According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 1 in 3 patients with diabetes are unaware of their condition, or nearly 8 million people living in the US alone. Even more alarming, 85% of the 8 million undiagnosed diabetics have a primary care doctor, and nearly 70% have seen that doctor at least twice in the past year.
The danger of undiagnosed diabetes is that, left untreated, it raises the risk of heart disease and stroke and can escalate into blindness, kidney failure, loss of limbs and death.
In some patients, an early warning sign on impaired glucose tolerance, or pre-diabetes, may be symptoms of the sensory nerves in the feet and legs. These symptoms are often worse after periods of rest, such as upon waking up in the morning, and can include a heightened sensitivity to painful touch, or even a painful reaction to normal sensations, such as the feeling of the bed covers on your skin. An inability to detect light touch, changes in the temperature of the skin and redness can also be warning signs. Even pain in the heel of the foot can be a sign that something is not right with your nervous system.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, a visit with a doctor who has expertise in neuropathy is very important. Diabetes or not, these experts can perform testing that may identify the causes of your symptoms and design an effective treatment plan.
The doctors affiliated with US Neuropathy Centers have extensive training to thoroughly and accurately diagnose your neuropathy symptoms. Do not ignore early warning signs or “minor” symptoms. These may help the experienced doctor uncover a more serious condition before it, and the symptoms, progress, and allow for better treatment options.
The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.
@US Neuropathy Centers, 2018