High blood sugar is toxic to your nerves. Uncontrolled high blood sugar damages nerves and interferes with their ability to send signals, leading to diabetic neuropathy. High blood sugar weakens the walls of the small blood vessels (capillaries) that supply the nerves with oxygen and nutrients. But if you know their warning signs, you can nip them in the bud or keep them from getting worse. When a nerve is damaged and misfiring, you may feel tingling, pins and needles, burning or sharp, stabbing pain.
Diabetic neuropathy typically starts in your toes, feet or ankles and creeps up your body as the condition worsens. The nerve damage generally develops slowly. That means you might be able to treat it before it worsens but getting the right diagnosis isn’t always easy.