What causes diabetic peripheral neuropathy?

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How diabetes causes nerve injury (i.e. diabetic neuropathy) is not completely understood.  Diabetes results in a series of metabolic changes including high levels of blood sugar and fats (i.e. hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia) which can disrupt the blood supply to the nerves causing nerve injury.  The immune system may further contribute to nerve injury. 

These are the mechanism which are thought to contribute to a common nerve disease termed diabetic polyneuropathy in which patients complain of numbness, tingling and prickly or buring feelings in the feet.  Diabetics are also prone to pressure related nerve injury such as carpal tunnel syndrome a condition in which patients complain of numbness and tingling in the hands.  Risk factors for nerve injury include older age, longer duration of diabetes, and most important of all poorly controlled diabetes

Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is caused by complications related to diabetes. It is primarily caused by elevated blood glucose levels, which seem to damage the nerves over a long period of time. Other factors include high blood fat and prolonged diabetes.

Continue Learning about Diabetic Neuropathy (Nerve Damage)

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.