Over time, the high blood sugar levels associated with diabetes can damage the nerves. This type of nerve damage is known as diabetic polyneuropathy.
If the peripheral nerves become damaged it can cause the following symptoms:
- numbness and tingling in the feet and hands
- a burning, stabbing or shooting pain
- loss of co-ordination in the affected body parts
- muscle weakness
Over time, diabetic polyneuropathy can cause a diabetic foot ulcer (an open sore that develops in the foot). If the ulcer becomes infected, there is a risk that the foot tissue will begin to die and it may be necessary to amputate the foot.
Source: NHS choices