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Mary Pickett, M.D., is a lecturer for Harvard Medical School and an assistant professor of medicine at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, OR. At OHSU, she practices general internal medicine and teaches medical residents and students.


Is diabetic neuropathy reversible? I've had symptoms for less than a year.


Diabetic neuropathy comes from poorly-functioning nerves. It can be caused by high blood sugar levels in diabetes.

When neuropathy is in its early stages, nerves can recover and symptoms can improve. But you need healthy blood sugar levels. To do this, always take your medicines. And go for routine doctor visits so your dose can be adjusted when needed.

If diabetic neuropathy has been causing symptoms for years, it is likely that you have permanent nerve damage. In its early stages, neuropathy can cause pain and tingling in the feet. As neuropathy becomes more advanced, the pain goes away and is replaced by numbness.

Last Annual Review Date: 2012-02-07 Copyright: Copyright Harvard Health Publications

Reference: Diabetes section on Better Medicine

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60 – 70% of people with diabetes have some form of neuropathy.