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What are the types of nerve damage caused by diabetes?

The types of nerve damage caused by diabetes are:

  • Sensorimotor neuropathy also known as peripheral neuropathy. This can cause tingling, pain, numbness or weakness in your feet and hands.
  • Autonomic neuropathy. This type can lead to digestive problems such as feeling full, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation; problems with how well your bladder works; problems having sex; dizziness or faintness; loss of the typical warning signs of a heart attack; loss of the warning signs of low blood glucose; increased or decreased sweating; changes in how your eyes react to light and dark. To diagnose autonomic neuropathy, you will need a physical exam and special tests as well.
  • People with diabetes can also have what is called focal neuropathy. In this kind of nerve damage, a nerve or a group of nerves is affected, causing sudden weakness or pain. It can lead to double vision, a paralysis on one side of the face called Bell's palsy, or pain in the front of the thigh or other parts of the body.
  • People with diabetes also are at risk for compressed nerves. Something in the body presses against a nerve preventing it from sending a signal. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common cause of numbness and tingling in the fingers and can lead to muscle pain and weakness as well.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.