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Recent figures have revealed that almost 5.5 million people are likely to be living with diabetes within the next decade. The condition can lead to devastating events, including heart attack and kidney failure if left untreated. Being alert to the signs of high blood sugar, however, can help curtail the risk of permanent damage. One sensation in the legs may be more apparent in the evenings.
Diabetes is a condition characterised by unruly blood glucose – the main type of sugar found in the blood.
If levels are left to rise without regulation, this could lead to damage of the nerves.
The condition, medically known as neuropathy, causes acute symptoms in the extremities of the body.
Diabetes UK explains the condition causes “burning or shooting pains” which “may be worse at night time”.
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Pain in the legs is a sign that the nerves are no longer functioning properly, and may sometimes be accompanied by numbness or tingling.
The health body explains: “Sensory neuropathy affects the nerves that carry the message of touch, temperature, pain and other sensations from the skin, bone and muscles to the brain.
“It mainly affects the nerves in the feet and legs, but people can also develop this type of neuropathy in their arms and hands.”
The main danger of neuropathy for someone with diabetes is loss of feeling in the feet, which adds to the health body.
Likewise, untreated neuropathy could lead to the development of Charcot foot – a serious foot complication characterised by swelling.
According to Healthline, diabetic neuropathy may also cause numbness or tingling in your fingers, toes, hands, and feet.
“Another symptom is burning, sharp or aching pain. The pain may be mild at first, but it can get worse over time and spread up your legs or arms,” says Healthline.
Further symptoms of hyperglycaemia often encountered during the night include frequent and excessive urination and excessive thirst.
It is essential that those with diabetic neuropathy pay close attention to their blood sugar levels.
Keeping glucose levels steady overnight can also facilitate the management of high blood glucose the following day.
Slightly elevated blood sugar during the night will not pose a massive threat.
There are a number of reasons blood sugar levels may rise in the evening, but it is usually dictated by what you ate during the day, or how much exercise you did.
How to avoid complications
Because diabetes can reduce the blood supply to the feet, it’s crucial to have your feet checked annually.
Keeping your feet clean and free from infection, or wearing shoes that fit well, will also stave off problems in the feet.
Foot specialist Mike O’Neill, explains on the NHS website, that the risk of foot complications can be reduced by bringing blood sugar levels under control.
He said: “Ensure that your blood pressure and cholesterol levels are also monitored and controlled with medication if needed.”
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