Diabetic polyneuropathy is the most frequent microvascular complication of diabetes, which is observed in approximately one third of all individuals with diabetes, and perhaps half of these have neuropathic symptoms, including pain, while the other half remain largely asymptomatic. This is one of the reasons for the high rate of undiagnosed neuropathy, which can be up to 80%.
The second reason is that both physicians and patients tend to consider cardiovascular diseases like myocardial infarction and stroke, rather than neuropathy, the major threat caused by diabetes.
Another issue is that the available guidelines on the diagnosis and treatment of diabetic polyneuropathy are either heterogenous, or even confusing or incomplete, by focusing only on certain aspects of the condition. We therefore took a holistic approach to provide consensus recommendations, covering all relevant areas and defining algorithms for screening, diagnosis, and treatment of polyneuropathy that are relevant specifically for clinical practice, based on the available evidence and also on the experts’ personal experience where evidence was lacking.