Neuropathy is nerve damage that may cause problems in the legs, foot and in other parts of the body. Nerves carry messages between the brain and every part of the body, making it possible to hear, see, move and feel. Having high blood glucose levels over a long period of time can damage the small blood vessels, which supply the nerves, thereby preventing all the essential nutrients reaching the nerves. The nerves will eventually become damaged or disappear.
Diabetic neuropathy may result in the following symptoms:
- Loss of sensation, tingling, numbness or sharp pains in the hands or feet
- Wounds or sores that don’t heal
- Problems with the heart, eyes, stomach, bladder and other parts of the body.
- Problems with the automatic nervous system, which is involved in controlling blood pressure, heart rate, sweating, digestion and the bladder.
In many cases, serious foot problems can occur. If left untreated, these problems can cause foot ulcers and infections. At worse, it could lead to amputations
How is it treated?
There are many treatments available to relieve the symptoms caused by neuropathy. Good control of blood glucose levels can improve the symptoms and can reduce the progression of the nerve damage.
Steps to can take
- Keep blood glucose levels within the target range.
- Have your feet checked at least once a year.
- Tell your child’s diabetes healthcare team if you think they’re developing any signs of nerve damage.