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December 27, 2000


Question from Kuwait:

My mother has had diabetes for 12 years, takes insulin regularly, and she never had any problem. However, for the past two years she has been suffering from severe pains in her leg and foot. While we continue with her routine check-ups, her doctors say she is all right. We don’t accept this because sometimes she feels so much pain in her feet. We are very confused and frustrated about her treatment and the fact that they don’t investigate her problem. Can you help us with this problem? We can send you her reports.


From: DTeam Staff

It sounds like you mother may be suffering from painful diabetic neuropathy. This condition occurs with chronic exposure to elevated blood sugars. The good news is that it is treatable. The bad news is that it is a chronic problem. It relies on your physician to make a clinical diagnosis of the problem.

I would suggest that if you are not happy with your mother’s care, you should have her seek another physician for a second opinion. This is a condition which requires that the physician and the patient work together.


[Editor’s comment: Also, see Diabetes and Foot Pain for some additional thoughts the management of painful diabetic neuropathy.