Elevated blood glucose levels in a diabetic eventually cause the development of nerve damage throughout the body. Early nerve damage may not have any obvious symptoms. As it worsens, a diabetic may experience burning pain, loss of tactile sensation, or tingling in the feet and hands.
Diabetic neuropathy is a family of nerve disorders caused by diabetes. There are different types of diabetic neuropathy; one of them is peripheral sensory neuropathy. It is a very common complication of diabetes and can lead to numbness, abnormal sensation, and constant pain. Diabetic peripheral neuropathy usually first appears in the feet and lower legs and may occur later in the hands.
People with diabetic peripheral neuropathy may find that they start losing their balance or have difficulty walking without wobbling. At this stage, wearing orthopaedic shoes or diabetic shoes may help. A walking aid (cane or frame) may be needed.
Bone deformity of the feet may also occur. This is due to the weight redistribution from walking abnormally as well as the impairment of sensorimotor nerve function which affects the leg and feet muscles.