Neuropathy is a general term used to describe damage to the nervous system or individual nerves. Though neuropathy is not unique to diabetes, it is a very common complication among those with poor blood glucose control.
Four types of neuropathy affect those with diabetes:
- Peripheral neuropathy: causes pain or loss of feeling in the toes, feet, legs, hands, and arms
- Autonomic neuropathy: causes changes in digestion, bowel and bladder function, sexual response, lungs, heart and eyes.
- Proximal neuropathy: causes pain in the thighs, hips, or buttocks and leads to weakness in the legs.
- Focal neuropathy: results in the sudden weakness of one nerve or a group of nerves, causing muscle weakness or pain.
Diabetic Neuropathies: The Nerve Damage of Diabetes. National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse. Accessed October 8, 2008. http://http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/neuropathies/