A diminished capacity to metabolize sugar (glucose) puts diabetics at risk for a complication known as neuropathy. The nerve’s response to abnormally high sugar levels can occur in diabetics even when blood sugar levels are maintained at normal levels.
Diabetic neuropathy begins with a change in sensation in the hands and feet. Diabetics experience the same numbness and tingling sensation that is seen in people who experience regular nerve compression, but it involves both the hands and both feet. Usually the feet begin to feel pain prior to the hands.
When neuropathy begins in the foot, the top and bottom of the limb is affected. The changes can occur in all of the toes and extend up to the knee. With diabetic neuropathy, multiple nerves are compressed at a number of sites along the nerve’s path from below the knee down to the foot.