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October 26, 2021

Complications, Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Colorado, USA:

Although I know I have diabetes, I am not sure what type. What kind do you have if you need to take two shots? My blood test number was 212 mg/dl [11.8 mmol/L]. Also, what does it mean if you have tingling/numbness in your hands and feet?


From: Marissa Town, BSN, RN, CDCES

Typically, the way to tell the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes is to measure a few different things in the blood. First, C-peptide is a way to see if the body is still making insulin. Second, there are autoantibodies that would indicate a likelihood for having autoimmune type 1 diabetes. Either way, 212 mg/dL [11.8 mmol/L] is higher than you ideally want your blood sugars to be.

Tingling and numbness in your hands and feet likely mean you may have some neuropathy related to diabetes. This means that the nerves are getting damaged from high blood glucose levels. If you can work to get your blood sugars closer to target, which would be 70 to 120 mg/dl [6.7 mmol/L] fasting, less than 200 mg/dl [11.1 mmol/L] after meals, you may find that some of the symptoms get better.

I would highly encourage you to see an endocrinologist to help figure out what type of diabetes you have, determine what treatment will work best for you, and help you navigate all of the ins and outs of diabetes.