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Small Nerve, Big Problem

Small Nerve, Big Problem

Diabetic neuropathy is long-term damage to the nerve fibers.

It happens when high blood glucose levels are present over several years. It usually begins with reduced sensation in the feet.

The nerve damage affects each foot equally and eventually spreads up the legs. Poor sensation in the feet makes them more prone to injury and combined with poor circulation this can easily lead to ulcers and infections.

Ways to help yourself:

  • The best way to prevent diabetic neuropathy is to keep the blood sugar level as near to normal as possible.
  • Neuropathy is most common in the feet, so inspect them regularly. The poor sensation it causes can mean minor injuries to your feet - and sometimes major ones go unnoticed.
  • An annual foot inspection should be a routine part of your care by the diabetes team. It should also include access to a podiatrist if necessary.
  • Well-fitting shoes are a must.
  • If you do have poor sensation, you need to take special care to avoid injury, including while clipping toe nails.
  • Any cuts, blisters or infections that are slow to heal should be checked by your doctor.

Do not delay in attending to your feet to avoid major complications later.

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