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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.

Answer:

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.

JTL