Difference Between Diabetic Neuropathy and Peripheral Neuropathy (With Table)

Diabetic Neuropathy and Peripheral Neuropathy affect a similar group of population. They are associated and interrelated. They cause some similar complications. Although, neither of them is communicable. This has lead to confusion regarding these diseases. However, they are two very distinct conditions with characteristics of their own. Hence, with the help of some detailed studies, we can easily clear our confusion.

Diabetic Neuropathy vs Peripheral Neuropathy

The difference between <Diabetic Neuropathy> and <Peripheral Neuropathy> is that Diabetic Neuropathy affects nerves from different parts of the body, mainly the lower extremities whereas Peripheral Neuropathy affects the peripheral nerves of the body and weakens the immune system. Also, Diabetic Neuropathy takes years to affect the body but Peripheral Neuropathy affects over a short duration.

Diabetic Neuropathy might occur to the body due to continuous neglect of high blood sugar levels for years. The condition can not be cured however it is a must to be in safety barriers. It affects the nerves from any part of the body and starts developing over several years. It affects the nerves from any part of the body

Peripheral Neuropathy might occur to the body due to continuous neglect of high blood sugar levels for even just a short duration of time. It affects our peripheral nervous system. It affects our peripheral nervous system. It affects the peripheral nerves in the human body and can develop within a limited period. It affects the act of sensation.

Comparison Table Between Diabetic Neuropathy and Peripheral Neuropathy

Parameters of  ComparisonDiabetic NeuropathyPeripheral Neuropathy
DefinitionIt is a dysfunction of nerve fibers. It is seen to affect people with diabetes.It is a dysfunction of peripheral nerves. This condition is caused due to metabolic, traumatic, or toxic factors.
Risk FactorsRisk factor includes high blood sugar, smoking, high blood pressure, exposure to neurotoxic substances.Risk factor includes diabetes, alcohol assumption, kidney disease, liver disease, vitamin B deficiency
Affected nervesIt affects different nerves throughout the body. The most commonly affected are the lower extremities.It affects the peripheral nerves.
SymptomsNumbness in fingers, muscle weakness, severe bone pain, infections, dermatitis, constipation.Numbness in palms, weight loss, sexual dysfunction, burning pain, extreme sensitivity to touch.
TypeIt can be sensory, autonomous, or motor, depending on the number of nerves affected.It can be mononeuropathy or polyneuropathy, depending on the number of nerves affected.

What is Diabetic Neuropathy?

It is defined as a dysfunction of nerve fibers that are seen in people suffering from diabetes. In Diabetic Neuropathy, multiple nerves can be damaged from various parts of the body. Mostly the lower extremities are affected. It makes the whole nervous system weaker, which plays a great role in our body.

It is most common in diabetes of types 1 and 2. It happens because of continuous high blood sugar levels. Other factors include smoking, high blood pressure level, and exposure to harmful neurotoxic substances which includes medicines and alcohol. The time varies according to the type. The types of Diabetic Neuropathy include sensory, autonomous, and motor.

In type 1 diabetes, it takes many years of continuous high blood sugar to get affected. Whereas, in type 2, just a few continuous years of high blood sugar level is enough to cause the dysfunction.

In Diabetic Neuropathy, multiple nerves can be damaged from various parts of the body. Mostly the lower extremities are affected.

Hence, once diagnosed with Diabetic neuropathy, one should visit for regular checkups without any fail.

With time, it keeps getting fatal if left untreated. This disease is not curable but can be in control under medication. Staying away from the risk factors like addiction to neurotoxic substances is very important.

What is Peripheral Neuropathy?

Peripheral Neuropathy is defined as a dysfunction of the peripheral nerve fibers in the human body. Peripheral nerves are very essential structure in our body that transmits information between the brain and the spinal cord.

When this part is affected, our body tends to lose the sense of touch as well as control. It immensely affects the immune system. It targets the peripheral nerve and destroys it.

The risk factors include overconsumption of alcohol, deficiency of vitamin B, kidney or lung diseases, hazardous neurotoxins. Making oneself safe from the dangers, further nerve damages is possible to stop.

According to the nerves affected, their types include mononeuropathy and polyneuropathy.

If not treated, it gets real serious with time. Difficulties include burning pain, sexual dysfunctions, weight loss, nausea, and even urination problems.

Other than these, it includes weakening of the overall body since it affects our nerves and weakens the immune system.

Well, just like the former one, it might not be completely curable but the safety measures are in our hands. Once diagnosed, we need to stay away from the common risk factors and treat them as an enemy. Once diagnosed with the disease, we require regular checkups and medications are vital.

Main Differences Between Diabetic Neuropathy and Peripheral Neuropathy

  1. The first and foremost difference is the definition. Diabetic Neuropathy is a dysfunction of nerve fibers that are seen in people suffering from diabetes. Multiple nerves are damaged in parts of the body. Whereas Peripheral Neuropathy is a dysfunction of the peripheral nerve fibers in the human body. These nerves are very essential structure in our body that passes information between the brain and the spinal cord. 
  2. The next basic point of difference is the area which it affects. In Diabetic Neuropathy, mostly the lower extremities are affected. In Peripheral Neuropathy, peripheral nerves are affected.
  3. Coming to their types. There are three types of Diabetic Neuropathy – sensory, autonomous, motor. Peripheral Neuropathy is of two types – symmetric and asymmetric.
  4. Next is their symptom. Diabetic Neuropathy possesses symptoms such as decreased sensation in fingers, muscle weakness, body temperature change, infection, dermatitis. Peripheral Neuropathy includes symptoms like urination difficulty, burning pain, nausea, sexual dysfunctions.
  5. Last and very important, the risk factors. We need to be very safe from this condition to avoid reaching the critical stage. The former include high blood sugar levels, smoking, and harmful neurotoxin or neurotoxic substances. The latter includes symptoms such as deficiency of vitamin B, alcohol consumption, kidney diseases or lung diseases.

Conclusion

Diabetic Neuropathy and Peripheral Neuropathy are neuropathic disorders. It involves the weakening of the nerves and thus affects the whole system.

Due to this reason, these two diseases have a lot in common. It might be confusing for some people to differentiate between the two. They do affect similar parts of humans and even have some common symptoms.

However, going into details, we learned that their way of affecting is quite different. Treatment for both is very important to prevent future seriousness. They affect the immune system and are categorized into different types. This is done based on affected nerves.

Both these dysfunctions cause the weakening of our nervous system. Along with that, it affects the sensitivity as well as the function of other organs. This leads to losing control over our system since the nerves used to transmit signals are damaged.

Either of these diseases is found to be not completely treatable. However, there are ways to control it and be safe from its deadly effects. Since the risk factors are already known, it is very essential to be away from those. Also, the ones who are yet to be diagnosed but are possessing the symptoms should provide themselves with immediate protection.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1056872713003322
  2. https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/endocrj/51/6/51_6_563/_article/-char/ja/
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