The Different Forms of Diabetic Neuropathy to Watch For

If you're diabetic, you've probably heard the term 'diabetic neuropathy' thrown around. Many books and doctors have probably warned you about it, but what does it really mean?

Neuropathy, in general, is caused by blood vessel damage due to prolonged high glucose levels in the blood. They impede nerves from sending signals to the brain.

Much depends on the type of neuropathy you experience. Here are symptoms you should know about.

Peripheral Neuropathy

This is the most common type of neuropathy that diabetics experience in the feet, legs, hands and arms. You may experience numbness, tingling, burning, loss of sensation, muscle weakness, sharp pain and cramps. If you're afflicted in the legs, it could cause a loss of balance and coordination. Injuries to the feet can become serious due to poor circulation, and infection is a major concern.

Autonomic Neuropathy

This type of neuropathy effects your body's autonomic systems. It can interfere with your heartbeat, breathing, digestion, sexual response and breathing. Some signs include bladder problems, constipation, diarrhea, sexual dysfunction, increased heart rate and difficulty regulating your body temperature.

Radiculoplexus Neuropathy

Effecting the thighs, hips, buttocks and legs, this type of neuropathy is usually only felt on one side of the body. Symptoms include pain in the hip, thigh or buttock area, stiff or weak muscles, abdominal swelling or weight loss.


This type of neuropathy is when a single nerve is damaged in the face, torso or leg. It may result in facial paralysis, eye problems and pain in various places on your body.

It's important to discuss neuropathy with your health care provider if you experience any symptoms. In most cases, neuropathy is treatable, but it can lead to serious complications if ignored.

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