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What is diabetic neuropathy?

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Quick Answer

Diabetic neuropathy is a condition in which a person's nerves are damaged as a result of diabetes. Most reports indicate that diabetic neuropathy leads to a loss of sensation in the feet, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

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One of the most common diabetic neuropathies is referred to as peripheral neuropathy, and it usually affects the legs and feet of the victim. This condition is characterized by numbness, burning during evening hours, tingling and painful sensations.

Another type is autonomic neuropathy, which usually affects the digestive system of a victim. This condition is commonly characterized by diarrhea, constipation, nausea, heartburn and bloating.

The next type is focal neuropathy, which basically affects nerves in the head or legs. It is characterized by painful sensations in the eye, paralysis on a single side of the face, abdominal pain, chest pain and double vision. Proximal neuropathy is the fourth type and usually affects areas such as the buttocks, hips and thighs.

To treat any neuropathy, a doctor is likely to recommend a lifestyle change. This means the patient may have to adjust his or her diet in order to manage blood sugar levels. Medications may also be prescribed to help manage the pain and sugar levels.

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