Type 2 Diabetes Guide

Signs of Diabetic Neuropathy - Type 2 Diabetes

Neuropathy is a fancy term for nerve damage or nerve disease. Diabetic neuropathy causes damage to nerve endings throughout the body and symptoms include numbness, pain and digestion problems. Nerve damage may start before or after being diagnosed with and, without proper blood sugar level control, can lead to physical discomfort, outright pain, or in severe cases, death. Learning to recognize the will help to treat it early and prevent escalation.

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The nervous system is a complex collection of special cells that transmit temperature and pain signals from the body to the brain. They give us the sense of touch, allow us to control our muscles and even perform autonomous tasks like digestion, blood flow and breathing. Doctors have not conclusively determined what causes these critical cells to be damaged but speculate the following factors:

  • Long-term high blood sugar levels.
  • Interaction of glucose with certain proteins in the cells.
  • Autoimmune system response & history of the disease in the family.
  • Smoking & alcohol abuse.


There are four types of diabetic neuropathy. Diabetics may experience symptoms of more than one type. The symptoms are gradual, can vary between people and may even occur before .

Peripheral Neuropathy

This is the most common form of nerve damage for diabetics. Symptoms include:

  • Numbness or tingling in the , legs, hands and arms.
  • Loss of pain and temperature sensing.
  • Skin sensitive to touch or sharp, piercing pain, especially at night.
  • Loss of balance & coordination, weakness in the muscles.
  • Incurable foot infections, ulcers and joint pain.

Autonomic Neuropathy

Long-term type 2 diabetics with poorly-controlled blood sugar levels may suffer from the following:

  • Weak bladder control with frequent urinary tract infections.
  • Digestive problems, abdominal pains, diarrhea or constipation.
  • Nausea, vomiting or slow stomach emptying.
  • , vaginal dryness or other discomforts with the sex organs.
  • Changes in sweating patterns.
  • Sharp drop in blood pressure after sitting or standing which may lead to dizziness & weakness.
  • Trouble regulating body temperature.
  • Light sensitivity in the eyes when going from light to dark.

Proximal Neuropathy

This complication mainly inflicts people with type 2 diabetes and is characterized by:

  • Pain in the hip, thigh and buttocks making sitting, standing and walking difficult.
  • Muscle atrophy may occur as these muscles become weaker.
  • Pain may start on one side of the body and may spread into the abdominal area.
  • Weight loss may occur.

Focal Neuropathy

Often found in older adults, focal neuropathy comes on suddenly, is usually focused on a single area and may last for only a short duration. Symptoms include:

  • Eye troubles (eye aches, double vision, focusing trouble).
  • Paralysis on one side of the face.
  • Pain in the foot or lower leg.
  • Pain in the wrist, similar to carpal tunnel syndrome.


There is no known cure for diabetic neuropathy and the most effective treatment is to slow the progression of the symptoms and . Regimented control of blood sugar levels is the key while some medication and exercise may restore functions. To help slow nerve damage:

Even though there is no known medical or alternative treatment for diabetic neuropathy, there are things you can do to slow its progress. A lifestyle change must incorporate regular exercise and a healthy food plan to maintain proper weight, blood pressure and blood sugar levels. If you are showing signs of diabetic neuropathy but have not been diagnosed as diabetic, consult with your healthcare provider who will discuss , personal history, , and any you may be experiencing. Should a be confirmed, a plan can then be prepared to suit your individual needs.



The information on this website is based on our own research and personal experience, and is not a substitute for medical advice. Questions about your health and individual situation should be directed to your doctor.