Diabetic vs Peripheral Neuropathy: Difference and Comparison

Diabetic Neuropathy and Peripheral Neuropathy affect a similar group of the population. They are associated and interrelated.

Key Takeaways

  1. Diabetic neuropathy is a subtype of peripheral neuropathy resulting from nerve damage due to high blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.
  2. Peripheral neuropathy is a broader term for damage to the peripheral nervous system, which various factors, including injury, infection, and autoimmune disorders, can cause.
  3. Management of diabetic neuropathy involves controlling blood sugar levels and adopting a healthy lifestyle, while treatment for peripheral neuropathy depends on the underlying cause.

Diabetic Neuropathy vs Peripheral Neuropathy

Diabetic neuropathy is a form of nerve damage that occurs if you have diabetes, and it affects nerves in every part of the body but takes years to develop. Peripheral neuropathy is damage to the nerves located outside the brain and spinal cord, which causes weakness, pain and numbness.

Diabetic Neuropathy vs Peripheral Neuropathy

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 in 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.

Comparison Table

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 fibres that is seen in people suffering from diabetes. In Diabetic Neuropathy, multiple nerves can be damaged from various parts of the body.

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Other factors include smoking, high blood pressure level, and exposure to harmful neurotoxic substances, which includes medicines and alcohol.

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 levels is enough to cause the dysfunction.

This disease is not curable but can be controlled 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 fibres in the human body. Peripheral nerves are 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.

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.

Main Differences Between Diabetic Neuropathy and Peripheral Neuropathy

  1. Next is their symptom. Diabetic Neuropathy possesses symptoms such as decreased sensation in fingers, muscle weakness, body temperature change, infection, and dermatitis.
  2. Last and very important are 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.
Difference Between Diabetic Neuropathy and Peripheral Neuropathy
  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/

Last Updated : 06 September, 2023

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13 thoughts on “Diabetic vs Peripheral Neuropathy: Difference and Comparison”

  1. This article is well-organized and well-written. It provides thorough explanations and very useful comparisons about diabetic neuropathy and peripheral neuropathy. A great read for anyone who suffers from diabetes.

  2. Great to finally see updated information about these nerve damages. Very informative and helpful for anyone experiencing these symptoms.

  3. I think there is quite a misrepresentation of peripheral neuropathy. It would have been beneficial to clarify in which context is peripheral neuropathy seen as a disease.


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