Diabetes is a very common disease in our time. The number of people with diabetes has nearly quadrupled since 1980. Prevalence is increasing worldwide, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. The causes are complex, but the rise is due in part to increases in the number of people who are overweight, including an increase in obesity, and in a widespread lack of physical activity.

Diabetes of all types can lead to complications in many parts of the body and increase the risk of dying prematurely. In 2012 diabetes was the direct cause of 1.5 million deaths globally. A large proportion of diabetes and its complications can be prevented.

Diabetes is notorious enemy of the nervous system. In fact, about 2 in 3 people who have diabetes also suffer from neuropathy, according to federal statistics. But fortunately neuropathy is preventable in diabetes.

#1: The condition often develops gradually and slowly

Neuropathy in diabetes doesn’t develop in a single day. It is a slow and gradual process. Diabetes almost injures every type of nerve in our body. But the small sensory nerves are the most favourite target. Slowly it damages other nerves too. It damages longest nerves from most distal part. Then the damage progresses slowly. If unchecked it damages roots too.


At first it damages the smallest sensory nerves. It causes burning sensation of our feet. It feels as if someone has smeared red chilli on hands and feet. Even sometimes diabetes is diagnosed first after these symptoms arise. After that longer and larger nerves are involved. It causes numbness and weakness. But if it’s unchecked it leads to bigger symptoms like unsteady foot and fall.

#3: Risk factors are similar to those for diabetes.

Many of the same risk factors that lead to diabetes also contribute to neuropathy. Infact high blood glucose is single most prominent risk factor. Even impaired glucose tolerance people also suffer from neuropathy. Other factors include tobacco or alcohol use; obesity or excess weight; and elevated cholesterol or blood pressure.


The nerves of our feet are most distant from our spinal cord. So they are damaged very early. If they are damaged more, you can’t know when your foot is damaged. Any injury in foot will not heal soon. It will land into non healing ulcer of foot. The ulcer will be infected and it will cause severe damage to foot. This condition is called diabetic foot. Sometimes it needs amputation to save whole limb. Wear shocks to protect from injury.

#5: You can protect yourself by managing glucose levels.

By managing your blood sugar, you will also safeguard your nervous system. Strict control of diabetes will lead to minimal complications. Pay close attention to your diet, and work out several times a week. Check your glucose every day. If it is fluctuating, get advice from endocrinologist. Your doctor should also be able to help if you are struggling with drinking, smoking, or weight control. If you are feeling burning sensation meet Neurologist soon.

#6: A healthy diet can help – go for nuts, fruits and vegetables

In diabetes food is a very important factor. You should reduce your carbohydrate intake. The diet should consist high amount of fruits and green vegetables. Nuts and legumes help in better diabetes control.


Exercise is an ultimate boon for diabetics. The exercise increases glucose transport without help of insulin. It prevents damage to nerves. So try to do some aerobic exercise to prevent damage to nerves.

Neuropathy is preventable disease. It is difficult to treat. So if you control diabetes strictly, then neuropathy can be prevented.

Please read and share to raise awareness about neuropathy…


Dyck PJ, Karnes J, O’Brien PC, Thomas PK, Asbury AK, Winegrad AI, Porte D. Diabetic neuropathy.


  1. The articles by Dr.Shubhakar Mishra, MD,DM(NEUROLOGY)in “The Neuron” are very useful for the patients and society at large. Thanks to Dr.Mishra for his continuous research work and publications of worthful articles for public health and welfare.


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