What is Diabetic Neuropathy?

Diabetic neuropathy is a type of nerve damage that occurs in a large number of diabetic patients. The legs and feet are most commonly affected by this condition. The digestive system, blood vessels, urinary tract, and other systems of the body can also be affected.

Diabetic neuropathy can cause mild to severe symptoms. Symptoms of diabetic neuropathy can include:

  • Increased or decreased sensitivity to touch
  • Muscle weakness
  • Increased or decreased sweating
  • Digestive issues such as vomiting, nausea, bloating, constipation, and/or diarrhea
  • Vision disruption (double vision)
  • Bladder conditions
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Numbness or pain in the feet, legs, arms, and/or hands

Types of Diabetic Neuropathy

Neuropathy can affect diabetic patients in different ways. Common types of diabetic neuropathy include:

  • Peripheral neuropathy – This form of neuropathy tends to affect the legs and feet and/or the arms and hands.
  • Autonomic neuropathy – Nerve damage to the autonomic nervous system can result in problems with the digestive, endocrine, reproductive, and cardiovascular systems of the body.
  • Proximal neuropathy – Muscle weakness in the legs, along with sudden pain in the hips, thighs, or buttocks can be an indication of proximal neuropathy. This type of nerve damage often affects just one side of the body and can resolve on its own over time.
  • Focal neuropathy – Focal neuropathy most commonly causes weakness and sudden pain in the leg, torso, hand, or head. Carpal tunnel syndrome is one type of focal neuropathy, which is characterized by damage to a specific nerve or group of nerves.
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