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Idiopathic Neuropathy May Be the First Indication of Prediabetes

Sep 20, 2005

Patients who present with idiopathic neuropathy may in fact be experiencing the first signs of impaired glucose tolerance (IGT or “prediabetes”).

In a recent study that compared the association between peripheral neuropathy and prediabetes, findings suggested that electrophysiologic features were similar between patients with diagnosed diabetic neuropathy (DN) and those with prediabetes.
In the research, 67 patients enrolled in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded Impaired Glucose Tolerance Neuropathy (IGTN) Study underwent nerve conductions studies as well as a series of other electrodiagnostic neuropathy testing. These patients were compared to 52 patients with diabetic neuropathy and 42 with diabetes but no neuropathy who are participating in another NIH funded study. The findings showed that the electrophysiologic characteristics were similar between the IGTN and DN patients.

All of the prediabetic patients presented initially with numbness, pain, tingling or a burning sensation in the feet and, at times, also in the fingers. According to researcher, Dr. A. Gordon Smith of the University of Utah, “The neuropathy in patients with IGTN looks the similar to the neuropathy of those patients with diagnosed diabetes mellitus. Awareness of the symptoms and electrophysiologic similarities can lead to early diagnosis and treatment for prediabetes, which we hope will result in improved neuropathy symptoms.”

The full research results will be reported at the American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine (AANEM) 52nd Annual Scientific Meeting in Monterey, California, September 21-25.


If you do just one thing to fight fat, exercise might be the way to go, judging by a new study: Consider the study’s results: Inactivity led to a buildup of fat deep inside the belly. Modest amounts of exercise held the line on deep belly fat. Higher amounts of exercise cut deep belly fat and fat around the waist. The study appears in The Journal of Physiology. Modest exercisers logged the equivalent of 11 miles per week. They matched current recommendations from the CDC and American College of Sports Medicine, the researchers note. Those who got the most exercise did the equivalent of jogging 17 miles weekly. "While this may seem like a lot of exercise, our previously sedentary and overweight subjects were quite capable of doing this amount," says Slentz. Journal of Applied Physiology, October 2005.