Diabetic Neuropathy Symptoms
In many cases, diabetic neuropathy symptoms are minor at first. Because most nerve damage occurs over several years, mild cases may go unnoticed for a long time. Some common signs and symptoms of diabetic neuropathy include problems with urination, erectile dysfunction, and numbness, tingling, or pain in the extremities.
Over time, people with diabetes can develop nerve damage throughout the body. Some people have no diabetic neuropathy symptoms at all. For others, numbness, tingling, and/or pain in the feet are often the first symptoms of this problem. Often, the symptoms are minor at first, and since most nerve damage occurs over several years, mild cases may go unnoticed for a long time.
Diabetic neuropathy symptoms may involve the sensory or motor nervous system, as well as the involuntary (autonomic) nervous system. In some people, mainly those with focal neuropathy, the onset of pain may be sudden and severe.
Common symptoms of diabetic neuropathy may include:
- Numbness, tingling, or pain in the toes, feet, legs, hands, arms, and fingers
- Wasting of the muscles of the feet or hands
- Indigestion, nausea, or vomiting
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Dizziness or faintness due to a drop in postural blood pressure
- Problems with urination
- Erectile dysfunction (diabetic impotence) or vaginal dryness
In addition, the following symptoms are not due to neuropathy but nevertheless often accompany diabetic neuropathy symptoms:
- Weight loss
As might be expected, a person's symptoms depend on the type of diabetic neuropathy and which nerves are affected.