The main issue for people who suffer from diabetes is that their body cannot properly regulate levels of glucose in the blood. In diabetics, these glucose levels are often very high, and this has a direct effect on the nerves, along with a number of the body’s other functions and systems.
When blood glucose levels are high, the small blood vessels that supply nerves around the body become damaged. The consequence is that nerves cannot get the nutrients they need, and so nerve fibres are either damaged or disappear altogether.
This then leads to either sensory neuropathy – affecting nerves that deal with touch, pain, temperature and other skin-related sensations, autonomic neuropathy – affecting nerves that carry information to the organs and glands, or motor neuropathy – which has an effect on physical movement.