Type 2 Diabetes and Neuropathy — Scope | Disability forum
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Type 2 Diabetes and Neuropathy

steve2019 Member Posts: 1 Listener
I am 59 living with type 2 diabetes and live in Scotland. I had diabetes since 2005 but of last year I found out that I have neuropathy pain from my feet. Two years previous my feet were fine and if someone had mentioned about neuropathy I didn't know anything about it nor did my GP mention it to me at the time in 2005 about neuropathy.if I get stressed I feel the pain and at nights too. I am on gabapentin and duluotine {spelling} from my GP but as my GP has said there is no cure. Cure would be to manage the diabetes management. I can talk more on this issue.


  • Antonia_Alumni
    Antonia_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 1,781 Pioneering
    Hi @steve2019 welcome to the community.

    Thank you for sharing this with us. I will move you over to our neurological conditions discussions, where other members may relate to your experience. Please let us know if you have any questions ;)
  • Adam_Alumni
    Adam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 164 Pioneering

    Welcome to the community @Steve2019!

  • Sam_Alumni
    Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,673 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @steve2019
    I found this on the NHS website:

    Peripheral neuropathy develops when nerves in the body's extremities – such as the hands, feet and arms – are damaged. The symptoms depend on which nerves are affected.

    In the UK, it's estimated that almost 1 in 10 people aged 55 or over are affected by some degree of peripheral neuropathy.

    Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy

    The main symptoms of peripheral neuropathy can include:

    • numbness and tingling in the feet or hands
    • burning, stabbing or shooting pain in affected areas
    • loss of balance and co-ordination
    • muscle weakness, especially in the feet

    These symptoms are usually constant, but may come and go.

    Read more about symptoms of peripheral neuropathy.

    When to see your GP

    It's important to see your GP if you experience the early symptoms of peripheral neuropathy, such as:

    • pain, tingling or loss of sensation in the feet
    • loss of balance or weakness
    • a cut or ulcer on your foot that isn't getting better

    It's also recommended that people at highest risk of peripheral neuropathy, such as people with diabetes, have regular check-ups.

    Your GP will ask about your symptoms and may arrange some tests to help identify the underlying cause. You may be referred to hospital to see a neurologist (a specialist in conditions affecting the nervous system).

    Generally, the sooner peripheral neuropathy is diagnosed, the better the chance of limiting the damage and preventing further complications.

    Read more about diagnosing peripheral neuropathy.

    Causes of peripheral neuropathy

    In the UK, diabetes (both type 1 and type 2) is the most common cause of peripheral neuropathy.

    Over time, the high blood sugar levels associated with diabetes can damage the nerves. This type of nerve damage is known as diabetic polyneuropathy.

    Peripheral neuropathy can also have a wide range of other causes. For example, it can be caused by:

    • physical injury to the nerves
    • a viral infection such as shingles
    • a side effect of certain medications or drinking too much alcohol

    People who are known to be at an increased risk of peripheral neuropathy may have regular check-ups so their nerve function can be assessed.

    Read more about the causes of peripheral neuropathy.

    Treating peripheral neuropathy

    Treatment for peripheral neuropathy depends on the symptoms and underlying cause.

    Only some of the underlying causes of neuropathy can be treated. For example, if you have diabetes it may help to gain better control of your blood sugar level, stop smoking and cut down on alcohol.

    Nerve pain may be treated with prescribed medications called neuropathic pain agents, as standard painkillers are often ineffective.

    If you have other symptoms associated with peripheral neuropathy, these may need to be treated individually. For example, treatment for muscle weakness may involve physiotherapy and the use of walking aids.

    Read more about treating peripheral neuropathy.

    Complications of peripheral neuropathy

    The outlook for peripheral neuropathy varies, depending on the underlying cause and which nerves have been damaged.

    Some cases may improve with time if the underlying cause is treated, whereas in some people the damage may be permanent or may get gradually worse with time.

    If the underlying cause of peripheral neuropathy isn't treated, you may be at risk of developing potentially serious complications, such as a foot ulcer that becomes infected. This can lead to gangrene (tissue death) if untreated, and in severe cases may mean the affected foot has to be amputated.

    Peripheral neuropathy may affect the nerves controlling the automatic functions of the heart and circulation system (cardiovascular autonomic neuropathy). You may need treatment to increase your blood pressure or, in rare cases, a pacemaker.

    Read more about complications of peripheral neuropathy.

    Thanks for talking about it, Im sure we have other members who have been through this or are at risk of developing it and having someone on the community talking about their experience is always so useful!

    Senior online community officer


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