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January 16, 2000

Complications, Type 2

Question from Las Vegas Nevada, USA:

In addition to his feet feeling less sensitive at times and tingling in the fingers during night time sleep, my father has developed severe pain in the upper left area of his stomach. He was diagnosed nine months ago with diabetes. He does not take insulin, but has to take a pill and watch his diet very closely. He is 72 years old. Is the abdominal pain related and if so, is there any treatment? Does the condition ever go away? My father has had every test imaginable (MRI, Cat scans and so forth) and the results show nothing.

Answer:

I think what your father is suffering at his legs from is diabetic somatic neuropathy. Type 2 diabetes is often accompanied by chronic complications, even soon after the initial diagnosis (if you consider that blood sugar have been high long before the diagnosis was made). He needs a proper assessment by a neurologist.

Regarding the stomach pain, diabetes can result in dysfunction of each part of the gut, though those of the stomach rarely leads towards pain. Again, a proper gastroenterologic examination is mandatory.

MS