Three Things to Know about Peripheral Nerve Pain
Peripheral neuropathy is caused by damage to the peripheral nerves in the arms and legs. Peripheral neuropathy is a common complication of uncontrolled diabetes and can cause nerve pain. With more than 30 million Americans living with diabetes, the complications can be a serious concern – especially nerve damage.
- How does diabetes affect nerve endings?
High blood glucose levels over time can damage blood vessels that carry oxygen to nerve endings. Then nerves malfunction and send slow, incorrect signals or no signals at all. Often the first sign of neuropathy is the development of pain, numbness and weakness in feet, legs, arms and hands.
- Who does peripheral neuropathy affect?
Nearly half of diabetics experience nerve problems, but many do not exhibit symptoms. The longer a person has diabetes, the more likely they are to experience nerve problems. This occurs most commonly in individuals who struggle to control their blood glucose levels, weight and blood pressure. People 40 and older are more likely to experience neuropathy.
- How can I prevent nerve damage?
The best way to protect your nervous system is to maintain a healthy glucose level, get adequate physical activity and quit smoking. Diabetics should practice good foot care and speak with their doctor about foot health and nerve damage screenings.