Font Size
A
A
A

Neuropathy (cont.)

Neuropathy Symptoms

Regardless of the cause, neuropathy is associated with characteristic symptoms. Although some people with neuropathy may not have symptoms, certain symptoms are common. The degree to which an individual is affected by a particular neuropathy varies.

Damage to the sensory nerves is common in peripheral neuropathy. Symptoms often begin in the feet with a gradual onset of loss of feeling, numbness, tingling, or pain and progress toward the center of the body with time. The arms or legs may be involved. The inability to determine joint position may also occur, which can result in clumsiness or falls. Extreme sensitivity to touch can be another symptom of peripheral neuropathy. The sensation of numbness and tingling of the skin is medically known as paresthesia.

The loss of sensory input from the foot means that blisters and sores on the feet may develop rapidly and not be noticed. Because there is a reduced sensation of pain, these sores may become infected and the infection may spread to deeper tissues, including bone. In severe cases, amputation may be necessary.

When damage to the motor nerves (those that control movement) occurs, symptoms include weakness, loss of reflexes, loss of muscle mass, cramping, and/or loss of dexterity.

Autonomic neuropathy, or damage to the nerves that control the function of organs and glands, may manifest with a wide variety of symptoms, including:

  • Nausea, vomiting, or abdominal bloating after meals
  • Urinary symptoms, such as incontinence, difficulty beginning to urinate, or feeling that the bladder was not completely emptied
  • Impotence (erectile dysfunction) in men
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Blurred vision
  • Heat intolerance or decreased ability to sweat
  • Hypoglycemia unawareness: Low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia) are associated with trembling, sweating, and palpitations. In people with autonomic neuropathy, these characteristic symptoms may not occur, making dangerously low blood sugar levels difficult to recognize.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/9/2014

Must Read Articles Related to Neuropathy

Alcoholism
Alcoholism Alcohol problems vary in severity from mild to life threatening and affect the individual, the person's family, and society in numerous adverse ways. Despite al...learn more >>
Kidney Disease
Chronic Kidney Disease Twenty percent of people over the age of 20 years will develop chronic kidney disease in their lifetime. Chronic kidney disease causes are diseases of the kidne...learn more >>
Diabetic Eye Disease
Diabetic Eye Disease Diabetic eye disease is a complication from diabetes. Types of diabetic eye disease include background diabetic retinopathy, nonproliferative diabetic retinopat...learn more >>





Medical Dictionary