June 7, 2001
Question from Manteca, California, USA:
My feet have been numb and extremely sore to walk on for over four years. My doctor diagnosed borderline diabetes with neuropathy and put me on Neurontin which helps me mildly. Can a person with borderline diabetes have neuropathy?
Yes, a someone with “borderline” diabetes can have neuropathy. The diabetes may have been present for many years, and although mild may have been causing nerve damage for quite sometime. The Neurontin may help with pain from neuropathy, although not with the numbness. Unfortunately, there is not much that will improve the numbness.
The most important things for you to do now are to try to keep the blood sugar levels controlled as near normal as possible, which may improve the neuropathy slightly, and to take good care of your feet. You should inspect them daily for any skin problems, and probably should regularly see a foot care specialist — a podiatrist — who is familiar with diabetic foot problems.