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Diabetic Neuropathy


Diabetic neuropathy is a type of nerve damage that can occur in those who have diabetes. Diabetes is a disease in which the person’s blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels are too high. The high blood sugar levels caused by diabetes can damage the nerves throughout the body, causing diabetic neuropathy. This serious diabetes complication may affect as many as 50% of people with diabetes. There are four main types of diabetic neuropathy: peripheral neuropathy, autonomic neuropathy, proximal neuropathy, and mononeuropathy. While the symptoms are different for each kind of neuropathy, diabetic neuropathy most often damages nerves in the legs and feet. 


The four main types of diabetic neuropathy and their symptoms include:

Peripheral neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy, also known as distal symmetric peripheral neuropathy, is the most common type of diabetic neuropathy. This type usually affects the feet and legs with symptoms occurring the worse at night. Symptoms include:

  • Numbness or reduced ability to feel pain or temperature changes
  • Tingling or burning sensation
  • Sensitivity to touch
  • Serious foot problems, such as infections or bone and joint pain

Autonomic neuropathy

The autonomic nervous system is a control system that regulates bodily functions, such as the heart rate, digestion, bladder, stomach, sex organs, and eyes. Diabetes can affect nerves in any of these areas, causing symptoms, including:

  • Bladder or bowel problems
  • Changes in the way the eyes adjust from light to dark
  • Decreased sexual response
  • Bloating, diarrhea, constipation 
  • Nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite

Proximal neuropathy

Proximal neuropathy, also known as diabetic amyotrophy, often affects the nerves in the thighs, hips, buttocks, or legs (usually on one side). It can also affect the abdominal and chest area. Symptoms include:

  • Severe pain in a hip, thigh or buttock
  • Shrinking thigh muscles
  • Severe stomach pain
  • Weakness in the legs


Mononeuropathy, also known as focal neuropathy, can appear suddenly and affect specific nerves, most often in the head, torso, or leg. The most common symptoms of mononeuropathy are muscle weakness or pain. Other symptoms include:

  • Double vision and difficulty focusing
  • Aching behind one eye
  • Paralysis on one side of the face (Bell’s palsy)
  • Severe pain in a certain area (lower back or legs)
  • Chest or stomach pain


Diabetic neuropathy is caused by high blood sugar levels. Other factors can lead to nerve damage, such as:

  • Damage to the blood vessels caused by high cholesterol levels
  • Mechanical injury
  • Lifestyle factors, such as smoking or alcohol use


Unfortunately, there is no cure for diabetic neuropathy, but treatment can help slow its progression. The best way to decrease the likelihood of developing diabetic neuropathy or slowing its progression is by keeping blood sugar levels within a healthy range. Other treatment options for diabetic neuropathy include: 

We understand that each patient’s pain is unique. Therefore, the treatment recommended to each patient will be personalized to fit their condition and lifestyle. Our multi-disciplinary team of physicians offers advanced interventional and minimally-invasive techniques to help treat chronic, complex pain. Schedule an appointment today to discuss your concerns and what treatment options might be right for you!

Diabetic Neuropathy

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Center for Interventional Pain & Spine, LLC has multiple convenient locations to serve you. Get started by requesting an appointment at any of our offices located in Delaware and Pennsylvania areas near major hospitals and highways.

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Silverside Carr Corporate Center
405 Silverside Road, Suite 104, Wilmington, DE 19809
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Halpern Medical Plaza
1197 Airport Road, Second Floor, Suite 5, Milford, DE 19963
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Pike Creek Sports Medicine and Professional Center
3105 Limestone Road, Suite 300, Wilmington, DE 19808
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The Helen F. Graham Cancer Center
4701 Ogletown-Stanton Road, Suite 1200, Newark, DE 19713
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Middletown Professional Center
291 Carter Drive, Suite B, Middletown, DE 19709
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Surgical Center Affiliations

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Orthopaedic Specialist Surgery Center
1096 Old Churchmans Road, Newark, DE 19713
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Wilmington Hospital
501 W. 14th Street, Wilmington, DE 19801
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First State Surgery Center
1000 Twin C Lane, Suite 200, Newark, DE 19713
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Delaware Outpatient Center for Surgery
774 Christiana Road, Ste 2, Bldg B, Newark, DE 19713
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Wilmington Roxana Canon Arsht Surgicenter
625 W. 12th Street, Wilmington, DE 19801
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