Diabetes can affect any nerve at any time throughout the body. The four main types of diabetic neuropathy include:
A person may have symptoms of just one type or of the several types depending on the nerves that are affected. The nerve damage progresses slowly and the symptoms develop gradually. Therefore, the problems may not become evident until considerable damage has occurred. Some cases with type 2 diabetes may come to attention because of symptoms of neuropathy (even before diabetes is diagnosed). Signs and symptoms that a person may experience depends on the type of neuropathy and nerves that are affected.
When the peripheral nerves in the body are damaged, it is known as peripheral neuropathy. It is the most common form of diabetic neuropathy. The ends of long nerves are affected first such as the nerves of the feet and legs followed by the nerves of hands and arms. Some signs and symptoms of peripheral neuropathy are:
When the autonomic nerves in the body are damaged, it is referred to as autonomic neuropathy. Autonomic nerves control functions such as heartbeat, blood pressure, sweating, digestion, urination, and sexual function. Autonomic neuropathy like most other complications of diabetes occurs in people with poorly controlled diabetes for many years. Diabetes can affect any autonomic nerve and cause symptoms such as:
Radiculoplexus neuropathy (diabetic amyotrophy)
When the nerves closer to your hips or shoulders are affected rather than the nerve endings in peripheral neuropathy, it is known as radiculoplexus neuropathy (or diabetic amyotrophyor proximal neuropathy); it is most often seen in people with type 2 diabetes and older adults. In most cases, the legs are affected more commonly, but this type of neuropathy may affect other nerves such as those in the arms or even the abdomen. It usually involves one side of the body; therefore, the symptoms are usually on one side of the body, but in some cases the neuropathy may involve the other side too. Symptoms of diabetic amyotrophyor proximal neuropathy include:
Mononeuropathy (focal neuropathy)
In some cases, the disease may involve just one nerve such as nerve in the face, arm, wrist, thigh, or foot; this disease is known as mononeuropathy (or focal neuropathy). Symptoms of focal neuropathy occur suddenly and occur most often in older adults. Mononeuropathy can cause severe and sharp pain, but it doesn't cause any long-term problems as the symptoms reduce and disappear in some time (over few weeks or months). Some signs and symptoms of mononeuropathy (or focal neuropathy) include:
Read more articles on Diabetic Neuropathies Signs and Symptoms
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