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Diabetic Autonomic Neuropathy

Table of Contents


Topic Overview

Autonomic neuropathy is caused by damage to the nerves that help control the involuntary functions of the body (autonomic nervous system), such as heartbeat and blood pressure, sweating and temperature regulation, digestion, urination, and some aspects of sexual function.

Heart and circulatory system problems

Diabetic autonomic neuropathy may damage the nerves in the heart and circulatory system, causing a:

Sweating and temperature regulation problems

Autonomic neuropathy may affect the nerves that control sweating.

Digestive system problems

Damage to the nerves of the stomach and intestines may cause:

Sexual function and urination problems

Nerve damage may cause problems with the bladder and sex organs. Common problems include:

While not usually life-threatening, autonomic neuropathy can be disabling. There are effective treatments for some of the problems caused by diabetic autonomic neuropathy.


Credits for Diabetic Autonomic Neuropathy

Current as of: July 28, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Karin M. Lindholm DO - Neurology


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