It’s not unusual for neurologist Eva Feldman, M.D., to see patients who are experiencing pain or strange sensations in their feet. “They say, ‘My feet hurt, and they hurt worse at night when the sheets are on them.’ ”
Another common complaint she hears: “It feels like bugs are biting the bottom of my feet,” says Feldman, a professor of neurology at the University of Michigan.
A simple blood test, she says, often reveals the cause: high blood sugar. The pain and tingling in their feet are early signs of a condition called peripheral neuropathy, which is a common complication of diabetes.
For many people, these foot symptoms are “the first clear, obvious sign that someone has diabetes or prediabetes,” she says. When caught very early, both the foot pain and the elevated blood sugar can sometimes be reversed, she explains, before permanent nerve damage sets in.
That’s one good example, she and other experts say, of why it’s so important not to ignore any pain, tingling, numbness or weakness in your feet or hands or other symptoms that suggest you could have a form of neuropathy — a catch-all term for damage to nerves that branch out from our brains and spinal cords to the rest of our bodies.
To learn more about neuropathy, including symptoms to pay attention to and causes of the condition, from AARP, CLICK HERE.