Weakness and diabetes are intertwined from the very beginning. Fatigue, for example, is one of the first symptoms of diabetes. There are many different forms of weakness in diabetes that one must contend with in this disease, two of which are diabetes muscle weakness and diabetes leg weakness.


Diabetes Muscle Weakness


Diabetes weakness of the muscle can be caused by diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage). Peripheral neuropathy is nerve damage in the arms and legs. Many people with diabetes have peripheral neuropathy, which along with causing diabetic weakness in the muscles, causes numbness, sharp pains or cramps, extreme sensitivity to touch, and a loss of balance and coordination.

In cases of neuropathy muscle weakness, diabetes symptoms begin at the ankle. According to the National Institutes of Health, this leads to changes in the way a person walks and because of this food deformities, such as hammertoes, begin to form. A collapse of the foot may also occur. According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of this type of neuropathy include:

  • Numbness or reduced ability to feel pain or changes in temperature, especially in the feet or toes
  • A tingling or burning feeling
  • Sharp, jabbing pain that may be worse at night
  • Pain when walking
  • Extreme sensitivity to even the lightest touch
  • Muscle weakness and difficulty walking
  • Serious foot problems, such as ulcers, infections, deformities, and bone and joint pain


Diabetes Leg Weakness


Proximal neuropathy is another type of nerve damage which may cause weakness of the legs. In this condition symptoms are usually on one side of the body or another. In some cases symptoms spread to the other side. This type of neuropathy may improve overtime; however, symptoms get worse before they get better. Other conditions of this type of neuropathy may include:

  • Sudden, severe pain in your hip, thigh or buttock
  • Eventual weak and atrophied thigh muscles
  • Difficulty rising from a sitting position
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Weight loss


Another relation between diabetes and weakness may be stroke. Leg weakness is a serious symptom of stroke. According to LiveStrong.com, leg weakness is common in stroke because many stroke patients have brain damage in the areas of the brain that control the nerve signals sent to the legs. This leg weakness is perceived as “heaviness” it is said. If you perceive leg weakness of any kind it is best to contact your doctor immediately, especially if it comes about suddenly.