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What is the outlook for people with diabetic neuropathy?

The outlook for people with diabetic neuropathy -- nerve damage -- depends on how well their diabetes is controlled. Treating the diabetes may stop the progression of the neuropathy and even improve symptoms slowly and gradually. Intense numbness, pain, or tingling in the feet or lower legs are the hallmark symptoms of diabetic neuropathy. These symptoms are caused by damage to the nerves from poor blood sugar control. Loss of sensation in the feet also increases the risk that foot injuries and infections may go unnoticed and untreated, and become serious. Treatment of diabetes-related foot problems involves first getting blood sugar levels under control and protecting the feet with daily foot checks and proper footwear. Sometimes diabetic neuropathy can cause problems in the eyes, digestive tract and bladder. The symptoms of diabetic neuropathy can sometimes be relieved by analgesics, anticonvulsants or low-dose antidepressants. Wearing support stockings, walking more often and taking warm baths may also help. Researchers are testing new medications for diabetic neuropathy.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.