Diabetic Neuropathy - Symptoms and Signs

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What are the symptoms and signs of diabetic neuropathy?

The symptoms and signs of diabetic neuropathy depend upon the type of neuropathy that is present. Signs and symptoms can also vary in severity among affected people.

Signs and symptoms of diabetic peripheral neuropathy include:

  • Numbness or tingling of the feet and lower legs
  • Pain or burning sensations
  • Loss of sensation in the feet or lower legs
  • Sometimes, but less commonly, symptoms can occur in the hands or arms

Signs and symptoms of diabetic proximal neuropathy include:

  • Pain, usually on one side, in the hips, buttocks, or thighs
  • Weakness of the legs

Signs and symptoms of diabetic autonomic neuropathy depend upon the organ system that is involved and can include:

  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Feeling full after eating a small amount
  • Erectile dysfunction in men
  • Incontinence of urine
  • Inability to empty the bladder completely
  • Decrease in vaginal lubrication in women
  • Profuse sweating, for example when eating or at night
  • Bloating
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Low blood pressure upon standing up suddenly (orthostatic hypotension)

Signs and symptoms of diabetic focal neuropathy also depend upon the location of the affected nerve.

The symptoms can appear suddenly. It usually does not cause a long term problem, and symptoms often improve over weeks to months. Symptoms can include:

  • Chest pain
  • Eye pain
  • Changes in vision
  • Bell's palsy (paralysis on one side of the face)
  • Pain in a localized area of the body
Return to Diabetic Neuropathy

See what others are saying

Comment from: OINKJOHNSON2, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: December 09

I have had peripheral neuropathy for about a year now. At first, my doctor simply told me to take ibuprofen for the pain. Then, we escalated to gabapentin (600 mg x 3 times daily). Then, we tried a sample of Lyrica. When my pain did not ease, we are now on oxycodone/acetaminophen twice daily. As I am simultaneously taking tamsulosin for enlarged prostate, I am in a bad way, 24 hours a day pain. I have an appointment with a neurologist for mid-January, but from my reading, I see little to cheer me up. I am going to bring up amputation! Existing with my current situation seems untenable.

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Comment from: ladybug, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 02

I have had diabetes for about 6 years now the doctor states I'm uncontrolled, I feel good at 600 to 700 but when I get down to the 100s I tend not to feel well. Within the last 2 years I have developed what is called reflex sympathetic dystrophy or RSD. It is nerve damage which can spread throughout the body. Well, I also have what they call restless leg syndrome so I thought that was the pins and needles in my feet; they hurt all the time. I'm on Oxycontin for nerve damage and I have grown immune to it. It hurts when I go to bed even when I keep my feet out from under the blankets. It seems to be spreading up my legs and my diabetes doctor calls me an enigma, so now I don't know what is left.

Was this comment helpful?Yes

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