Kidney disease is a complication of diabetes that can lead to nerve damage, eventually causing neuropathy. In diabetes patients, kidney disease develops because elevated blood sugar leads to high blood pressure. This high blood pressure also increases the pressure within the filtering system of the kidneys, which is comprised of clusters of blood vessels that remove toxins. Symptoms of kidney disease include itching, shortness of breath, insomnia, loss of appetite, muscle cramps, and swelling in the legs and feet. Patients with kidney problems are often advised to eat a diet low in protein to reduce the waste products in the bloodstream. Doctors typically begin by using medications that reduce blood pressure and swelling in the lower limbs. Patients may also be given medicines to treat anemia and protect against bone damage. For later stages of kidney disease, patients will need dialysis, and some patients may ultimately need to have a kidney transplant.
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