What Are Peripheral Nerves?
Peripheral nerves are like electric wires. They connect the spinal cord to the muscles and sensory organs in the skin .
Types Of Diabetic Neuropathy
Diabetic neuropathy can be classified as generalized symmetric polyneuropathies (acute sensory, chronic sensorimotor, or autonomic) and focal and multifocal neuropathies (cranial, truncal, focal limb, proximal motor [amyotrophy], or coexisting chronic inflammatory demylinating polyneuropathy [CIDP]). Treatable neuropathies, including CIDP, monoclonal gammopathy, and vitamin B12 deficiency, should be excluded.
Polyneuropathy: Is the commonest type of diabetic neuropathy. The feet get involved first. When the neuropathy progresses then symptoms ascend from the toes to foot and gradually further to the knees. Later the hands may get involved. The symptoms of neuropathy are always worse at night. The commonest symptom is numbness.
A common feature of Polyneuropathy is coldness of the feet. Burning sensation in the feet.
Another symptom is excessive sensitivity of the feet to touch. Patients usually notice this at night when they find that the touch and pressure of the bedclothes on their feet is unpleasant. At times there is discoloration of the feet such that is red or paler than normal.
When severe, neuropathy will damage the sensory nerve fibers that tell the patient where their feet are and so they become unsteady when walking. This is worsened by weakness of the muscles in legs and feet due to damaged nerve fibers .
Patients may think that the problems are being caused by the blood vessels having problems.
Diabetic autonomic neuropathy: There is excessive sweating of the face brought on by eating. There may be erectile dysfunction. The patients may have swelling of the feet or legs and they may tend to pass out when getting out of the bed or after urination.
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