WellSpan Home

Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

Topic Overview

Peripheral neuropathy is the most common type of diabetic neuropathy. It occurs when diabetes damages sensory nerves, which allow the brain to respond to sensations like pain, touch, temperature, and vibration. Peripheral neuropathy may also damage the motor nerves, which work with the muscles to control movement.

The effects and symptoms of peripheral neuropathy develop slowly over months or years. The first symptom is usually a slight burning sensation in the affected area. If blood sugar levels remain high over several years, the burning sensation greatly increases and then slowly goes away. It is replaced by a complete lack of feeling and sensation, or numbness, making the person more likely to injure the affected area.

Although peripheral neuropathy can develop almost anywhere in the body, it most often affects the feet and legs. Loss of the protective sensation-the reduced ability to feel pain-in the feet may lead to the formation of calluses and blisters, bone and joint problems, infection, and foot ulcers. For instance, small, repetitive injuries to the foot, such as those caused by a poorly fitting shoe, may lead to bigger problems simply because the person is unaware of them. Reduced feeling in the feet can also alter a person's step, leading to bone or joint problems.

If untreated, foot problems can become so severe that the foot or lower leg may have to be amputated.

Related Information

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerKarin M. Lindholm, DO - Neurology

Current as ofDecember 7, 2017


Are you sure you would like to cancel?

All information will be lost.

Yes No ×

About the provider search

This search will provide you with WellSpan Medical Group and Northern Lancaster County (Ephrata) Medical Group primary care physicians and specialists. If we don’t have a WellSpan Medical Group physician to meet your criteria, the search will expand to include community physicians who partner with WellSpan Medical Group physicians through the WellSpan Provider Network or provide care to patients on the Medical Staffs of WellSpan’s Hospitals.

×

Schedule Your Next Appointment Online with MyWellSpan

Use your MyWellSpan patient portal any time to view available appointments, and pick the date and time that best suits your schedule.

Go to MyWellSpan

New to this practice?

If you don't have a WellSpan primary care provider and would like to schedule a new patient appointment with a provider who is accepting patients, just log into your MyWellSpan account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to see the offices that are accepting new patients in relation to your zip code. If you are not enrolled in MyWellSpan, go to https://my.wellspan.org, call 1-866-638-1842 or speak with a member of the staff at a participating facility to sign up. New patient scheduling not available at all practices/programs.

Already a patient at this practice?

If you already have a relationship with a WellSpan practice, simply log into your account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to schedule an appointment with any provider or practice that already counts you as a patient. Online scheduling varies by practice/program.

×