Over time, a prolonged exposure to high blood sugar can damage the nerves throughout the body β€” a condition called diabetic neuropathy. Some people may not have any symptoms of the damage, while others may notice numbness, tingling, or pain in the extremities. β€œAt the beginning, [diabetic neuropathy] usually starts in the feet and then it progresses upward,” says Dr. Ovalle. Although most common in people who have had type 2 diabetes for 25 years or more, it can occur in people who have prediabetes as well. In some studies, almost 50 percent of unexplained peripheral neuropathy [in the extremities], whether painful or otherwise, turns out to be caused by prediabetes or diabetes, says Dr. Einhorn.
Emerging data suggest an important correlation between metabolic syndrome and risk of stroke. [58] Each of the components of metabolic syndrome has been associated with elevated stroke risk, and evidence demonstrates a relationship between the collective metabolic syndrome and risk of ischemic stroke. [59] Metabolic syndrome may also be linked to neuropathy beyond hyperglycemic mechanisms through inflammatory mediators. [60]
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