A diagnosis of
diabetic neuropathy is based largely on your symptoms,
medical history and physical examination. During a physical exam, your
doctor may check how well you feel light touch, temperature, pain, vibration, and
movement. Your doctor may also check your strength and reflexes.
Electromyogram (EMG) and nerve conduction studies may
be done to confirm a diagnosis. These tests measure how well and how quickly
the nerves conduct electrical impulses. When nerve damage is
present, the speed of nerve function slows.
with autonomic neuropathy—which affects the nerves that control internal
functions—can be hard to diagnose. When new symptoms develop, more
testing may be needed to diagnose the problem, identify the cause, and guide
treatment. For example, a study that measures how fast your stomach empties may
be done if symptoms like bloating, indigestion, or vomiting suggest
gastroparesis, a condition that causes the stomach to
take too long to empty.
Every 30 seconds, somewhere in the world, someone loses a lower limb as a
result of diabetes. That's because diabetes and wounds are a dangerous
If you have diabetes, there's no such thing as a minor wound to the foot --
even a small foot sore can turn into an ulcer that, if not properly treated,
can lead to amputation. The rate of amputation for people with diabetes is 10
times higher than for those who don't have the disease.
Most of these amputations could easily be prevented...
For some diseases, doctors can use screening
tests to look for problems before you have any symptoms. But doctors can't
test for all types of autonomic or focal neuropathy. So it is important to
report to your doctor any pain, weakness, or motor problems you have. Also
mention any changes in digestion, urination, sexual function, sweating, or
dizziness. Your doctor will also look for signs of autonomic neuropathy during
your physical exams.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA)
recommends that people who have diabetes see a doctor to examine their feet for
cracked or peeling skin, excessive or reduced sweating, blisters, calluses,
ulcers, signs of infection, bone and joint abnormalities, and walking and
balance—during each medical visit. The ADA also recommends a complete foot exam
by a doctor at least once a year.1 This examination
can detect a loss of sensation in your feet, which can lead to more serious
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
August 13, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this
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People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.
Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.
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Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.
Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.
One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.
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