Types of Neuropathy

Updated at: May 17, 2012
Types of Neuropathy

The five main types of neuropathy are polyneuropathy, mononeuropahty, autonomic neuropathy, cranial neuropathy and mononeurtis multiplex.   

Gunjan Rastogi
DiabetesWritten by: Gunjan RastogiPublished at: Mar 23, 2012

Types of Neuropathy

The pathological features and clinical syndromes of a neuropathy classify the different types of neuropathies. Neuropathy can affect various parts of the body or cause damage to a single body part or nerve. The different types of neuropathies include:



Polyneuropathy is the most common type of neuropathy that is also called distal symmetric polyneuropathy. The main reason for this neuropathy is poor control of blood sugar. Polyneuropathy causes symptoms such as tingling, burning sensation and numbness of legs and feet. Other than diabetes, overconsumption of alcohol, nutritional shortage, anaemia, liver failure, kidney failure, certain cancers and an excess of vitamin B6 can outgrow in polyneuropathy.



Mononeuropathy means damage to single nerve or nerve group. It usually results due to an injury, although disorders such as mononeuritis multiplex may also cause isolated nerve damage in any part of the body. Some common symptoms of mononeuropathy are loss of bladder or bowel control, tingling, burning pain, loss of sensation, weakness, numbness or paralysis in severe cases.


Mononeuritis Multiplex

Monoeuritis multiplex is damage of nervous system or brain in which almost two separate nerve areas are damaged. Due to this neuropathy, multiple nerves of random body parts also get affected. As it worsens, it becomes more symmetric and less multifocal. This disease can spread bilaterally, distally and proximally throughout the body.


Autonomic Neuropathy

It is another common type of neuropathy that affects the autonomic nerves, which control the intestinal tract and organs such as the bladder and genitals. This type of neuropathy disturbs patient’s digestion and urination. Researches have shown that about 25% of diabetics suffer from autonomic neuropathy. Common symptoms of this neuropathy are loss of coordination, imbalance that worsens at night. Weak muscles and loss of reflexes are other results of damaged nerves and feet show weird growth.


Cranial Neuropathy

The affected area of this neuropathy is the nerves joining with the brain controlling eye movement. In some cases, it may also disturb the nerves in the brain associated with hearing and taste. Its occurrence is noted when pain starts on one side of the face near the eye affected by damaged eye muscle that later becomes paralyzed. Through proper medical aid, signs and symptoms of cranial neuropathy improve or disappear within two to three months.

No known medical cure is available for the treatment of neuropathies though the best treatment normalises blood-glucose levels. Several medications and therapies can also aid to relieve symptoms of different neuropathies.


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