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From Goldcoast, Queensland, Australia:

Recently, I had a work injury which was diagnosed as a lower back injury (sciatica). I had an MRI and an EMG and the orthopaedic surgeon said that there was abnormal damage to the nerve on the left leg which be attributes to my sugar levels not being under control. In the past 12 months, my levels have been in the range of 6.9-8.9 mmol/L [124-160 mg/dl]. Is my diabetes a contributing factor to my lower back pain and left leg numbness?


The problem here is determining the origin of the symptoms you describe. Diabetic neuropathy is a clinical diagnosis. It cannot be made on the basis of the EMG alone. The EMG is better at defining nerve compression and at what anatomical location. It is possible for you to have both a peripheral nerve damage and diabetic neuropathy.

There is no doubt that if diabetic neuropathy is a problem, blood sugar control will help with the symptoms. I would suggest that sugars ranging above 8 mmol/L [144 mg/dl] are too high, you contact your physician caring for your diabetes and inquire about additional ways to control your blood sugars. This should be done anyway. If you can control them, you can see how much better the pain is controlled.


Original posting 11 May 2003
Posted to Aches and Pains and Complications


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:46
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