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TIP of the Day

Diabetic Nerve Damage (Neuropathy)

50% of patients with diabetes. It is more common in patients with longer duration of the disease. It is due to damage to blood vessel that supplies your nerves, especially in the legs. If you keep your blood glucose levels on target, this will help prevent or delay nerve damage.

Q. What are the Types of Diabetic Neuropathy?

  1. Peripheral Neuropathy: Also known as 'sensorimotor' neuropathy, this can
    cause tingling, pain, numbness, or weakness in feet and hands.
  2. Autonomic Neuropathy: Autonomic neuropathy affects the nerves in your body that control your body systems. It affects your digestive system, urinary tract, sex organs, heart and blood vessels, sweat glands, and eyes.
  3. Other Types of Neuropathy include charcot's joint, cranial neuropathy, compression mononeuropathy, diabetic amyotrophy and thoracic or lumbar radiculopathy.

Q. What are the Symptoms of Diabetic Neuropathy?

  • Symptoms often develop slowly over several years. They can vary depending on the nerves that are affected.
  • The most common and early symptoms are - tingling, pain, numbness or weakness in feet and hands
  • There may be loss of sensations and you may happen to injure or burn your feet with out noticing it.
  • There may be Sexual problems e.g. Men may have problems with erections. Women may have trouble with vaginal dryness or orgasm.

Q.Which are the tests required for the diagnosis of diabetic neuropathy?

  1. Physical examination:
    • Loss of ankle reflex
    • Monofilament Test: Loss of feeling (touch sensation) in the feet, tested with the help of 10 gm monofilament (wire like instrument)
    • Drop in blood pressure (Orthostatic Hypotension) when you stand up after sitting or lying down
  2. Lab Tests:
    • Electro-myogram (EMG): a recording of electrical activity in muscles
    • Nerve conduction velocity (NCV): a recording of the speed at which signals
      travel along nerves

Q. What is the treatment for diabetic neuropathy?

Treatment relieves pain and can control some symptoms, but the disease generally continues to get worse over time. Following measures can prevent or slow down the further progression of nerve damage:
  • Keep your blood glucose in normal range.
  • Take healthy diet & do regular exercise.
  • Medications: may be used to reduce symptoms in the feet, legs, and
    arms e.g. amitriptyline, duloxetine, gabapentin, pregabalin, carbamazepine,
    sodium valproate

Q. How can you Prevent Nerve Damage and Diabetic Foot?

  • Tight control of blood sugar levels may prevent or atleast may reduce the
    severity of symptoms.
  • Regular foot care can prevent a small infection from getting worse. Check for
    your feet EVERY DAY. Get a foot examination by your doctor at least once
    every 6 to 12 months. Make sure you wear the right kind of shoes.


Contact Us


Sr. Diabetologist & Physician
Specialist in Life Style Diseases


Delhi Diabetes Care Centre
5/11791, Sat Nagar, Karol Bagh, New Delhi- 110005
Daily 12- 2 pm & 7-9 pm (Except Sunday)
Ph: 25730300, 25862685
Mobile : 9810956373
Delhi Heart & Lung Institute
3 MM-II, Panchkuin Road,
New Delhi -110055
DAILY 10 am - 12 noon (Except Sunday)
Ph: 42999999, 42999900