Munson Health
Diabetic Neuropathy

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by McCoy K

(Nerve Damage of Diabetes)



Symptoms of diabetic neuropathy may include:
If you have diabetic neuropathy, you are at increased risk for developing other types of neuropathies, such as carpal tunnel syndrome .


Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. They will also do a physical exam. Other tests may include:
  • Foot exam—to assess sensation in the foot
  • Nerve conduction studies —to test nerve activity
  • Electromyography —to determine how muscles respond to nerve signals
  • Quantitative sensory testing—the use of stimuli (eg, vibration) to check for neuropathy
  • Quantitative sudomotor axon reflex test—a test to evaluate the nerve supply of sweat glands
  • Heart rate tests—to determine how the heart responds to changes
  • Ultrasound—to view internal organs
  • Biopsy —to remove a sample of nerve or skin tissue for examination


Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include:

Blood Glucose Management

It is important to regularly monitor blood glucose levels. You can bring them within normal range with meal planning, exercise, and/or medicines.

Foot Care

If you have diabetic neuropathy, you will need to take special care of your feet. The nerves in the feet are the ones most often affected by neuropathy. This care will involve regular visits to a foot doctor and careful cleaning, inspection, moisturizing, and grooming of your feet. In addition, always wear well-fitting shoes and thick, soft, seamless socks to help protect your feet from injuries.

Other Treatments

Other treatments will depend on your symptoms. Medicines can be used to relieve pain, burning, tingling, or numbness. Often, the medicines used to treat these symptoms are the same ones used to treat seizures and depression . Another option to treat pain is called transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS). With TENS, a machine sends painless electrical signals through the skin to the nerves. Your doctor may offer this treatment.
If you have gastrointestinal problems, modifying your diet and/or taking an antibiotic can help. Taking care when sitting or standing, increasing salt intake, or taking medicines can help manage dizziness and weakness. An antibiotic can be prescribed to treat a urinary tract infection . Medicines can be used to treat erectile dysfunction, and vaginal lubricants are recommended to treat vaginal dryness.


American Diabetes Association

National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse



Canadian Diabetes Association

Health Canada



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