Risk factorsBy Mayo Clinic Staff
Anyone who has diabetes can develop neuropathy, but these factors make you more susceptible to nerve damage:
Feb. 24, 2015
- Poor blood sugar control. This is the greatest risk factor for every complication of diabetes, including nerve damage. Keeping blood sugar consistently within your target range is the best way to protect the health of your nerves and blood vessels.
- Length of time you have diabetes. Your risk of diabetic neuropathy increases the longer you have diabetes, especially if your blood sugar isn't well-controlled.
- Kidney disease. Diabetes can cause damage to the kidneys, which may increase the toxins in the blood and contribute to nerve damage.
- Being overweight. Having a body mass index greater than 24 may increase your risk of developing diabetic neuropathy.
- Smoking. Smoking narrows and hardens your arteries, reducing blood flow to your legs and feet. This makes it more difficult for wounds to heal and damages the integrity of the peripheral nerves.
- Diabetic neuropathies: The nerve damage of diabetes. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/neuropathies/index.aspx. Accessed Dec. 17, 2014.
- Neuropathy (nerve damage). The American Diabetes Association. http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/neuropathy/. Accessed Dec. 17, 2014.
- Steps to prevent or delay nerve damage. The American Diabetes Association. http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/neuropathy/steps-to-prevent-or-delay.html. Accessed Dec. 17, 2014.
- Kidney disease (neuropathy). American Diabetes Association. http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/kidney-disease-nephropathy.html. Accessed Dec. 17, 2014.
- Amato AA, et al. Peripheral neuropathy. In: Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed Dec. 17, 2014.
- Feldman EL, et al. Treatment of diabetic neuropathy. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 17, 2014.
- Feldman EL, et al. Patient information: Diabetic neuropathy (beyond the basics). http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 22, 2014.
- High blood pressure (hypertension). The American Diabetes Association. http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/high-blood-pressure-hypertension.html. Accessed Dec. 22, 2014.
- Checking your blood glucose. The American Diabetes Association. http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/blood-glucose-control/checking-your-blood-glucose.html. Accessed Dec. 23, 2014.
- Castro MR (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dec. 3, 2014.