Diabetic Neuropathy


Diabetic neuropathy means nerve damage by an elevated blood sugar. If you’re having a neuropathy, you usually know it. In this post, I will focus on those that affected me. Some of the symptoms have started long before I was finally diagnosed with T2D.  At the time I didn’t know what to make of the symptoms and sometimes didn’t have health insurance so I was hoping that they’ll eventually go away on their own which some of them did.

At times, I had a feeling that something was wrong; after eating an apple, the feeling was gone. This symptom was rather vague and I didn’t think much about it back then. Now being armed with a knowledge of my T2D, I can put two and two together. No doubt I was experiencing episodes of a low BG but no classic symptoms so I had no clue what was going on. This was a hypo unawareness, a form of an autonomic neuropathy which is a nerve damage to the autonomic nervous system that controls the internal organs.

Then for some time I was having pain in my legs that I thought was muscle spasms as I couldn’t make out what else it could be. At the time I was taking prednisone (steroid) for my RA and cramps or a muscle pain were listed as a common side effect on the booklet info enclosed into the refill package at the pharmacy. When I however tried to address the issue with my rheumy doc, I was told that it’s no big deal, everyone’s having cramps. Only after calling her office and quoting the pharmacy info, was I able to get a prescription for a muscle relaxant that btw cost $$. And it didn’t help the problem a slightest bit because this was actually a nerve pain. Now it’s obvious to me that I was having an undiagnosed T2D back then. I am still having these every once in a while and I know to sit down, relax and pray, and it will eventually go away. Am trying not to take any pain pills if I can help it.

Another thing happened. A few years ago I had a foot drop. This has happened at work in the middle of the night. All of a sudden I felt something in my left foot, a sensation similar to a flipped switch. Next thing I know, my foot is dropped and I was unable to bend it all the way up. From that point on, I had to be conscious of how I land that foot on the ground. Imagine doing this with each step. When walking, I had to move this foot first… does this make sense? It did to me as I couldn’t afford to allow THAT FOOT to drag since it already had a drop. So I walked with a limp. Have never used any walking aids and never fell. This has lasted six months or so and finally went away on its own which was a blessing. It was a peripheral neuropathy which is a nerve damage in the arms or legs. I hope that it won’t happen ever again.

Right now I’m having low back pain that comes and goes. At first I attributed it to the RA but now turns out that this is a form of a neuropathy when a damage occurs in a specific nerve (mononeuropathy). I’m also having numbness in my toes that comes and goes but it doesn’t go away completely. It gets better and then worse, and basically continues in this pattern. I however don’t lose the sensation in my feet completely, and have no problem walking.

Oh well, I think I’d covered it all. Will have to address these issues with my new PCP whom I’ll see sometimes next week.

Last morning my fasting BG was 97.  Love it.

Source:  Mayo Clinic website


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