Is leg pain a symptom of type 2 diabetes?
If your type 2 diabetes progresses, you may suffer a variety of symptoms, including leg pain. Tingling feelings in your arms or legs, elevated blood pressure, weariness, impaired vision, poor night sight, or paralysis or pain in your hands, feet, or legs are all possible symptoms. If you ignore these symptoms and do not seek treatment, they can progress from worsening diabetic neuropathy to more severe health problems.
Type 2 diabetes complications include
Heart disease and stroke
Hand, feet, or limb complications
Focusing on your symptoms and successfully treating them will help prevent or delay progressive diabetes health complications. Unrecognized and uncontrolled blood sugar can lead to type 2 diabetes-related leg discomfort, for example, could develop into advanced limb or foot problems. You could eventually be amputated. Learn more about diabetic leg discomfort and how to control your diabetes and take preventative treatment.
Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is the term used to describe nerve damage in the extremities. Diabetic peripheral neuropathy affects the legs because the nerves there are no longer functioning normally. In addition to discomfort, a person may experience numbness and tingling. Peripheral diabetic neuropathy patients are more likely to have major consequences in their feet or legs, such as injury or amputation.
Once symptoms of cramping and painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy occur, treatment tends to focus on decreasing and slowing down the procedure.
How does type 2 diabetes cause leg pain?
When type 2 diabetes is not properly managed, affected nerves in numerous body areas can be injured. High blood sugar levels over an extended period can harm the blood capillaries that supply your nerves. Nerve fibres can be damaged or even destroyed if they do not obtain the nutrients they require to function. Damaged nerves can cause difficulties in any part of your body, not just your legs.
Peripheral neuropathy refers to a variety of disorders caused by injury to the peripheral nervous system, the enormous communication network that carries information from the rest of the body to the brain and spinal cord. Peripheral nerves are analogous to the wires that connect the various elements of a computer or connect to the Internet. If complex functions fail, they can bring a system to a stop.1. Motor neuropathy
Your body's mobility is controlled by motor nerves. Motor neuropathy occurs when your motor nerves are injured, resulting in:
- Muscle weakness, atrophy, twitching, and cramping
- Inadequate coordination and balance
Motor neuropathy can make you more prone to falls and diminish your physical dexterity.2. Sensory neuropathy
Temperature, pain, and touch are all sensed by sensory nerves. Sensory neuropathy is caused by the destruction of sensory nerves, resulting in numbness. When you touch something, sensory neuropathy may impair your capacity to feel pain or sensations. This can make you less susceptible to pain and harsh temperatures. It can also impair hand dexterity.
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes leg pain
The following persistent symptoms could point to nerve damage in people with diabetes:
- Tingling sensations in your feet or lower legs
- A sense of burning
- Your feet get extremely chilly or hot.
- Your feet are extremely sensitive.
- Sensation loss in your lower legs and feet
- Muscle weakness in your legs and feet
The absence of sensation in the lower legs and feet is a major health risk that must be addressed immediately. If you have little or no sensation, you may not detect sustaining lacerations or blisters. As a result, you might leave them untreated. These wounds can become infected or remain unhealed for an extended period, potentially leading to more severe cases and medical concerns.
If you have the above symptoms, we suggest you take a look at our Diabetes Blood Test Kit which uses a simple finger prick method to tell if you have diabetes or not.
Complications from diabetic leg pain
You should keep track of how your leg pain and symptoms progress to avoid more serious consequences and to help in treating diabetic neuropathy. Diabetic nerve injury in your legs might lead to the following complications:
1. Falling due to loss of balance
Because you can't feel the position of your joints, you may feel shaky when moving your legs. This could result in a fall. One in every five falls results in a limb or head injury. A fall can result in fractures to your hips, arms, ankles, or wrists, as well as damage to your head or brain.
Feeling unsteady when moving may cause you to become less active since you are afraid of falling. This is a cyclical phenomenon. With less activity, your leg muscles will weaken, increasing your chances of falling.2. Infection
Pain in your legs and feet usually tells you that something is wrong. For example, if you stepped on a piece of glass, you would feel sharp pains. The wound would next need to be cared for and monitored for symptoms of infection. Sustaining an injury without experiencing discomfort in your legs or feet, as with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes, can lead to infection. You will not seek medical attention or check to see if your injury is healing if you are unaware that you have one. This scenario is possible if you have a laceration on your diabetic foot. Foot blisters and sores can be problematic and alleviate pain if you are not aware of them.3. Amputation
Amputation is a severe clinical consequence that can develop from diabetic neuropathy. Diabetes causes the amputation of a limb every 30 seconds worldwide. Doctors will remove the least amount of tissue possible depending on the status of non-healing wounds or infections. If the damage from the tissue amputation does not heal or blood flow is blocked, another amputation may be required to remove more tissue.
Managing diabetic symptoms of leg nerve damage
Once you've been diagnosed with diabetes-related nerve damage, your doctor will prescribe medications, nutritional supplements, or home remedies for treating diabetic peripheral neuropathy.
Your doctor may give the following drugs in moderate to severe situations.
- Lyrica (pregabalin): An anticonvulsant medication used to diminish diabetic nerve pain and impulses.
- Cymbalta (duloxetine): A serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor is indicated to treat pain and other aberrant sensations such as tingling or pins and needles.
- Tapentadol or tramadol: Opioids are recommended to alter how the brain and nervous system respond to pain by halting nerve pain and altering sensation impulses between the brain and the body.
Clinical studies conducted over the last five years have found that certain dietary supplements may help prevent or even reverse symptoms of diabetic neuropathy. More tests and investigations, however, are required before this can be declared a viable therapy choice.
The following nutritional supplements have yielded the most promising results:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin B 12
3. Home remedies
Before taking any dietary or herbal supplement or over-the-counter medications to treat your diabetic neuropathy symptoms, visit your doctor. Your doctor will be able to inform you if the product is safe for you to use, as certain supplements and drugs interact with one another and create negative side effects.
Exercising and eating healthier can help you manage diabetes-related leg pain. Increased physical activity improves blood flow in your legs, supplying oxygen and nutrients.
The activities listed below can help you manage your diabetic neuropathy symptoms while also increasing or maintaining muscle mass. If you have an injury, you may be able to participate in these activities, but consult your doctor first.
- Light to moderate daily activities such as housework and gardening
- Chair exercises
Eating a well-balanced diet can help maintain your blood sugar stable and constant, reducing nerve inflammation. It may also aid in repairing nerve tissues as well as the reduction or prevention of additional nerve injury.
How to Prevent Diabetic Leg Symptoms
Taking action to control your high blood sugar levels is the only method to prevent diabetes-related leg pain symptoms. if you have type 2 diabetes, stable and normal blood sugar levels minimize your risk of sensory and motor nerve damage. Managing leg pain is important for diabetes patients, even mild leg pain should be discussed with your healthcare provider to prevent diabetic ulcers.1. Exercise
150 minutes of moderate exercise per week will assist you in maintaining your blood sugar levels, avoiding nerve damage, and relieving leg pain. Swimming, mild strolling, cycling, or aerobics are all options.2. Diet
A well-balanced and healthy diet that includes lean meats, fruits, non-starchy vegetables, and complex carbohydrates will help you control your blood sugar levels and prevent diabetes neuropathy and leg discomfort.3. Medication
Diabetes medication, such as insulin, may be prescribed by your doctor to help regulate your blood glucose levels and prevent complications such as diabetic neuropathy. A diabetes blood test kit is highly recommended to measure glucose levels, which helps in disease control and further nerve damage.
When to see a doctor?
If you have diabetic neuropathy in your legs, you should check your legs and feet for injuries frequently.
If you have any of the following symptoms, see your doctor:
- Swelling of the feet
- Open wounds
- A sore or ulcer that lasts more than a week
- Severe pain or frequent cramps
- Skin discoloration or redness
- An foul odour emanating from a wound
- Feeling warm in one part of your foot
Leg pain is a sign of type 2 diabetes. It is caused by high blood sugar levels causing nerve damage in your legs and feet. Type 2 diabetes, if left untreated, can progress to advanced leg or foot problems and, eventually, amputation. Leg pain caused by type 2 diabetes can be excruciating, but you can slow its course with lifestyle modifications or medicine. You can also take preventative measures to avoid them in the first place. Controlling your blood sugar levels through a nutritious diet, moderate physical activity, and medication will reduce pain and other risk factors such as diabetic neuropathy.
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