What is Diabetic Neuropathy?

Diabetic Neuropathy

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What is Diabetic Neuropathy?


Diabetic neuropathy is a type of nerve damage that can occur in people with diabetes.  It’s a common complication of diabetes and is caused by prolonged exposure to high blood sugar levels.  It can affect nerves throughout the body, but it most commonly affects the feet and legs.

Types of Diabetic Neuropathy

Four main types of neuropathy can impact on the nervous system, including:

  • Peripheral symmetric neuropathy. This affects the feet and hands. It is the most common form of diabetic neuropathy.
  • Autonomic neuropathy. This occurs in the nerves that control involuntary functions of the body, such as digestion, urination, or heart rate.
  • Thoracic and lumbar root, or proximal, neuropathy. This damages nerves along a specific distribution in the body, such as the chest wall or legs.
  • Mononeuropathies. These can affect any individual nerve.

The symptoms of neuropathy depend on the type and the nerves involved.

Treatment for Diabetic Neuropathy

Most types of diabetic neuropathy gets worse over time.

The first step for people with any type is to bring blood sugars within a target range agreed with a doctor and manage high blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Managing glucose levels will minimize the risk of this disease.  A key part of treatment focuses on reducing pain and managing some of the symptoms.

Certain medications and types of physical therapy can help to control the pain of diabetic neuropathy, alongside other treatments.  However, they cannot repair the nerves.

People should also avoid or stop smoking and limit their alcohol intake to a maximum of one drink a day for women and two for men.

Are you suffering from any foot condition?  At The Chelsea Clinic, we can help.  One of our podiatrist can assist and then recommend what treatments are best to get you back on track. Podiatrist South Kensington
Schedule an appointment here or you may call us at +44 (0) 207 101 4000


We hope you have a feetastic day!

-The Chelsea Clinic and Team



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