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What is Diabetic Neuropathy? Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

It’s important to recognize the signs of diabetic neuropathy early so that they can be managed.


Diabetic neuropathy is a diabetic complication that causes pain, numbness and tingling in the feet and hands.

This article will discuss diabetic neuropathy so you know what to look for when you have this condition as well as how to treat diabetic neuropathy once it’s been diagnosed.

diabetic neuropathy pins and needles

What is diabetic neuropathy?

Diabetic neuropathy – also known as peripheral neuropathy – happens when high blood sugars related to diabetes damages small blood vessels around the body’s peripheral.

Neuropathy means nerve damage or disease of the nerves outside your brain, spine, or spinal cord.

The most common symptom is pain in the feet that can be sharp, searing, or aching.

It’s often described as a pins-and-needles feeling.

This could also show up as numbness to touch, tingling sensations running up the leg, or burning pain in the feet.

How is diabetic neuropathy caused?

Diabetic neuropathy is caused by damage to the small blood vessels in your peripheral nerves as a result of consistently high blood sugars.

While diabetes is a common cause of peripheral neuropathy, it can also result from injuries, infections, and exposure to toxins.

When the blood vessels are damaged, they can’t get nutrients and oxygen to the nerves, so the nerves start dying.

The nerve cells need to be healthy and working properly in order for your body to sense pain, coldness, or heat.

What are the symptoms of neuropathy?

Diabetic neuropathy can cause a range of symptoms that may include:

  • Painful feet – A tingling sensation on the soles of the feet and toes, numbness
  • Numbness – An inability to feel temperature or pain in your hands
  • Loss of balance

If you begin experiencing these symptoms, check in with your doctor right away before they become worse.

What kind of doctor treats peripheral neuropathy?

Neurologists treat neuropathy.

A diabetic specialist will prescribe pain medications and other treatments to help you manage your diabetic symptoms.

Specialists can prescribe pain medications and other treatments to help you manage your diabetic symptoms.

Some diabetic specialists may recommend non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen for pain relief, which can be taken as needed or on a regular basis.

Diabetic neuropathies cannot be cured but they can be managed by using various diabetes treatment options available including medication and physical therapies.

It’s important to be aware of diabetic neuropathy so you can manage it properly and take the necessary precautions.

Can diabetic neuropathy be reversed?

Diabetic neuropathy can’t be cured or reversed but it can be managed.

There are different diabetic treatments that can help diabetic neuropathy, such as medication and physical therapy.

It is best to catch diabetic neuropathy before it worsens so you don’t experience the worst symptoms.

If you have symptoms of neuropathy it’s important to work with your doctor on a treatment plan that gets your blood sugars in range and manages your pain.

The bottom line on diabetic neuropathy

It’s important to recognize the signs of diabetic neuropathy early so that they can be managed.

If you have diabetes or are at risk for developing this complication, talk to your doctor about ways to prevent and manage diabetic neuropathy.  

If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the symptoms, it’s important to visit a medical professional.

Early treatment can help manage diabetic neuropathy and prevent long-term complications from developing. 

Have you had any experience with pain from diabetic neuropathy? Share in our comments!

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Hi! I'm Mila.

I’m a millennial living with LADA (Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults, a slow-progressing form of autoimmune Type 1 diabetes) I love food, travel, and my kitchen!

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