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Can You Have Neuropathy Without Having Diabetes?

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The answer to this question is simple.

Yes, you can have neuropathy without diabetes. In fact, the list of possible causes is very long. However, diabetes is the most common cause because it can cause serious damage to the nerves in the extremities of the body, especially the feet and hands. In fact, the condition that many people talk about (and unfortunately suffer from) is called peripheral neuropathy.

The word “peripheral” refers to the edges of the body, such as the feet, lower legs, hands, and wrists. Diabetes is one cause, along with alcoholism, vitamin B12 deficiency, thyroid problems, protein disorders, kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, poisoning from heavy metals or other toxins, autoimmune diseases, etc.

Disease of the Nerves

Neuropathy is a disease of the nerves, with diabetic neuropathy being a specific type. Inflammation can cause the problem, as can diseases such as shingles. Some people find temporary relief by placing an ice pack on the affected area, but as you can imagine, this relief is short-lived. You should probably take more permanent steps to deal with your nerve pain.

If you really have neuropathy, you're likely to feel tingling or numbness, and you may experience more intense pain – sharp, stabbing, burning. Some people go to a doctor to ask about something like a swollen ankle or pain in the feet that is causing them excruciating pain. When they are told they have neuropathy, they often respond by saying, “But I'm not diabetic.

Then the doctor tells them that there are dozens of other causes of nerve pain. A swollen ankle may not be neuropathy because this condition usually involves skin or surface pain, including the burning or stabbing sensations mentioned. Swelling may occur, but it's not a reason to immediately suspect neuropathy. For example, one person found the cause to be the chemotherapy she was receiving to treat cancer. This is not uncommon.

Smoking Etc.

Medical histories and separate studies have shown that neuropathy is related to the tobacco smoking habit. As mentioned, neuropathy is a disease of the nerves, and regular tobacco use can cause damage to the nerves in the extremities. If you're a smoker and you've started to experience tingling and numbness in your toes or fingertips, you may want to seriously consider quitting.

There's no guarantee that this will stop the tingling. But it could not only help, it could prevent future pain and more serious health problems. Swelling from an injury may accompany nerve damage, as injuries are definitely a potential cause of neuropathy. It's important for individuals to learn more from reliable sources if they are experiencing the sensations and pain described.

While many cases of neuropathy are idiopathic, a large number of cases can be diagnosed and linked to a specific cause. (Idiopathic simply means that the cause is unknown.)

At this point, it may be wise to take a closer look at the possible causes of neuropathy, nerve damage, and nerve pain. Some people report burning, tingling, and even pain in their feet and legs, yet they don't take steps to find the cause and begin treatment. Furthermore, remember to visit our store to check out the effective neuropathy products available.

Speaking of Causes

Chronic alcohol use and the consistent use of some prescription drugs can be causes of nerve damage. There is a lot you can do in these situations, although making lifestyle changes can sometimes be extremely difficult. If you have been in a situation that has exposed you to heavy metals such as mercury, you could also develop neuropathy. Some people have found that a medical condition like thyroid problems eventually leads to nerve pain or damage.

Eating right can be a very important way to treat current neuropathy problems and can help you avoid future problems. Vitamin deficiencies can lead to nerve damage, another source of the problem that can be addressed through diet and lifestyle changes. There are also hereditary conditions that can lead to neuropathy, although these may need to be diagnosed by a doctor.

In summary, diabetes is only one possible cause of this condition. Be an educated consumer and learn more about self-care and healthy living to prevent nerve pain and damage.

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Louise E Pardini

I never connected the second vaccine shot with the misery I am suffering in both of my feet. Been blaming it on my blood pressure pills: they are contributors, but a necessary evil. Thank you for mentioning the vaccine, have some of the other problems you mentioned. Good luck.


I too have never connected the vaccine with my tingling burning feet/hands. However would not want to cast blame as vaccine a life saver. Suspect it could be my long term b.pressure meds. Frustrating, as course of Vit B12 did not help either. May return to dr for more blood tests. Age nearly 75 so not surprising to have medical discomforts. That apart, I was always very fit but have lost a lot of weight re a big move from UK to Australia, the sheer energy it has taken and Im suffering homesickness. Too old for such a big move Im thinking. Best wishes to All.

Stephen Knudsen

Does anyone out there have any experience with neuropathy as induced by reactive hypoglycemia?
My girlfriend “thinks” she has diabetic neuropathy, yet every doctor has told her that her A1-C scores which range from 5.9 to about 6.2 “suggest” that she’s not diabetic…. not yet. However, she exhibits what can only be interpreted as hypoglycemic symptoms: waking up in the middle of the night with the “shakes” and intense hunger, headaches, and (of course) what appears to be neuropathic pain. We’re getting her a glucose meter and I’m going to try testing her myself for blood sugar readings below 70mg/dl an hour or two after she has a meal. She also has unexplained heart palpitations… and the cardio tests don’t reveal anything.


Hi Stephen. I read you info about your girlfriend with interest. Hypoglycemia isn’t the same first indicator of diabetes. Hyperglycemia (elevated blood glucose) is. Symptoms AR usually increased thirst, hunger, urinary frequency and weight loss. Hypoglycemia can indicate other issues such as chronic kidney disease. The symptoms you did the do fit a hypoglycemic episode. Diabetics experience these symptoms in response to medications they take for blood sugar control, such as insulin when they haven’t consumed enough calories. If you plan is testing her blood sugar, do it while she is exhibiting symptoms and keep a log to show her doctor. Testing after a meal won’t show the numbers causing the symptoms as glucose levels chang frquently throughout the day. Inexpensive glucose meters can be purchased at Wal-Mart or Walgreens for under $30, which include 50 test strips in a film container sized kit where the cap is the actual meter. Regarding peripheral neuropathy and diabetes, it is the high glucose levels that damage the nerves and other organs. So looking in a different direction with your health care provider may be best. Keeping a log of all symptoms whether or not they may seem like they are related will help figure out what is going on. Good luck!

Stephen Knudsen

Hello Deborah,
I cannot remember if I had replied to your 9 July post, perhaps only via Gmail. But thank you. My GF does have a glucose meter, and she has told me of at least one “spike” to 143 mg/dL
( ? the correct nomenclature ? ) and normally runs between 120 and 110. Now, with the poor responses she’s received from a variety of “specialists” she’s sort of given up on conventional medicine. Tucson has “health care” in sorry shape; overworked office staff, too many patients per doctor, etc. I’m going to pay for her to go to a “naturopathic” doctor if she cannot get a referral to a diabetes specialist. She has an odd metabolism, inherited from her mother.

Eleanor Miller

I think my neuropathy came from trauma. I feel and broke both my femurs and had to be operated on. I feel again a few months later and fractured my pelvis, but did not need surgery. My doctor is not very helpful. I am gabapentin. Is it helping, I do not know but afraid to go off it as I could then have alot of pain. All I have now is tightness in my toes and feet. Hopefully it will stay that way. From what I have been reading going to a neurologist doesn’t really help. All they do is give you meds.


my neuropathy has started after the vaccine. I have a stabbing burning now but at the first it was diagnosed as plantar fasciatis. The foot doc said that if it hurts when not walking on the foot, then it is neuropathy. I didn’t think that the jabs were the root cause as it showed up a year after the two vacinations. I also had long covid and severe lung damage. Thank God I didn’t get admitted to the hospital. Just six weeks to get my energy and breath back. But now, the foot pain is very troubling. It comes and goes.

Sandra Stella

Your symptoms are from long hauler Covid, not the vaccine.

Brian Chidichimo

Just curious how many people developed this condition. After mRNA vaccine.
Not saying it’s the cause just wondering if it’s possible

judy Lex

my ankel was broken,had surgery and and after 2 nd cast 2 days later mt toes felt frostbitten at that time always wore sock thoght help. had nerve test done in fargo said nothing wrong,But there is cant find no medical help.
Most time toes hurt at night did tingel for long time. I know something wrong
Any body have suggestion



Brian Chidichimo

Wow. Me too. Was totally fine into the vaccine, now have dyspnea and arms and legs lose circulation and tingle
Worst is when sleeping

Sandra Stella

I am a nurse. I have found that patients with undiagnosed autoimmune diseases had them triggered from the vaccine. Any vaccine boosts the immune system which can trigger an autoimmune disease or exacerbate it. Also I have found many patients were positive with Covid before or during the time they had the vaccine. The symptoms you describe can be related to long hauler symptoms of Covid, even if you didn’t feel ill.

Sandra Stella

Your symptoms sound like long hauler symptoms post Covid. You may have had Covid without your knowledge, thinking it was something else.

Johnnye Denman

Unlike other types of vaccines, the COVID vaccine does not contain any harmful ingredients. In fact, Moderna’s website lists all of the ingredients in their vaccine. People are scared because they don’t know this, so why don’t you look it up online, read it, and put your mind at rest. If you are still alive, you no doubt have the vaccine to thank for it.

Homer Barnhardt Sr

With all due respect Mr Denman, there are reports of hundreds of thousands of side effects from the Vaccine including many hundreds of deaths. There are reports all over the literature, and if I’m not mistaken the CDC has recently reported upwards of 50K side effects. I have had the recommended vaccine, but in retrospect I would not do it again.

Hughmore Foryough

We should be careful not to blame anything on the vaccine, the drug companies make a lot of money off the mandatory vaccine that turned out to be only 20% effective and we don’t want to upset their profit margin.


bs. i havent been sick and I dont have it. I even tested neg. vaxing .. ask that old man biden. hes the president and hes had it twice. I warn ya dont be jumping in the gator pit when the monkey pox headlines lead you to do it. Govt doesnt care about you. The more that die the more they smile with glee. How about you read between the lines.


2nd Vaccine has had horrific side affects. I work in the medical field and so many thngs are being hid.


Ms. Iverson, I’m experiencing this issue. I was total fine until I got the 2nd vaccine. I’ve been diagnosed with periphal neuropathy. The pain is crazy. I had a MRI done on yesterday. I had my 1st injection that was given to me in my neck. It did not help. I’m wondering did it come from the vaccine. This is crazy.

Homer Barnhardt Sr

Probably did. Government is not reporting to the public the man problems associated with the jab, however many many Jillian Barre Syndrome has been reported. This is a serious effect on the lower extremeties, sometimes paralysis of the legs.

Louise E Pardini

I never connected the second vaccine shot with the misery I am suffering in both of my feet. Been blaming it on my blood pressure pills: they are contributors, but a necessary evil. Thank you for mentioning the vaccine, have some of the other problems you mentioned. Good luck.

scott mcgill

I take pregabalin for the pain with little help. I’m with everyone else I can’t believe the doctors can’t figure out the pain with their vast knowledge. I’m really concerned about the long term outcome of this disease. I’ve had multiple blood tests which indicate that my blood is normal but I know something is wrong. I plan to have an mri of my brain and go to a disc center due to back pain. I’m sorry for everyone is dealing with this pain.

Albert Harshman

I have had idiopathic peripheral neuropathy since 1984, although there was no definitive diagnosis until the late 90s. I’ve been taking Lyrica for years but it does little to relieve the pain. The Dr.s have tried Relaxation therapy, self hypnosis, Fentanyl, Methadone. Nothing worked. My Neurologist gave up on me, saying I had exceeded his experience level. Next week I see a new Neurologist at Oklahoma University Medical Center. Maybe, in the years since, they will have a better idea of how to treat it.

M Cooper

Was there a breakthrough? I also have idiopathic peripheral neuropathy. I am now trying acupuncture. By chance do you have hypothyroidism? So far nothing is working for me.


My husband does not have diabetes but suffers from neuropathy. His father did as well and was also not diabetic. My husband started having problems in his mid 50s and now he has a wound on his toe that isn’t healing. He’s been referred to a wound care specialist. He is frustrated because he has lost 55 pounds, he has never drank that much alcohol and doesn’t smoke. His dad was the same. It is frustrating because no one can either tell him how to treat it or what the cause might be. Every day he is losing nerve function. It’s hard to believe that modern day medicine can’t do anything. He takes some medications but they don’t help. Are there any clinical trials he might be able to participate in?


try oxi it worked for me right away, and or CBD oil, which I take when I have a flare-up. Good luck.


oxi / not oxy?

Homer Lee Barnhardt Sr

My feet and hands were frostbitten in Korea in 1954-55. I have severe Peripheral Neuropathy (diagnosed by Neurologist) Could there be a cause relationship from this damage many yeas ago? I am not diabetic have not taken drugs that have been implemented, Looking forwarded to your opinion.


In July of ’11 I had two back to back cardiac arrests and of course an emergency quad bypass. One of the first memories I have after coming out of all the drugs they had me on to keep me calm and quiet physically, was an outrageously bad pain in my feet. It was so bad I couldn’t even stand the touch of the bed sheet on either foot. I’m NOT diabetic(I’ve been continuously tested every year since then and still no diabetes). Out of all the Dr.s I have, none so far has come up with any idea what happened to cause it and now going on 9 years later still have it. Any ideas because it’s literally killing me when they give me some very strong pain meds to take every four hours and it still doesn’t relieve the pain, especially the spikes that go OFF the chart of 1-10 when I deal with a life of the pain as a 10 every day as is. I remember that Dr. told me to get my legal affairs in order since I most likely wouldn’t see the end of ’13 and it’s now officially Spring of ’19. I SO wish he would’ve been right, but there’s more than just the neuropathy. I still have the heart issues, PAD, COPD, tremors of some unknown source or cause to the point I can no longer write, draw, sculpt, make my own home made meals (I’d sorta like to keep my fingers….I’m sorta attached to ’em!), I NEVER have any energy, I dropped over 60lbs in about a year but none of my Dr.s seem alarmed. I don’t know what’s going on with me, but I know it’s not fun and for others with just the neuropathy alone, you have my sympathy. I just wish I had a cure. There is no quality of life for me anymore at all but I’m NOT suicidal. Too chicken %hit to try I guess. I just take pills everyday and nothing gets better with Dr.s spread out over three counties. I guess the upside, if there is one, is that it gets me out of the house for appointments, which are many.


Sciatica pain I have isn’t always in my lower back but my feet for the last two years. Went to podiatrists who kept saying it was planters fasciitis. When I receive back injections of cortisteroids for my bulging discs in L4 and L5 vertebrae my foot and heel pain goes away. Your sciatic nerve goes all the down your legs and into your feet. Do you have any problems with your lower back?


I can relate, my neuropathy was also above 10. I tried all different combinations of meds, from Fosamax. pregabalin, even anti-depresants. I could not go on like this, so the last solution was opioids, Oxi. Well, 1 pill and for the first time in 2 1/2 years I was pain-free, it was an incredible feeling. I have been on it for over 15 years. I only had to up the dose once a couple of years ago. But now the pain is always there but at a 4-5 is tolerable. I still get some flare-ups, and I have found that CBD oil has worked to squash them. Best of luck, I rather live on opioids and survive than with nothing and cry all day.

Karl Grey

Hi Pete
I have this condition from 3 back surgeries and it’s miserable. I used to get adequate pain care from the VA but since this Opioid scare I can no longer get the pain meds I used to get. I was taking time release morphine twice a day and dilaudid for breakthrough pain. The medication went straight to the pain. I never felt high or out of it in any way. Now, I’m just miserable and in pain all the time. I do have one doctor who can prescribe Hydrocodone for me which mitigates some of the pain but it’s really not the correct medication for this condition. It’s hard for me to understand how a society can allow a drug war to place legitimate patients back into pain that was handled well previously. Good luck to you. Karl Grey


I totally understand! Quality of life = good healthy happy life but Quantity of life = want to have shorter life to get out of the pain and misery! Usually every time I feel this way I’m confronted with someone worse off than I am! Then I feel guilty. then I pray for that person even if I do not know them. After that I always feel better with a little of renewed hope!


Can someone have long term nerve damage/ neuropathy from a torn muscle?

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