What exactly is "neuropathy"?
Neuropathy is the progressive loss of nerve fiber function
Diabetic peripheral neuropathy has been defined as the presence of symptoms and or signs of peripheral nerve dysfunction in people with diabetes after the exclusion of other causes. Unfortunately, no one pays much attention to the last and most important part of that definition, "after the exclusion of other causes." Peripheral neuropathies are the most common complications of diabetes mellitus. It is believed that up to 50% of both Type I and Type II diabetics are affected. If diabetes was the main etiology for peripheral neuropathy then shouldn't all diabetics eventually end up with neuropathy? Type I diabetics are potentially affected with this nerve condition after decades of chronic uncontrolled blood sugar levels while Type II diabetics can have signs and symptoms of neuropathy after only a few years of diagnosis. Type I diabetics don't develop signs or symptoms of peripheral neuropathy until they are in their 40's or 50's. The average age of diagnosis of Type I diabetes mellitus is 14 years old . Type II diabetics aren't diagnosed until they are middle aged or older. Unfortunately, that number is getting younger and younger due to increase in Type II pediatric diabetes.