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May 25, 2001

Complications

Question from Dallas, Texas, USA:

I have had diabetes for 32 years. I have coronary artery disease, and I have had a myocardial infarction due to a 99% blockage in the right coronary artery. I have loss of sensation in my hands on occasion when I am driving, and I have my elbow on the arm rest and my hand lying across my leg or my other arm lying on the arm rest. What I feel is loss of feeling mostly in my fingers and then on up into the wrist and forearms. The other symptom that I see is that my feet stay really cold if I take my socks off. Is there anything that I can do to help slow the progression and or reverse it?

Answer:

The best thing you can do is work on good blood sugar control on a daily basis. Your symptoms may be neuropathy, but there is also a possibility that you could have carpal tunnel compression symptoms. This entity is more common in people with diabetes, compared to the general population. Speak with your physician about this. A combination of exam, neurologic testing, and clinical suspicion is needed. The cool feet could also be symptomatic of neuropathy, but there is no specific treatment for that.

JTL