Back to Ask the Diabetes Team Ask the Diabetes Team

From New York, USA:

I am a 32 year old diabetic of 16 years. In the last year I have had terrible pain and inflammation, and lumps on the balls of my feet. Also, it is difficult to curl my toes. My doctor says tendonitis, but could this actually be neuropathy already? Thanks for your help!


Without being able to see you and take a more elaborate history I am not sure how helpful I can be through the medium of e-mail. I am assuming that you have also talked to your doctor about the possibility of gout. The popular image is of swelling and pain in the big toe; but this is by no means always the case. A serum uric acid assay would give the answer.

Since you describe actual lumps and inflammation this is unlikely to be neuropathy; but diabetes is associated with a variety of disorders of tendons, fascia and tendon sheaths. Most often these affect the upper limbs; but they can occur in the feet. These are variously ascribed to glycosyation of tendon collagen causing contractures or to some related autoimmune condition. This group of complications are rather poorly understood in molecular terms so that treatment still tends to be palliative, manipulative or sometimes surgical. The one exception to this is the stiff man (hand) syndrome in which plasmapheresis of GAD antibodies has been rather successful albeit expensive.


Original posting 15 Mar 97


  Back to Ask the Diabetes Team Return to the Top of This Page

Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:54
This Internet site provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. If you have any concerns about your own health or the health of your child, you should always consult with a physician or other health care professional.

This site is published by T-1 Today, Inc. (d/b/a Children with Diabetes), a 501c3 not-for-profit organization, which is responsible for its contents. Our mission is to provide education and support to families living with type 1 diabetes.
By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Legal Notice, and Privacy Policy.
© Children with Diabetes, Inc. 1995-2018. Comments and Feedback.