Diabetes Home > Diabetic Neuropathy
Symptoms depend on the type of diabetic neuropathy and which nerves are affected. Some people have no symptoms at all. For others, numbness, tingling, or pain in the feet is often the first sign.
Often, symptoms are minor at first, and since most nerve damage occurs over several years, mild cases may go unnoticed for a long time. 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.
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
(Click Diabetic Neuropathy Symptoms for more information about the specific signs that can occur with each type of neuropathy.)
In addition, the following symptoms are not due to diabetic neuropathy but nevertheless often accompany it:
- Weight loss
Diabetic neuropathy is diagnosed on the basis of symptoms, a physical exam, and the results of certain tests (see Diabetic Neuropathy Diagnosis for more information.)