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Diabetic Neuropathy


Overview :

The nervous system consists of two major divisions: the central nervous systems (CNS) which includes the brain, the cranial nerves, and the spinal cord, and the peripheral nervous system (PNS) which includes the nerves that link the CNS with the sensory organs, muscles, blood vessels, and glands of the body. These peripheral nerves are either motor, meaning that they are involved in motor activity such as walking, or sensory, meaning that they carry sensory information back to the CNS. The PNS also works with the CNS to regulate involuntary (autonomic) processes such as breathing, heartbeat, blood pressure, etc.

There are two types of diffuse diabetic neuropathy that affect different nervous system functions. Diffuse peripheral neuropathy primarily affects the limbs, damaging the nerves of the feet and hands. Autonomic neuropathy is the other form of diffuse neuropathy and it affects the heart and other internal organs.

Focal—or localized—diabetic neuropathy affects specific nerves, most commonly in the torso, leg, or head.

Diabetic neuropathy can lead to muscular weakness, loss of feeling or sensation, and loss of autonomic functions such as digestion, erection, bladder control, and sweating among others.

The longer a person has diabetes, the more likely the development of one or more forms of neuropathy. Approximately 60-70% of patients with diabetes have neuropathy, but only about 5% will experience painful symptoms.




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