Symptoms can range from mild to disabling and are rarely life-threatening. Symptoms depend on the type of nerve fibers affected and the type and severity of the damage. Symptoms can develop over days, weeks, or years. In some cases, symptoms improve on their own and may not require advanced care.
Unlike nerve cells in the central nervous system, peripheral nerve cells continue to grow throughout life. Like many other health conditions, peripheral neuropathy can get progressively worse. If you have diabetes, you can develop nerve problems at any time. Sometimes, neuropathy can be the first sign of diabetes.
Major nerve problems (clinical neuropathy) may develop within the first 10 years after the diagnosis of diabetes. The risk of developing neuropathy increases the longer you have diabetes. About half of people with diabetes have some form of neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy, like many conditions, worsens over time.
However, it's not always easy to tell how much nerve damage you're dealing with. This is because the different stages of neuropathy are not always easy to recognize. However, it is important that you understand each stage. While treatment for peripheral neuropathy will help you with pain, it is important that you start treatment as soon as possible.
If you catch it early, it's much easier to reverse or reduce the amount of nerve damage. Let's take a look at the five stages of peripheral neuropathy and how you can recognize them. Nerve damage that can result from diabetic neuropathy due to diabetes may worsen over time. It is quite common in people who have had diabetes for many years.
In fact, you may have diabetic neuropathy but not notice any symptoms. As it progresses, the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy begin to appear and affect your life. The Inherited Neuropathies Consortium (INC), a group of academic medical centers, patient support organizations, and clinical research resources dedicated to conducting clinical research on Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease and improving care for people with the disease, seeks to better characterize the natural background study of several different forms of neuropathy and identify genes that modify the clinical characteristics of these disorders. NINDS-funded research ranges from clinical studies of the genetics and natural history of hereditary neuropathies to discoveries of new causes and treatments for neuropathy, to basic scientific research on the biological mechanisms responsible for chronic neuropathic pain.