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Diabetic Neuropathy Symptoms


Woman suffers from diabetic neuropathy symptomsThere are four primary categories of diabetic neuropathy. Patients could present with the symptoms of just one type or several. Most forms of diabetic neuropathy will develop slowly, and they may require certain medications to manage the symptoms. Patients probably won’t be aware of any issues until after significant damage has been dealt.

The symptoms of diabetic neuropathy will vary, depending on which nerves have been most affected and the type (peripheral neuropathy, autonomic neuropathy, radiculoplexus neuropathy, or mononeuropathy). If you have been diagnosed with this disease, then please know that there are diabetic neuropathy clinical trials which could offer many benefits for you.

Peripheral Neuropathy

This category of diabetic neuropathy is the most common. The disease will attack the nerves of the patient’s legs and feet first, followed by their arms and hands. Any of the following could be an indication for peripheral neuropathy:

  • Tingling or burning sensation
  • Not able to feel pain or alterations in the weather followed by general numbness in the area
  • Feeling unusual pain while taking a walk
  • Sharp, piercing pain that can get more pronounced at night
  • Very high level of sensitivity – sensation of pain at even the lightest touch
  • Weak muscles and difficulty walking
  • Complications in the feet, including infections, ulcers, joint pain, and deformities.

Autonomic Neuropathy

A person’s autonomic nervous system is responsible for controlling vital organs such as the heart, lungs, intestines, eyes, and even sex organs. Diabetic neuropathy can attack the nerves in any of these locations, which can lead to:

  • Urinary incontinence, frequent urinary tract infections, and other bladder problems
  • General cluelessness that blood sugar levels have dropped (something known as hypoglycemia unawareness)
  • Problems swallowing
  • Violent bouts of diarrhea, constipation, or an unfortunate combination of the two
  • Stomach does not empty fast enough, which can cause nausea, vomiting, and a loss of appetite
  • Men may experience some erectile dysfunction
  • Can cause vaginal dryness and other sexual dysfunction in women
  • Alteration in normal sweating patterns
  • The body may not be able to adequately adjust heart rate or blood pressure, which can cause someone to suddenly feel lightheaded or even faint upon standing
  • Alterations in the way that the irises are able to adjust from light to dark
  • Issues regulating body temperature
  • Elevated heart rate while at rest

Radiculoplexus Neuropathy (Diabetic Amyotrophy)

In contrast to peripheral neuropathy, radiculoplexus neuropathy will attack the nerves in the hips, thighs, legs, or buttocks. Radiculoplexus neuropathy is also called femoral neuropathy, diabetic amyotrophy, or proximal neuropathy, and it tends to be more common in people who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The symptoms of this condition usually present on one side of the patient’s body, but they can still spread to the other side as well. In the long run, most people will see some improvement in their symptoms, though they tend to get a little worse before they start to get better. Common symptoms of radiculoplexus neuropathy include:

  • Thigh muscles atrophy and become weaker
  • Sharp pain in the thigh, hip, or buttock
  • Problems standing after sitting down
  • Weight loss
  • When the abdomen is affected, this could cause some swelling

Mononeuropathy

As the name suggests, this condition involves damage to a single nerve. This specific nerve could be anywhere in the legs, torso, or even the face of the patient. The symptoms of mononeuropathy often come on quite rapidly, and it is more common in older adults. While it can cause excruciating pain, this condition does not usually lead to any long-term issues. The symptoms will often disappear on their own after a few weeks or months. The symptoms of mononeuropathy depend on which nerve has been attacked, but can include any of the following:

  • Pain in the foot or shin
  • Paralysis on one side of the face, otherwise known as Bell’s palsy
  • Pain in the front of the thigh
  • Experiencing double vision or otherwise not able to focus the eyes properly (may also cause a dull ache behind the eye)
  • Chest or abdominal pain

This is quite an extensive list, but if you believe that you have been experiencing any of the symptoms associated with diabetic neuropathy, then please be sure to contact your doctor as soon as possible. Without the appropriate treatment, this condition could cause significant damage.