Diabetic Neuropathy: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 4/6/2020

Diabetic neuropathy is a complication of diabetes. If diabetes is poorly controlled, the risk of neuropathy and other complications increases. The term neuropathy refers to nerve damage.

The signs and symptoms of diabetic neuropathy are commonly encountered in the extremities, often in the hands and feet. The condition is therefore sometimes referred to as peripheral neuropathy, although other conditions in addition to diabetes can cause peripheral neuropathy. Associated symptoms include a

  • sensation of pins and needles,
  • reduced sensation of touch,
  • weakness,
  • unusual sensations, and
  • an uncomfortable tingling and burning pain.

Other symptoms and signs that may also occur include

  • sexual dysfunction,
  • skin ulcers or poorly-healing wounds, and
  • a slowing of reflexes.

Cause of diabetic neuropathy

Diabetic neuropathy develops over the long term as a result of high blood sugar levels.

Other diabetic neuropathy symptoms and signs

  • Reduced Sensation of Touch
  • Sensation of Pins and Needles
  • Sexual Dysfunction
  • Skin Ulcers or Poorly Healing Wounds
  • A Slowing of Reflexes
  • An Uncomfortable Tingling and Burning Pain
  • Unusual Sensations
  • Weakness


Diabetes is defined best as... See Answer

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Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.