Neuropathy comes with a wide range of symptoms. All parts of the body may be affected by neuropathy in some way or another. Peripheral neuropathy and cranial neuropathy cause their own distinct symptoms, which are described below.
Peripheral neuropathy affects a wider area of the body than cranial neuropathy. Common sensory symptoms present in many types of neuropathy include pain, itching, and a tingling feeling of pins and needles. Sufferers also commonly experience loss of function symptoms such as numbness and tremor. Pain can range from mild to intense, with drugs often being required to help alleviate the pain. Hypersensitivity to touch is also a frequent occurrence. Patients may not be able to have any material touching certain parts of their bodies. Most often it is the feet that are so sensitive to touch. Some patients are unable to wear socks or shoes with some surfaces problematic to walk on. In extreme cases the pain is so extreme that patients refuse to leave home.
Many of the symptoms of neuropathy are very painful and really are hard to live with.
In terms of motor function, patients can experience a range of symptoms from weakness and tiredness to muscle cramps and twitches (known as fasciculation).
Fasciculations are usually harmless; however they can be an indicator of a disease of the motor neurons. Inflammation of affected areas can also be present. Particularly in polyneuropathy, the problems can lead to dizziness upon standing, and problems such as erectile and urinary dysfunction. Hypoglycemia can also occur.