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August 20, 2001

Aches and Pains, Thyroid

Question from Princeton, California, USA:

I was diagnosed with diabetes three and a half years ago, and for the last two years or so, my hands and feet get really cold. Not just in the winter, even in warm weather they will feel cold. Recently, my fingers have felt a little bit numb. They kind of feel like my feet do when I sit on them and they "fall asleep". Could this have anything to do with my diabetes?

Answer:

I’d say no because diabetes takes generally longer than three and a half years to cause chronic complications. Nevertheless, a vascular and neurological examination are highly recommended. I’d also check for hypothyroidism, which is common among people with diabetes and might be causing symptoms of cold you report. Ask your doctor for a referral to an endocrinologist (if you’re not seeing one).

MS