Diabetes And Your Nervous System
The nerves in your body carry messages back and forth between your brain and other parts of your body. All of your nerves together make up your nervous system. For a person with diabetes, high blood sugar over time can damage the blood vessels that bring oxygen to some nerves. The damaged nerves stop sending messages, or may send messages too slowly or at the wrong time. Diabetic neuropathy (ne-ROPuhthee) is the medical name for damage to the nervous system from diabetes.
Damage to your nerves can cause your arms, hands, legs or feet to feel numb. You may not be able to feel pain, heat, or cold when you should, or you may feel shooting pains or burning and tingling. Often worse at night, the symptoms can make it hard to sleep.
Nerve damage can change the shape of your feet. You may want to ask your doctor about special shoes for people with diabetes to protect your feet from developing sores or blisters from poorly fitting shoes.
Medicare or other insurance plans may pay for special shoes. Controlling your blood glucose (sugar) will help prevent or delay nerve damage and may help you to live a healthier, longer life.