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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 189-199

Approach to diabetic neuropathy


1 Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore, India; Non communicable Diseases Unit, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
2 Department of Family Medicine, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore, India
3 Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore, India

Correspondence Address:
Nitin Kapoor
Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Christian Medical College, Vellore - 632 004, Tamil Nadu, India

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/cmi.cmi_38_17

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Neuropathy is the most common symptomatic complication of diabetes mellitus(DM) and accounts for a large share of morbidity and hospitalization associated with the disease. The symptoms of neuropathy in diabetes may present with somatic, autonomic, motor or sensory symptoms. Symmetric distal sensory polyneuropathy is the most common form, affecting the distal lower extremities and hands in a “glove and stocking” pattern. Cardiac autonomic neuropathy can, in particular, contribute to 6% of sudden deaths(painless myocardial infarction) among those with long-standing diabetes. Neuropathy whether sensory, motor, or autonomic may lead to the formation of fissures or calluses which lead to ulceration. Tight glycemic control is the only strategy which has demonstrated to show prevention and progress of diabetic peripheral neuropathy and autonomic neuropathy. Early treatment of diabetic neuropathy should, therefore, include tight glycemic control. All patients should be screened for diabetic neuropathy starting at diagnosis of type2 DM and 5years after diagnosis of type1 DM and at least annually thereafter. An annual comprehensive foot examination is a must for all patients with diabetes and consists of examination of foot and footwear, neuropathy screening, vascular assessment, and musculoskeletal assessment of feet. This would help in identification of risk factor predictive of ulcers and amputation.


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