9 Symptoms of Diabetic Neuropathy That Might Surprise You

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We’ve talked a lot about diabetic neuropathies– from what they are and how much you know about them, to exercises you can do to avoid them and ways to stave off this family of complications. You might be wondering why we’ve devoted so much time to this subject. And we’ve got an answer:

Diabetic neuropathy can be frightening.

While the complications can be little more than irritating and sometimes go away with time, they can also be painful, even debilitating. Further, there is no treatment for most neuropathies, and if left untreated symptoms can be severe and even fatal.

Unfortunately, about 60-70% of individuals with diabetes will someday develop some form of neuropathy. That’s a pretty frightening statistic, but we believe that knowledge is the best way to confront that fear and protect yourself.

Fully understanding the condition is one of the best things you can do to prevent or delay the onset of complications. Additionally, understanding symptoms can ensure that in the event they occur, you’re able to recognize them as soon as they start and can seek help before things get worse. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy!

1. Balance Issues

A common symptom of peripheral neuropathy is having issues with balance. This is especially common in individuals who are experiencing neuropathy symptoms in their feet. Because neuropathy in the feet is often accompanied by numbness, it can affect balance and coordination.

Photo Credit: Adobe Stock/minicel73

Photo Credit: Adobe Stock/minicel73

2. Numbness and Tingling

Numbness is often associated with peripheral neuropathy. Individuals suffering from this type of neuropathy often complain of feeling numb in the affected extremities. Typically the feet and legs are the first to be affected, with the numbness later spreading to the hands and arms. This is because the extremities are most susceptible to nerve damage brought on by uncontrolled blood glucose levels.

Photo Credit: Adobe Stock/chajamp

Photo Credit: Adobe Stock/chajamp

If you’re suffering from peripheral neuropathy you might find that you have difficulty feeling or that you experience a tingling sensation in the affected area. This can also come with diminished sensitivity to temperature.

And while this may not sound like a big deal, recognizing pain can protect us from, well, more pain. For instance, if you don’t feel a sore on your foot it’s likely you won’t notice it, and therefore won’t tend to it properly, which can lead to infection down the road.

“Next” for more neuropathy symptoms

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L.D. and her eleven-year-old lab, Eleanor Rigby Fitzgerald, moved from Seattle to Grand Rapids earlier this year, and are currently enjoying exploring their new city! She likes books, music, movies, running, and being outdoors as much as possible.