Can’t sleep because my feet and hands itch so bad. What’s causing this?

Published on

I am a type 2 diabetic. Just recently I have not been able to sleep because my feet and hands itch so bad. What is causing this? I’ve tried lotions but that doesn’t help. Please help.

Q: I am a type 2 diabetic. Just recently I have not been able to sleep because my feet and hands itch so bad. What is causing this? I've tried lotions but that doesn't help. Please help.

I'm sorry to hear that you are having a problem with itching in your hands and feet. It could possibly be a symptom of nerve damage known as peripheral neuropathy, a common complication of diabetes. However, you would likely have other symptoms as well, such as pain and numbness. A more likely cause could be that your blood sugar levels are too high. If you've noticed that your blood sugar readings have been increasing, it's important to get them under control before permanent nerve damage occurs. On the other hand, if your blood sugar levels are consistently less than 140 mg at all times (fasting and after meals), the itching probably isn't related to diabetes. At any rate, it's important to follow up with your doctor to discuss your symptoms, receive a definitive diagnosis, and potentially have your diabetes treatment changed (along with making lifestyle changes like cutting back on carbs) if the cause is determined to be elevated blood sugar levels. I wish you the best of luck with everything.

Answered By dLife Expert: Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE

Certified diabetes educator and registered dietitian living in Southern California.


The content of this website, such as text, graphics, images, and other material on the site (collectively, “Content”) are for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for, and dLife does not provide, professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. dLife does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on this site. Reliance on any information provided by dLife, its employees and other contributors or visitors to this site is done solely at your own risk. Any information you submit to dLife or this site may be published on this site and in other dLife products. dLife retains all rights to all contributions including submitted questions and expert answers.