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What is neuropathy?

Nerve damage from diabetes is called diabetic neuropathy (new-ROP-uh-thee). About half of all people with diabetes have some form of nerve damage. It's more common in those who have had the disease for a number of years and can lead to many kinds of problems. 

Over time excess blood glucose can injure the walls of tiny blood vessels that nourish your nerves, especially in the legs. Nerves send messages to and from your brain about pain, temperature and touch. They tell your muscles when and how to move. They also control body systems that digest food and pass urine. 

If you keep your blood glucose levels on target, you may help prevent or delay nerve damage. If you already have nerve damage, this will help prevent or delay further damage. There are also other treatments that can help. 

1 American Diabetes Association, www.diabetes.org 2 Centers for Disease Control (CDC) "CDC report find large decline in lower-limp amputations..." January 24, 2012
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