[an error occurred while processing this directive] If you are diabetic and have been experiencing itching and burning sensations in parts of your body like your feet, legs, or hands, you almost certainly have a condition called diabetic neuropathy. Neuropathies can be caused by other problems besides diabetes, but if you're a diabetic, your neuropathy is very probably related directly to your disease (but note that itching and burning can also be caused by something as simple as dry skin and poor circulation, both common in people with diabetes).
Neuropathies are a family of nerve disorders. It's typical for people who have diabetes to develop nerve damage throughout their bodies over time. Some diabetics who get this nerve damage will have it show up as symptoms like itching, burning, strange and sometimes uncomfortable tingling sensations, or loss of feeling in their extremities.
Diabetics are susceptible to developing nerve problems at any time. As one might expect, however, the risk of it occurring goes up with age and the longer the time they have had diabetes.
Diabetic neuropathies are much more common in those who have trouble with controlling their blood sugar levels. Diabetics who are significantly more prone to neuropathy include people who have elevated levels of blood fat or high blood pressure, and people who are overweight or obese. Proximal neuropathy begins as pain in the hips, thighs, legs, or buttocks, and typically on just one or the other side of the body.
Eventually, this kind of neuropathy will lead to weakness in the legs and from there cause the person to degenerate to the point where they are unable to stand up from a seated position without aid. At first, the symptoms of neuropathy may be barely noticeable. At other times, the symptoms might be unbearable - especially at night when you are trying to rest and your body is recovering from the strains of the day's use. If left untreated, eventually other neuropathic symptoms might come to include the sensation of wearing an invisible sock or glove; freezing pains as well as the burning pains; "electrical shock" type pains; and being extremely sensitive to touch. Treatment of pain is a difficult and on-going process for many, as various therapies must be tried until one is found that works well for the individual.
The duration of the recovery period for neuropathy varies, and depends upon the type and the extent of nerve damage. You will need to discuss physical therapy with your doctor to try to minimize the itching or burning sensations. But good self-care can help tremendously: in conjunction with your healthcare provider, develop a diabetes treatment plan that includes paying even closer attention to your diet and getting regular exercise. If you are already diabetic but don't currently show signs of neuropathy, paying the utmost attention to your health now may prevent this condition from ever developing.