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Small Fiber Neuropathy


Small fiber neuropathy (SFN)

is a condition that affects certain nerves in your body. These nerves help you have senses such as touch and pain. These nerves also help control functions such as blood pressure, digestion, and body temperature. SFN can happen with other forms of neuropathy.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • Your symptoms get worse.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Common symptoms include:

Symptoms usually begin in adolescence or early adulthood. Severe pain attacks usually begin in your hands and feet. As you get older, the pain attacks happen in other areas of your body. The pain attacks are usually worse at night or while you are resting. You may also have any of the following:

  • Stabbing or burning feeling in your fingers or toes
  • Tingling, numbness, or itching feeling in your fingers or toes
  • Not able to feel a pin prick
  • Cannot feel the difference between hot and cold
  • Urinary and bowel problems
  • Dry eyes or mouth and decreased sweating
  • A drop in blood pressure when you stand up


depends on the cause. If SFN is caused by diabetes or prediabetes, the treatment will include getting your blood sugar levels under control. Treatment may also include medicine such as antiseizure, antidepressant, or pain medicines to treat symptoms.

Manage your symptoms:

  • Manage health conditions that lead to SFN, such as diabetes, sarcoidosis, and HIV.
  • Lose weight. Ask your healthcare provider what you should weigh. If you need to lose weight, ask him or her to help you with a weight loss program.
  • Exercise regularly. Talk to your healthcare provider about exercise. Ask him or her how many days in a week, and for how long you should exercise. Exercise can help with weight loss and lower your risk for diabetes complications.
  • Limit alcohol. Alcohol affects your blood sugar level and can make it harder to manage your diabetes. A drink of alcohol is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1½ ounces of liquor.

Follow up with your doctor as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.