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Symptoms of Diabetic neuropathy

Symptoms of Diabetic neuropathy: Introduction

People with diabetic neuropathy can experience a variety of symptoms that include abnormal or unusual sensations. Symptoms include sensations of pain, numbness, pins and needles, tingling, or prickling that begins in the feet. In later stages, the hands can be affected as well. In some cases, the abnormal sensations can extend to the arms, legs, and trunk. Diabetic neuropathy can also affect the muscles, especially in the thighs, resulting in weakness, atrophy, difficulty standing and walking. Foot deformities may also develop and there may foot pain and joint pain. These symptoms can be progressive, especially if blood sugar levels are not well controlled and eventually result in disability.

Diabetic neuropathy can also affect the blood pressure, resulting in orthostatic hypotension, in which the blood pressure drops abnormally when a person rises from a lying position to a standing position. Symptoms of orthostatic hypotension, include dizziness, feeling lightheaded, and fainting (syncope) when standing. Syncope can result in injuries due to falling.

People with diabetic neuropathy are at risk for serious complications, including foot ulcers that can become infected and lead to gangrene, especially in the feet. These infections can be very difficult to cure and may lead to amputation of the affected area of the body. This can occur because in some cases there is numbness and an inability to feel pain after an injury or as an infection develops. This can lead to the development of a serious infection before the person is aware there is a problem. In addition, the high levels of blood sugar due to diabetes also damage the blood vessels of the body, impairing the healing process.

Sometimes diabetic neuropathy can affect nerves that transmit electrical signal from the brain to organs, such as the bladder, intestine, or stomach. This can result in an inability to empty the bladder completely. This can lead to increased urinary tract infections. There may also be nausea, vomiting, bloating, diarrhea, or constipation. Men with diabetic neuropathy can experience impotence, and women may have vaginal dryness. Sweating may also be impaired.

Blood pressure readings may drop abnormally when a person with diabetic neuropathy goes from a lying position to a standing position. This is called orthostatic hypotension. In addition, the pulse may be abnormally high.

There are other symptoms and complications that can commonly accompany diabetic neuropathy. These include peripheral vascular disease and hyperglycemia....more about Diabetic neuropathy »

Symptoms of Diabetic neuropathy

The list of signs and symptoms mentioned in various sources for Diabetic neuropathy includes the 10 symptoms listed below:

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Diabetic neuropathy: Symptom Checkers

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Diabetic neuropathy: Symptom Assessment Questionnaires

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Diabetic neuropathy: Complications

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Do I have Diabetic neuropathy?

Diabetic neuropathy: Medical Mistakes

Diabetic neuropathy: Undiagnosed Conditions

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Home Diagnostic Testing

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Wrongly Diagnosed with Diabetic neuropathy?

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Diabetic neuropathy: Research Doctors & Specialists

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Other Possible Causes of these Symptoms

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Article Excerpts About Symptoms of Diabetic neuropathy:

Diabetic Neuropathy The Nerve Damage of Diabetes: NIDDK (Excerpt)

The symptoms of diabetic neuropathy vary. Numbness and tingling in feet are often the first sign. Some people notice no symptoms, while others are severely disabled. Neuropathy may cause both pain and insensitivity to pain in the same person. Often, symptoms are slight at first, and since most nerve damage occurs over a period of years, mild cases may go unnoticed for a long time. In some people, mainly those afflicted by focal neuropathy, the onset of pain may be sudden and severe. (Source: excerpt from Diabetic Neuropathy The Nerve Damage of Diabetes: NIDDK)

NINDS Diabetic Neuropathy Information Page: NINDS (Excerpt)

Diabetic neuropathy, a nerve disorder caused by diabetes, is characterized by a loss or reduction of sensation in the feet, and in some cases the hands, and pain and weakness in the feet. The symptoms of diabetic neuropathy, which vary among patients, are often slight at first. In fact, some mild cases may go unnoticed for a long time. The first sign of the disease is usually numbness, pain, or tingling in the hands, feet, or legs. After several years this may lead to weakness in the muscles of the feet. Occasionally, diabetic neuropathy can flare up suddenly and affect a specific nerve that may result in double vision or drooping of the eyelid, or weakness and atrophy of the thigh muscles. Nerve damage caused by diabetes generally occurs over a period of years and may lead to problems with internal organs including the digestive tract and sexual organs. These problems can then tend to cause indigestion, diarrhea or constipation, dizziness, bladder infections, and impotence. The loss of sensation in the feet is important as it may increase the possibility of injuries of which the patient is not aware. These foot injuries can develop into ulcers or lesions that can become infected. In some cases, ulcers may not heal and amputation may be required. (Source: excerpt from NINDS Diabetic Neuropathy Information Page: NINDS)

Diabetic neuropathy as a symptom:

For a more detailed analysis of Diabetic neuropathy as a symptom, including causes, drug side effect causes, and drug interaction causes, please see our Symptom Center information for Diabetic neuropathy.

Medical articles and books on symptoms:

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About signs and symptoms of Diabetic neuropathy:

The symptom information on this page attempts to provide a list of some possible signs and symptoms of Diabetic neuropathy. This signs and symptoms information for Diabetic neuropathy has been gathered from various sources, may not be fully accurate, and may not be the full list of Diabetic neuropathy signs or Diabetic neuropathy symptoms. Furthermore, signs and symptoms of Diabetic neuropathy may vary on an individual basis for each patient. Only your doctor can provide adequate diagnosis of any signs or symptoms and whether they are indeed Diabetic neuropathy symptoms.


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