This refers to diabetic neuropathy or nerve damage involving the ‘autonomic nerves’ – these are nerves which supply a range of internal organs.
- Digestive system - Stomach, Oesophagus (food passage), Bowel
- Cardiovascular system - Heart, Blood vessels
- Genitourinary system - Sexual function & bladder
- Sweat glands
- Stomach – distension, upper abdominal pain, vomiting
- Bowel – nocturnal diarrhoea, constipation
- Heart – faintness/ dizziness on standing
- Bladder – delayed bladder emptying
- Sexual function – erectile dysfunction
- Sweat glands – loss of sweating, fissuring/ dry skin
- Blood vessels – redness of toes, warm swollen feet
If you have any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor who will arrange for suitable investigations.
The treatment of autonomic neuropathy once established is often difficult and limited to alleviating symptoms.
Dr Nishan Wijenaike, Consultant Physician
West Suffolk Hospital Diabetes Service