Anyone with diabetes may develop neuropathy but factors make you more susceptible to nerve damage:
- Poor blood sugar control – this is the greatest risk factor for every complication of diabetes including nerve damage. Keeping sugar levels under control protects your nerves and blood vessels.
- Length of time you have diabetes – The risk of diabetic neuropathy increases the longer you have diabetes and especially if it is poorly controlled.
- Kidney disease – diabetes damages kidneys and as a consequence, the increase in blood toxins contribute to nerve damage.
- Being overweight – Body mass index over 24 increases the risk of diabetic neuropathy.
- Smoking – damages the blood vessels reducing the flow to your legs and feet. These delays wound healing and damages nerves.