Diabetes type 2: Are the nerves in your hands and feet damaged? Warning signs

Fitness & Health:

Excess blood sugar irritates the small blood vessels that supply nutrients to the nerve cells. Eventually, the nerve cells become starved of nutrition and can disappear. Sensory neuropathy, to be specific, is a complication of type 2 diabetes. The leading charity Diabetes UK added that sensations of touch, temperature and pain can dissipate.

As such, one of the most telling signs of nerve damage is if you simply can’t feel anything in your feet, legs, or hands.

Without any sensations felt in the feet, open sores and wounds can be missed if you don’t check your feet on a regular basis.

In some instances, before there is a complete lack of sensory feeling, there could be “tingling and numbness” in the soon-to-be affected limbs.


Some people have reported that they experienced burning or shooting pains, which tend to be worse at night.

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If you identify with any of these warning signs, do book an appointment with your diabetes health care team.

“You can avoid peripheral neuropathy by keeping your blood sugar levels within your target range,” the charity explained.

You can find out your target blood sugar range by speaking to your diabetes care team.

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Diabetics are encouraged to check their feet everyday, such as after taking a shower, to keep an eye on their health.


I’m struggling to keep my blood sugar in target

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends regular use of a glucometer throughout the day.

Typical times to check your blood sugar include:

  • When you first wake up, before you eat or drink anything
  • Before a meal
  • Two hours after a meal
  • At bedtime.

However, your tailored diabetes plan will tell you when it’s best for you to check your own blood sugar levels.

Symptoms of high blood sugar can include:

  • Feeling very tired
  • Feeing thirsty
  • Having blurry vision
  • Needing to urinate (pee) more often.

How to improve blood sugar levels

“Be more active,” the CDC advised. “Regular exercise can help keep your blood sugar levels on track.”

Other suggestions include taking prescribed medication, following a diabetes meal plan crafted by your healthcare team, and talking to your doctor.

Counting carbohydrates can also be useful in monitoring your blood sugar levels.

Pay attention to foods that cause blood sugar spikes, and try to refrain from eating them.

In terms of dietary tips, blood sugar levels can be helped by drinking plenty of water instead of juice, soda or alcoholic beverages.

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Moreover, the best sweet treat to satisfy a craving is fruit, and not chocolate, biscuits or sweets that could spike blood sugar levels.

Health risks of high blood sugar

The NHS cautioned that persistently high blood sugar can lead to permanent damage to the eyes and kidneys.

It’s for this reason that you must take all possible action to effectively manage your condition.

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