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Types of Peripheral Neuropathy - Pre-diabetic/Diabetic

Pre-diabetes / Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT)

A link exists between pre-diabetes (also known as impaired glucose tolerance or IGT) and peripheral neuropathy. Approximately 10% of adults in America have what is being called "pre-diabetes" or "borderline diabetes"—a condition where the body has higher than normal blood sugar levels, but not high enough to be diagnosed as true diabetes. If left untreated, people with pre-diabetes are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and nerve damage (which could result in peripheral neuropathy).

People with pre-diabetes or IGT can significantly reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes through diet, exercise, and learning to control their blood sugar levels.


(Not all symptoms and signs may be present.)

People with IGT often have no symptoms. People who actually have diabetes—and who therefore are at greater risk of developing peripheral neuropathy—often don't realize it because the symptoms of diabetes come on so gradually. The symptoms of diabetes and its complications include:

  • Frequent urination
  • Blurred vision
  • Constant thirst
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent infections
  • Cuts and bruises that heal slowly
  • Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet

Here are the symptoms to watch for the development of peripheral neuropathy.

In feet or hands:

  • Pain
  • Numbness
  • Tingling Sensations


(Not all evaluation and tests may be necessary.)

To test for pre-diabetes:

To test for peripheral neuropathy:


(Not all treatments and therapies may be indicated.)

  • Over-the-counter pain medication for mild pain
  • Take safety measures to compensate for loss of sensation.
  • Ask your doctor about special therapeutic shoes (which may be covered by Medicare and other insurance).

To prevent or delay a pre-diabetic condition:

  • Lose weight
  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Exercise
  • Stop smoking

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