Diabetic neuropathies can also present with severe mid to low back pain, weakness and atrophy of the thigh muscles, paralysis of muscles in the face and profound weight loss associated with severe pain in the distal limbs and back, depression and impotence in men.

Compression of nerves in arms or legs is very common in diabetics, especially at the level of the wrist and ankle (carpal tunnel syndrome and tarsal tunnel syndrome). This problem can cause significant difficulties using the hands or walking.

Symptoms that resemble diabetic neuropathy can be seen in other conditions like HIV infection or the effect of multiple medications that are used in the treatment of cancer.

The diagnosis of neuropathy requires a careful and detailed history and examination. This should be complemented by electro-diagnostic studies (NCS/EMG) and in early cases with quantitative sensory testing to detect alterations of touch, vibration and temperature.

Pain in neuropathy is the most disabling symptom and requires special attention. Several approaches to treat pain have been used with variable results. Medication should be tried first. The drugs that may be effective in some cases include antidepressants, anticonvulsants and opiates or similar substances. Topical agents in the form of creams have also been tried.



Neuropathy in detail


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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?
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