1 in 5 people with diabetes have some form neuropathy and more than 1 in 10 people with type 2 diabetes have the signs of neuropathy at diagnosis.
Neuropathy is the name given to nerve damage that results, in diabetes at least, from high blood glucose levels over long periods of time. Neuropathy is therefore notably prevalent in people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and older people. About 1 in 12 of all people aged over 55 in the UK have signs of neuropathy.
Diabetic neuropathy can lead to loss of sensation and can cause pain in the hands, feet and legs. The most effective treatment for neuropathy at the moment, for people with diabetes, is to keep good blood glucose control. Taking regular, quitting smoking and cutting down on alcohol will also help the body. If neuropathy causes pain, this symptom can be treated with painkillers.
People with neuropathy will commonly have circulation problems in tandem with nerve damage which can cause additional difficulties such as slow wound healings at extremities, particularly at the foot. People diagnosed with neuropathy should therefore pay extra attention to their feet and consult their doctor if damage to the foot or blisters occur.
Early treatment of the foot can prevent more serious complications, such as infections developing, which can lead to amputation.

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