Early symptoms of diabetic neuropathy

The early symptoms of diabetic neuropathy depend on the type of neuropathy – of which there are two main types as well as several others.

Diabetic neuropathy symptoms






·         Feet tingle.

·         ‘Pins and needles’ in the feet.

Pain or increased sensitivity

·         Burning, stabbing, or shooting pains in the feet.

·         Feet are very sensitive to touch.

·         Feeling like one has socks or gloves on.

·         Foot pain at night.

·         Feet and hands get very cold or very hot.

Numbness or weakness

·         Feet are numb and feel dead.

·         Not feeling pain in the feet, even from blisters or injuries.

·         Can’t feel feet when walking.

·         Unsteadiness when standing or walking.

·         Difficulty feeling heat or cold in the feet or hands.


·         Muscles and bones in the feet seem to have changed shape.

·         Open sores – or ulcers – on the feet and legs, which are very slow to heal.



·         Indigestion or heartburn.

·         Nausea and vomit.

·         Bloating after eating.

·         Food seems to sit in the stomach instead of being digested.

·         Stomach feels full even after a light meal.

·         Diarrhea.

·         Loss of bowel control.

·         Constipation.

·         Hard to predict blood sugar levels.


·         Bladder control problems.

·         Not feeling need to urinate even if bladder is full.

·         Loss of bladder control.

·         Frequent bladder infections.


·         Difficulty to get or keep an erection.

·         Problems with orgasms, feeling aroused, or I have vaginal dryness.

Heart and blood vessels

·         Dizziness when standing up to quickly.

·         Fainting after getting up or changing position.

·         Suddenly fainting for no reason.

·         Fast heartbeat at rest.

·         A heart attack without the typical warning signs.


Sweat glands

·         Sweating a lot.

·         Not sweating at all.

·         Dry feet skin.


·         Hard to adjust eyes going from a dark into a bright place or when driving at night.


Other types of diabetic neuropathy and symptoms



Radiculoplexus (diabetic amyotrophy)

·         Sudden and severe hip, thigh, or buttock pain.

·         Eventual weak, atrophied muscles.

·         Problems rising from a sitting position.

·         Swollen abdomen.

·         Loss of weight.


·         Problems focusing the eyes, double vision, aching behind one eye.

·         Paralysis on one side of the face.

·         Pain in the shin or foot.

·         Pain in the lower back or pelvis.

·         Pain in the front of the tight.

·         Pain the chest or abdomen.

Charcot’s joint (neuropathic arthropathy)

·         Swelling, redness, heat, and insensitivity in the foot.


Talk to a doctor if you experience the early symptoms of diabetic neuropathy – especially if a cut or sore on your foot does not heal, becomes infected, or worsens. A physician will diagnose the condition and prescribe treatment for it. Treatment includes a variety of medications to address the different symptoms and to relieve pain. Pain can also be managed with electrotherapy (TENS units). Additionally, people with diabetic neuropathy must practice extra special foot care. Both foot care and TENS unit supplies are widely available at Discount Medical Supplies.

Related: Home medical supplies for caring for someone with neuropathy