you should discuss this with your GP. Getting your blood sugars down to non-diabetic numbers would be a good idea to help in that situation. How is your diabetes being treated? What is your diet like? Hi. Thanks for replying. I am not on any medication and am eating very low carb (less than 30g a day). Tingling has been much less noticeable the past two or three days. I have a GP appointment coming up so can discuss then. I suffer from autonomic neuropathy and peripheral neuropathy an 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 >>
Diabetes Health Flashback From The First Ever Diabetes Blogger: It All Started With Tingling Fingers
About a month ago I was driving to Santa Cruz and noticed a tingling in my fingers. It got worse when I put my hands up on the steering wheel and better when I rested them on the bottom. During this two-hour drive, it was a struggle to keep my fingers from falling asleep. Soon after, I began to wake up often during the night, having to reposition my hands so they would stop tingling. My first fear was of neuropathy. I asked myself, “Is this how it starts?” Before I confronted that possibility, I wanted to rule out other things. I went to my chiropractor who thought one of my cervical neck vertebra was out of alignment. He adjusted my back and neck, but it provided no relief. Diagnosis From a Friend I finally told a friend about how, when I push down on my wrist, sparkles and fireworks seem to run up to my fingers. He said, “That sounds just like carpal tunnel syndrome.” His words hit me hard. “Don’t I have enough to deal with with diabetes?” I thought. “This can’t be happening to me.” He told me what carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) means. CTS occurs when the median nerve is compressed where it passes through a narrow tunnel of bone and ligament in the wrist. The tendons in the carpal tunnel may swell, pinching this nerve. It can be caused by a number of things, like performing repetitive motions such as typing. People with diabetes are 15 times more prone to CTS than the general population. (Journal of Hand Surgery, January 1995). CTS is most common in insulin-dependent patients and is not associated with neuropathy. I called my doctor and got an appointment for the very next morning. He strongly suspected CTS, but referred me to a neurologist for the actual diagnosis. He suggested wrist splints and vitamin B6 at 100 mg/day. Bracing Myself His nurse was Continue reading >>