St Louis Spine and Joint Pain Specialists
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So you are a pre-diabetic and are probably thinking to yourself “things could be worse, at least I am not a diabetic, after all, it is diabetics that have all the health issues, not pre-diabetics.” If this is your mentality then allow me to set the record straight—you are very wrong.
A recent study found that 24% of patients with pre-diabetes already had impaired foot sensation; in the medical world this is what is known as a peripheral neuropathy. Put another way, 1 out of 4 people with elevated blood sugars that are not considered diabetic will have difficulty feeling a pebble in their shoe. Some of these people will advance to the point of having burning sensations and worsening of their symptoms. One study found that 22% to 48% of people will have a peripheral neuropathy by the time they are diagnosed with diabetes.
Does it matter if you can’t feel a tiny pebble in your shoe or splinter in your toe? In the medical world we see it all the time. When someone can’t feel their toes from peripheral neuropathy, this almost always inevitably leads to difficult to treat infections and often times amputations.
While pre-diabetes is reversible the peripheral neuropathy is not. What this means is that you can, and absolutely should, lose weight which will certainly lower your blood sugars. Unfortunately, the loss of sensation, burning sensation, numbness, tingling, or weakness, resulting from the nerve damage will likely persist. But remember, if you don’t lower your blood sugars this can only get worse.