Diabetic neuropathy is a serious type of nerve damage that occurs with diabetes, affecting 50% of those with the disease. For some individuals, symptoms are mild but can be more painful for others. If you are experiencing diabetic neuropathy, reach out to the specialists at Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates today to get started on treatment options.

Can Diabetic Neuropathy Occur in Feet?

Diabetic neuropathy most often affects the legs and feet — this is known as peripheral neuropathy. However, it is not limited to this area. It can also affect the hands, digestive system, heart and urinary tract.


The most common form of diabetic neuropathy is peripheral neuropathy, affecting the feet and legs before the hands and arms.

Some signs you may have diabetic neuropathy in your feet include:


  • Reduced ability to sense pain or temperature changes
  • Numbness
  • Sharp pains or cramps
  • Burning or tingling
  • Muscle weakness
  • Skin being sensitive to touch
  • Infections, ulcers or bone and joint damage

Causes of Diabetic Neuropathy in Feet

With diabetes, uncontrolled high blood sugar can damage nerves and interfere with signal sending. Consistently high blood sugar can also diminish the walls of the body’s small blood vessels, which supply nerves with oxygen.

Anyone with diabetes has a chance of developing neuropathy, but there are a few risk factors that can increase the likelihood.

  • Diabetes history: The longer someone has diabetes, the higher the chance of developing diabetic neuropathy.
  • Poor blood sugar control: Not controlling your blood sugar properly can increase diabetes complications, especially nerve damage.
  • Obesity: Diabetes and obesity can damage the peripheral nerves, increasing the risk of diabetic neuropathy.
  • Smoking: Smoking can narrow and harden arteries, which reduces blood flow to the hands and feet. When mixed with diabetes, this can make wounds more difficult to heal.

Foot Diabetic Neuropathy Treatments and Prevention

Once nerve damage has been established, there aren’t any treatments that can effectively reverse the disease. However, you can do several things to keep your feet healthy and manage pain. To treat nerve damage, you will need to keep your blood glucose levels in a healthy range and protect your feet from further damage.

Foot diabetic neuropathy can be directly managed through medication. This treatment can relieve your pain and reduce symptoms of burning, tingling and numbness. 

In general, there are some things you can do to prevent diabetic neuropathy from forming in the first place.

  • Receive a glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test twice a year for blood sugar management.
  • Check your feet every day for blisters, cuts, cracked skin, swelling and redness.
  • Keep your feet clean and dry — avoid soaking your feet.
  • Carefully trim toenails straight across and file down the edges.
  • Wear well-fitting, cushioned shoes to protect your feet.

Diabetic Neuropathy Care With Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates

At Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates, we understand the anxieties that can come along with diabetic foot care. Let our trained podiatrists help you along the road to pain management. Contact us for diabetic neuropathy doctors near you in Centralia, Lacey, Olympia, Tacoma and Tumwater, WA.

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