Diabetic Neuropathy

What is diabetic neuropathy?

Diabetic neuropathy is nerve damage from high blood glucose (sugar) levels in people with diabetes. Nerves throughout the body can suffer damage. People with poor glucose control and who have had diabetes for a long time are at highest risk for nerve damage.

  1. What are the types of diabetic neuropathy?

Two main types of diabetic neuropathy are distal polyneuropathy (DPN) and autonomic neuropathy.

  1. What is Diabetic distal polyneuropathy (DPN) and what are its symptoms?

This is the most common type of diabetic neuropathy that affects the limbs mainly your feet. This affects the sensitivity of your feet, legs, hands, and arms. It also can affect the movement of your limbs. Symptoms of DPN include-

  • Pain, tingling, and burning
  • Numbness and loss of feeling
  • Muscle weakness
  • Skin ulcers (open sores)

About half of people who have DPN might not have symptoms, except for losing feeling in their feet. Because of this feeling loss, they could injure their feet and not know it. Untreated foot injuries can lead to ulcers and infection and, sometimes, amputation.

  1. What is Diabetic autonomic neuropathy and what are its symptoms?

Autonomic neuropathy affects your urinary tract, digestive system, sex organs, sweat glands, eyes, and heart. Symptoms of autonomic neuropathy include

  • Bladder problems (loss of bladder control, not being able to fully empty the bladder, frequent urinary tract infections)
  • Digestive system problems (bloating, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation)
  • Erectile dysfunction in men and sexual problems in women
  • Too much or too little sweating
  • Dizziness when you stand up