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Diabetic Atypical Neuropathies


Atypical neuropathies are types of nerve damage caused by diabetes.

One type affects just one nerve. This is called mononeuropathy. It often affects a nerve in the wrist or foot. It can also affect a nerve that controls the eye muscles.

Another type affects many nerves. This is called polyradiculoneuropathy. It often affects the nerves in the back and chest.

Atypical neuropathies are far less common than other types of neuropathy. They often happen all of a sudden. And they can get better with time.

What are the symptoms?

The type of symptoms you have depends on the kind of atypical neuropathy you have.

Mononeuropathy can cause:

  • Pain in a single, limited area of the body. This may be in the wrist or foot.
  • Pain in and around one of the eyes, trouble moving the eyes, and double vision. This occurs when one of the cranial nerves is affected.

Polyradiculoneuropathy can cause:

  • Pain that occurs in a band-shaped area around the chest or belly.
  • Weakness and pain in the lower back. It often goes down to the thigh (femoral neuropathy).

These symptoms may be caused by other serious conditions. See your doctor right away if you have any of these symptoms.


Current as of: October 2, 2023

Author: Healthwise Staff
Clinical Review Board
All Healthwise education is reviewed by a team that includes physicians, nurses, advanced practitioners, registered dieticians, and other healthcare professionals.


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