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Understanding Different Types of Diabetic Neuropathy

Speaking about diabetic neuropathy, it is one type of nerve damage issue that generally occurs if you have health issues like a person with diabetes. When you have a higher level of glucose in your body, it can damage the nerves. Such types of conditions can be divided into different types. The symptoms and treatments can vary based on the type of diabetic neuropathy that you have.

In general, there are four types of diabetic neuropathy; these are:

  1. Proximal neuropathy
  2. Peripheral neuropathy
  3. Focal neuropathy
  4. Autonomic neuropathy

Let’s have a look at these in detail.

  • Peripheral Neuropathy

This can be termed in different names, for example, distal polyneuropathy and peripheral diabetic nerve pain. However, here you will focus on the term peripheral neuropathy. It is one of the most common forms of neuropathy that is generally caused by diabetes.

This condition generally affects your nerves across the hands, arms, legs, and feet. The nerves that go to the feet from the upper section are the longest nerves of the body. In the lumbar region, they branch off your spinal cord and then move towards the legs and the feet.

As they are so long, they often deal with damages. When they get damaged, you may suffer from different foot issues related to diabetes, such as infections, amputations, ulcers, or foot deformities. So, be careful about this. You can know more about the symptoms related to peripheral neuropathy here.

  • Proximal Neuropathy

This condition is also called as diabetic amyotrophy. The “Myo” means muscle. So, when you are suffering from proximal neuropathy, you will face muscle weakness. This condition generally affects the upper part muscles of buttocks, hips, and legs.

In some cases, during this health condition, you can face nerve pain that will produce in the low back and will move down to the legs. In medical words, it is called Radiculopathy. However, most people consider this as Sciatica. If there is any shooting nerve pain, this particular form of neuropathy can be termed as polyradiculopathy diabetic amyotrophy. The proximal neuropathy is quite common among elderly people having a diabetes health issue.

  • Autonomic Neuropathy

The autonomic nerves keep the body running in its natural way. Your body carries out a lot of activities that you don’t even think about. For example, breathing, digestion process, pumping of heart, and more. The autonomic nerves control all these activities. That’s why it is also termed as the Automatic Nervous System.

So, if these nerves get damaged due to your diabetic health issue, then your body may not work properly, and there will be a problem in maintaining the body’s homeostasis condition. Such health issues can be very daunting as it can severely affect the body’s systems. You may encounter issues like poor digestive quality; you may suffer from vision-related issues and more. Well, there is one thing that you should keep in mind. The symptoms may vary with damaged nerves in the autonomic nervous system.

  • Focal Neuropathy

The above three types of neuropathy related caused by diabetes, such as proximal, peripheral, and autonomic, are come under Polyneuropathy. Here the “Poly” means they affect different types of nerves. But different from all these neuropathies, focal neuropathy affects one particular nerve. So, sometimes it is also termed as focused neuropathy or mononeuropathy.

Speaking more about it, focal neuropathy can happen suddenly, and in most cases, it affects nerves located in your head. The most common nerves that can get damaged are the nerves connected with the eyes. Besides, sometimes it also affects legs and torso nerves. When it affects your legs, you will witness different symptoms than the proximal neuropathy. In detail, when you have proximal neuropathy, you will witness weakness in legs muscles. But in case of focal neuropathy, you will feel pain at a specific location on your legs.

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