Control Your Diabetes to Avoid Nerve Damage

Poor diabetes control can lead to diabetic neuropathies—damage to the nerves in the body. Nerves are the messengers in our body that communicate pain, temperature, and other information between our body and the brain. Their nourished tiny blood vessels are easily damaged by the effects of diabetes. There are two common types of nerve damage seen in diabetes.

Peripheral neuropathy, the most common type of diabetic neuropathy, causes pain or loss of feeling in the toes, feet, legs, hands, and arms. Nerve damage in the feet makes them sensitive to pain, so you may have blisters, corns, or sores you don’t even feel.

These minor injuries can become bigger infections that can lead to the bone and require amputation. African-Americans are much more likely to suffer lower limb amputation than white or Hispanic Americans with diabetes.

The second common neuropathy is called autonomic neuropathy. This type of nerve damage causes changes in digestion, bowel and bladder function, perspiration, and sex response.

Damage to nerves in the sexual organs, causing difficulty for both men and women to experience normal sexual response. In men, the nerve damage can cause erectile dysfunction. In women, it leads to difficulty with arousal, lubrication, and orgasm.

Autonomic neuropathy can also affect the nerves that