Objective: This article provides an up-to-date review of the diagnosis and management of the most common neuropathies that occur in patients with diabetes.
Latest developments: The prevalence of diabetes continues to grow worldwide and, as a result, the burden of diabetic neuropathies is also increasing. Most diabetic neuropathies are caused by hyperglycemic effects on small and large fiber nerves, and glycemic control in individuals with type 1 diabetes reduces neuropathy prevalence. However, among people with type 2 diabetes, additional factors, particularly metabolic syndrome components, play a role and should be addressed. Although length-dependent distal symmetric polyneuropathy is the most common form of neuropathy, autonomic syndromes, particularly cardiovascular autonomic neuropathy, are associated with increased mortality, whereas lumbosacral radiculoplexus neuropathy and treatment-induced neuropathy cause substantial morbidity. Recent evidence-based guidelines have updated the recommended treatment options to manage pain associated with distal symmetric polyneuropathy of diabetes.
Essential points: Identifying and appropriately diagnosing the neuropathies of diabetes is key to preventing progression. Until better disease-modifying therapies are identified, management remains focused on diabetes and metabolic risk factor control and pain management.
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