Diabetic Autonomic Neuropathy

Diabetic Autonomic Neuropathy (DAN) is classified as damage to the nerves serving the internal organs and in its early stages, is not felt by the patient. While peripheral neuropathy is not life threatening, DAN is life threatening.8

It is well known that the complications from diabetes are more dangerous than diabetes itself. Nerve damage is one of the most common complications of the disease.

Diabetic autonomic neuropathy, which is hardly known but more deadly, has no symptoms until it affects the internal organs (mostly the heart in 50-80% of the cases according to the World Health Organization (WHO)). It may take 5 years after the onset of DAN for it to affect the end organs and demonstrate symptoms. 

The American Diabetes Association has recommended (since 2006) in its standards of Medical Care that Heart Rate Variability testing (which detects autonomic neuropathy) be performed on Type 2 Diabetic patients, immediately upon detection of diabetes and for type 1 diabetics, within 5 years of diagnosis.

Hundreds of doctors in India are using the ANSicope® devices for the detection of diabetic autonomic neuropathy, and have measured more than 100,000 patients. The Indian doctors have summarized their experiences and how they have successfully treated DAN in a booklet titled “Detection, Monitoring and Treatment of Diabetic Autonomic Neuropathy.”