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How diabetic neuropathy can affect someone’s ability to work

On Behalf of | Feb 17, 2024 | Social Security Disability

Diabetic neuropathy is a complication of diabetes that affects the nerves throughout the body. It can significantly affect people’s ability to work.

For example, high blood sugar levels over time can damage nerve endings. This often leads to various symptoms that can hinder the capacity to work. People with this condition may seek SSDI for financial support.

Nerve damage in extremities

The nerve damage associated with diabetic neuropathy commonly affects the extremities, including the arms, hands, legs and feet. This can result in tingling, numbness or pain in these areas, making it difficult to use them effectively. For individuals whose work requires manual dexterity or standing for extended periods, such symptoms can significantly impair their ability to perform job duties.

Impact on mobility

Mobility is necessary in many occupations, and diabetic neuropathy can compromise it. Weakness or instability in the legs and feet can make walking or standing for long periods challenging. This limitation may affect various professions, from those in retail or health care to roles that involve fieldwork or physical labor.

Risk of falls and accidents

The loss of sensation in the feet due to diabetic neuropathy increases the risk of falls and other accidents. In jobs that involve operating machinery or working at heights, impaired sensation can lead to safety concerns both for the individual and their co-workers.

Chronic pain and fatigue

Chronic pain and fatigue are common symptoms of diabetic neuropathy that can impact one’s ability to work effectively. Persistent discomfort or exhaustion can make it difficult to concentrate, meet deadlines or perform tasks efficiently. This ultimately affects job performance and productivity.

Emotional well-being

Living with diabetic neuropathy can also take a toll on emotional well-being, which in turn can affect work performance. Dealing with chronic pain, limitations in mobility and the uncertainty of managing a chronic condition can lead to stress, anxiety or depression. All of these have the potential to interfere with job satisfaction and effectiveness.

Understanding these challenges is important for individuals with diabetic neuropathy who are seeking SSDI benefits.