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June 1, 1999

Complications

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Question from Sweden:

I have had Type 1 diabetes for 30 years (I am 37) with tight control. I live a very active life doing sports most every day. I do not smoke and I have this far not showed any signs of diabetes related complications. My Hba1c readings are in the range of 4.3-4.8% with the upper reference value for a non-diabetic person of 5.5%. My Hba1c is tested 4 times a year.

During the last weeks I have noticed that my hands and feet are feeling cold. Not in the way that I am freezing but when I touch my cheeks with my hands I experience a temperature difference. I do not feel any numbness and have never had any complications with my feet. The color of my hands is “normal” and I have absolutely no problems to get good blood samples to my frequent blood glucose testing.

Is this “cold” feeling something that is related to my long duration of diabetes and in that case what is the remedy? I was tested negative for neuropathy a few months ago.

Answer:

From: DTeam Staff

Congratulations for your quite good management of your diabetes and for your healthy life habits. Regarding your question, I’m wondering, on the basis of your very low HbA1c levels, whether persistent low blood sugars could get your extremities to be cooler. Did you check your blood sugar while feeling cold at your hands and feet? If normal over the day, I’d exclude diabetes as a cause factor for your symptoms.

MS