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December 5, 2000

Complications

Question from Syosset, New York, USA:

I have had type�1 diabetes for four years. For the past two years, I have been experiencing symptoms in my feet and hands. My feet and hands seem extremely sensitive to pressure. For example, after carrying a plastic grocery bag the skin on my hands have deep impression from where I was holding the bag and my hand is slow to return to its normal position from clenched fist used to carry the bag. My feet feel uncomfortable when I have to stand on them for an extended amount of time. I have been a seeing neurologist for these problems, but he does not have an answer since I pass his neuropathy exam. Do have any input as to what might be occurring?

Answer:

Diabetic neuropathy is diagnosed using clinical parameters. If your neurologist does a good exam, it is hard to argue with that. However, sometimes an EMG and nerve conduction studies are used to complement the neurologic exam. You may want to talk with your neurologist about this. Do you think your hands are swollen? Is this more a situation of fluid in the hands and feet? Otherwise, I have no good explanation for your symptoms without being able to examine you.

JTL