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July 17, 2003

Aches and Pains

Question from Fremont, California, USA:

I have recently been diagnosed with "pre-diabetes" as my doctor would say, because she is not sure whether I actually have it or not. However, lately I have been feeling radiating heat from my left lower calf, and the leg does not feel hot. It is strange. Is this was because of my diabetes? Please help, as I am in fear that one day my leg is going to get amputated.


Prediabetes is not necessarily the same as having diabetes in terms of the risk for microvascular complications. Diabetic neuropathy, the involvement of nerves as a result of diabetes, occurs when the sugars remain elevated for a long period of time. If you truly do not have diabetes, and you continue to have the burning pain, I would consider other causes for your symptoms.

These would include a pinched nerve from a change in the vertebrae in the back, compression of the nerve after the nerve exists the back, or a primary muscle problem, such as a muscle tear or pull. Your doctor will need to examine you and may elect to have a test performed called an EMG. This test can evaluate the status of the nerves and determine if a nerve is compressed or if this is from a metabolic disease such as diabetes.