Skip to content

Diabetes Health Center

Font Size

Diabetic Neuropathy - Symptoms

Diabetic neuropathy—especially peripheral neuropathy—initially may not cause any noticeable symptoms. If you have diabetes, it is important to have regular medical checkups to check for signs of neuropathy and treat problems before they become serious.

Symptoms of diabetic neuropathy may vary depending on the type of neuropathy you have.

Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy tends to develop slowly over months or years. In general, symptoms may include:

  • Reduced feeling or numbness in the feet.
  • Over time, tightness, burning, shooting, or stabbing pain in the feet, hands, or other parts of the body. Bone and joint deformities can develop, especially in the feet (such as Charcot foot camera.gif).
  • Greatly reduced or greatly increased sensitivity to light touch or temperature.
  • Weakness and loss of balance and coordination.

Symptoms of autonomic neuropathy

Autonomic neuropathy may affect digestion, the body's ability to regulate temperature, urination, sexual function, and heart and blood vessel function, including blood pressure. Symptoms may get worse during pregnancy. In general, symptoms may include:

Symptoms of focal neuropathy

Symptoms of focal neuropathy usually appear suddenly. They may include:

  • Pain, weakness, and motor problems in a single area of the body, such as a wrist, thigh, or foot. In cases of a compressed or pinched nerve, soreness and pain may develop more gradually over several weeks or months.
  • Pain in and around one of your eyes, trouble moving an eye, and double vision. Focal neuropathy may sometimes affect the nerves that control your eye muscles.

Symptoms of focal neuropathy usually get better over time. But focal neuropathy may be permanent.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: August 13, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    1
    Next Article:

    Is This Normal? Get the Facts Fast!

    Check Your Blood Sugar Level Now
    What type of diabetes do you have?
    Your gender:

    Get the latest Diabetes newsletter delivered to your inbox!


    or
    Answer:
    Low
    0-69
    Normal
    70-130
    High
    131+

    Your level is currently

    If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

    People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

    Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

    However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

    Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

    Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

    One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

    Did You Know Your Lifestyle Choices
    Affect Your Blood Sugar?

    Use the Blood Glucose Tracker to monitor
    how well you manage your blood sugar over time.

    Get Started

    This tool is not intended for women who are pregnant.

    Start Over

    Step:  of 

    Today on WebMD

    Diabetic tools
    Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
    woman flexing muscles
    10 strength training exercises.
     
    Blood sugar test
    12 practical tips.
    Tom Hanks
    Stars living with type 1 or type 2.
     
    Woman serving fast food from window
    Video
    Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
    Video
     
    Middle aged person
    Tool
    are battery operated toothbrushes really better
    Video
     

    Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
    Article
    type 2 diabetes
    Slideshow
     
    food fitness planner
    Tool
    Are You at Risk for Dupuytrens Contracture
    Article