Skip to content

    Diabetes Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Diabetic Neuropathy: Medical History and Physical Exam - Topic Overview

    When you have diabetic neuropathy, your doctor will get your medical history and may ask you about the following:

    • Symptoms
      • What kinds of symptoms are you having?
      • How long you have had the symptoms?
      • What makes them worse?
      • What makes them better?
    • Medicines
      • What medicines are you taking? Bring a complete list of medicines that you are taking, or bring the medicines with you.
      • Are you having frequent high blood sugar levels?
      • Are you having frequent low blood sugar levels?
    • Lifestyle

    Your doctor will also give you a physical exam. During the exam, the doctor may check:

    Recommended Related to Diabetes

    Hypoglycemia: How Low Can You Go?

    If you have diabetes, you probably know the warning signs of low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia. "It's been described best as a little like the feeling you get when you're sliding on ice in a car: panic, rapid heart rate, [and] sort of a sense of doom," says John Buse, MD, PhD, professor of medicine, chief of the division of endocrinology, and executive associate dean for clinical research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine. You also probably know that hypoglycemia...

    Read the Hypoglycemia: How Low Can You Go? article > >

    • Your response to light touch, pressure, temperature, movement, repositioning, and vibration, particularly in your feet and legs. Simple tests can be used to screen for loss of sensation. The doctor may touch the end of your toe with a cotton wisp or a thin plastic fiber (called a monofilament test) to see whether you sense light touch or pressure. To evaluate your sensation of temperature, a cold metal tuning fork may be held to your leg. A vibrating tuning fork may be touched to your foot to check your sensation of vibration. These tests should be done on both feet.
    • Your muscle strength.
    • Your reflexes, especially those in your ankles and knees.
    • Your blood pressure and pulse and how they change when you are in certain positions (lying down, sitting, standing).

    During every visit, your doctor needs to examine your feet for cracked or peeling skin, excessive or reduced sweating, blisters, calluses, ulcers, signs of infection, bone and joint abnormalities, and other problems. You should have a complete foot exam at least once a year.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: June 04, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    1
    Next Article:

    Diabetic Neuropathy: Medical History and Physical Exam Topics

    Today on WebMD

    Diabetic tools
    Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
    woman flexing muscles
    10 strength training exercises.
     
    Blood sugar test
    12 practical tips.
    Tom Hanks
    Stars living with type 1 or type 2.
     
    kenneth fujioka, md
    Video
    Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
    Article
     
    Middle aged person
    Tool
    jennie brand miller
    Video
     

    Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
    Article
    type 2 diabetes
    Slideshow
     
    food fitness planner
    Tool
    feet
    Slideshow