Diabetic neuropathy is caused when blood sugar levels stay elevated for a long time and damage the blood vessels in a certain part of the body. The two most common types of diabetic neuropathy are peripheral neuropathy and autonomic neuropathy.
Peripheral neuropathy is the numbness, tingling, or burning sensation that can affect the legs, feet, arms, and hands. About one-third to one-half of all people with diabetes experience some degree of peripheral neuropathy. Some less common symptoms include sharp pains or cramps, muscle weakness, and loss of balance or coordination. With peripheral neuropathy, it’s important to take good care of your feet because wounds could take longer to heal and possibly become infected and lead to amputation.
Autonomic neuropathy affects the body’s involuntary bodily functions and can often be more severe than peripheral neuropathy. Some symptoms include bowel and bladder problems, gastrointestinal problems, problems regulating body temperature, difficulty swallowing, and hypoglycemia unawareness. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical care promptly so you can begin treatment.