Symptoms of Nerve Damage From Diabetes continued...
Others describe sharp pain, cramps, tingling, prickling, a burning sensation, Elasy says.
Still others have exaggerated sensitivity to touch. "The minute you touch them, they feel extreme pain," Elasy explains. "When they lay a sheet over their feet at night, they are exquisitely sensitive to that touch."
The symptoms are often worse at night, he adds.
Be on the look out for these changes in how you feel:
- Touch sensitivity. You may experience heightened sensitivity to touch, or a tingling or numbness in your toes, feet, legs, or hands.
- Muscle weakness. Chronically elevated blood sugars can also damage nerves that tell muscles how to move. This can lead to muscle weakness. You may have difficulty walking or getting up from a chair. You may have difficulty grabbing things or carrying things with your hands.
- Balance problems. You may feel more unsteady than usual and uncoordinated when you walk. This occurs when the body adapts to changes brought on by muscle damage.
Because people with type 2 diabetes may have multiple health problems, doctors don't always diagnose peripheral neuropathy when symptoms first appear, Elasy says. "Patients need to be aware that their pain may be confused with other problems," he notes.
Make sure your pain is taken seriously, he advises. "Do not take it lightly if you have pain in your hand or foot. Things can be done to reverse it. It can be useful to see a pain specialist."