Medically Reviewed By: Tom Iarocci, MD
Diabetic neuropathy is an issue that many people have heard of. However, it is not a condition that most people understand. For those who do not already know, diabetic neuropathy is a form of nerve damage which takes place in someone who already suffers with diabetes. Struggling with issues of high blood sugar can have damaging effects on various nerve fibers throughout your body, however most doctors find that diabetic neuropathy has the biggest impact on the nerves within your feet and legs.
Because this condition can be extremely painful and can lead to a wide variety of complications, it is worth understanding the diabetic neuropathy early warning signs, so that help can be availed as quickly as possible. Depending on the nerves that are affected. The indicators of diabetic neuropathy can vary somewhat widely, from numbness within the extremities to pain throughout the body, and issues with the blood vessels, digestive system, urinary tract, and heart. For some people, the symptoms are very mild but for other people, diabetic neuropathy can be disabling, painful, and sometimes fatal.
Diabetic neuropathy early warning signs are common, as these are a relatively standard set of complications of diabetes. However, it is possible to prevent the progress of neuropathy with the correct blood sugar management and dedication to a healthy lifestyle. Here are seven diabetic neuropathy early warning signs to watch out for.
1. Numbness, or difficulty in feeling changes in temperature, or pain within your body, especially throughout the toes and feet. Peripheral neuropathy is one of the most liekly forms, wherein your legs and feet are affected first, followed by arms and hands.
2. Sensitivity to even the lightest touch can be a sign of diabetic neuropathy. The sensitivity is often extreme, with some patients complaining that the weight of a sheet can be agonizing.
3. Bladder problems, such as urinary incontinence or UTIs, can be another sign of diabetic neuropathy within parts of the nervoussystem, which controls the bladder, lungs, heart, stomach, and intestines.
4. Heart rate and blood pressure problems, which lead to sharp drops in your blood pressure whenever you might be getting up from either lying or sitting down. This can cause you to feel faint or light-headed.
5. Sudden pain in your thigh, hip or buttock. Radiculoplexus neuropathy affects the nerves within the buttocks, hips and legs. It is also referred to as diabetic amyotrophy, proximal neuropathy and femoral neuropathy, and is more common in people suffering from type 2 diabetes.
6. Vision problems, or difficulty maintaining focus can be a sign of diabetic neuropathy. Mononeuropathy refers to damage within a specific nerve, usually within the face, leg, or torso. This symptom often comes on somewhat suddenly, and is more common in older adults.
7. Abdominal or chest pain. Although mononeuropathy can cause serious issues with pain, the problems that are caused aren’t usually long-term issues. Symptoms typically appear and diminish by themselves over a period of a few weeks, to a month, and the signs of this problem can vary according to the nerve that is affected.