It is incredibly important to understand the connection between diabetes and nerves.  Allowing your blood sugar levels to run to high can cause you to develop nerve damage over time. There are several types of nerve damage that can occur in diabetes. According to the National Institutes of Health, the following conditions effect diabetes and nerves:

Peripheral Neuropathy – Most often this type of nerve damage affects your feet and legs and then spreads to your hands and arms. This is the most common type of nerve damage which found to affect diabetes and nerves.

Autonomic Neuropathy – This type of nerve damage affects the nerves that control the heart, regulate blood pressure, and control blood glucose levels. Other internal organs are also likely to be affected. This causes problems with digestion, respiratory function, urination, sexual response and vision.

Proximal Neuropathy – This is neuropathy that causes weakness in the legs. Often, people with this type of nerve damage need help from sitting to a standing position.  It usually begins with pain in the thighs, hips, buttocks, or legs. This usually occurs on one side of the body.

Focal Neuropathy – This is a type of neuropathy that affects specific nerves. It most often affects the head, torso, or leg.


How Does Diabetes Damage Nerves


As stated above, the main reason for conditions affecting diabetes and nerves developing is poor blood sugar level control. This may also occur as a result of alcohol use, smoking, injury, or a genetic predisposition. However, there is no doubt that diabetes, just by itself, leads to nerve damage.

According to, diabetic neuropathy affects over 70% of those with diabetes. The connections between diabetes and nerves have not been well established. However, there are many theories of how diabetes affects the nerves directly. One such theory states that blood sugar or the metabolism of sugar causes inflammation of the nerves sheath and causes the sheath to be ruined. Just as an exposed electrical wire will lose its electrical signal over time, an exposed nerve will lose its sensation.

Another reason for this trouble of diabetes and nerves may be the circulatory system. Some scientists theorize that when the blood supply to the nerves is diminished, the nerve sheath becomes malnourished and the nerves are destroyed. In actuality, it is probably both conditions which bring about problems with diabetes and nerves.


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