Symptoms that suggest neuropathy include pain, pins and needles, numbness, increased sensation to touch, cramps, weakness and difficulty with balance. These occur most commonly in the feet and hands, and progress to involve the entire limb. They can be present either during activity or quite commonly at rest.

About 7% of the population suffers from neuropathy and half have diabetes. Diabetes is the most common cause of peripheral neuropathy. In the United States, an estimated 17 million people have diabetes, although this is an underestimate since the disease remains undiagnosed in approximately half. Over 60% of diabetics will develop noticeable evidence of neuropathy and most diabetics will have variable forms during their lifetime.

Neuropathy may occur early in the disease during the stage of impaired glucose tolerance called pre-diabetes. Disability caused by neuropathy is common in diabetes because of frequent burning pain. The most common cause of ulceration of the foot and amputation is diabetic neuropathy.

Another form of peripheral nerve involvement seen mostly in long standing disease is autonomic neuropathy or dysfunction of the "involuntary" nerves. It may cause sweating disturbances (loss of sweat), low blood pressure, slowed digestion, diarrhea, bladder problems and cardiac arrhythmias. Erectile dysfunction is common, with impotence occurring in 20-60% of diabetic men.



Neuropathy in detail


Diabetic neuropathy?

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Chicago Peripheral Nerve Center
Presence Saint Joseph Hospital
Laboure Outpatient Clinic
2913 North Commonwealth Ave
Chicago, IL 60657

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Pain, burning, tingling or numbness in the hands or feet? or other parts of the body?
Read more about neuropathy.
Have you been diagnosed with diabetes and have pain and tingling in your feet?
Read more about diabetic peripheral neuropathy.