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I’ve had diabetes for about 20 years and my feet have become more and more numb. Recently, I been getting burning pain in my toes as well. What is going on? What can I do?

It appears you have been developing diabetic neuropathy. People with diabetes often develop nerve damage caused by high sugar levels and decreased blood flow. The nerve damage is initially temporary but may become permanent if the blood sugar levels are not well controlled. Peripheral nerve damage often results in numbness, tingling, burning pain, and lack sensation.

The mainstay for treating diabetic neuropathy is with tight glucose control to prevent worsening of the symptoms. In addition, medication can be prescribed to treat the symptoms such as pain and numbness. Your primary care physician will be able to review your blood tests and prescribe the optimal medications to control your diabetes and your symptoms.

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