In Type 2 diabetes control, the aim is to keep fast blood sugar levels within a reasonable range and at a steady level through the day. Scientists at Taichung Veterans General Hospital and various other research facilities in Taiwan have found too big a change in the blood sugar reading could lead to a higher risk of developing painful peripheral neuropathy.

Their study was reported on in February 2018 in the journal Diabetes and Metabolism. A total of one hundred participants with painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy were compared with …

  • 175 participants who had been diagnosed with non-painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy, and
  • 351 Type 2 diabetic participants without diabetic neuropathy.

The participants who had the highest number of changes in blood sugar levels had more than four times the risk of developing painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy as those who had stable levels.

Painful and non-painful peripheral diabetic neuropathy is caused by high blood sugar levels damaging the nerves. Preventing this complication of diabetes is one of the reasons to keep your levels under control with diet, exercise, and medicines when needed.

Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is diagnosed in people with Type 2 diabetic according to signs and symptoms and physical examination. When the diabetic complains of having …

  • pins and needles or
  • painful sensations or
  • numbness in limbs,

they are examined for muscle tone, tendon reflexes, and their ability to feel touch, temperature, and vibration. The condition can be treated with …

  • pregabalin (Lyrica – also used for treating other nerve disorders, such as seizures, fibromyalgia, and posttherpetic neuralgia (shingles).
  • gabapentin (Neurontin) – also used for anxiety, seizure disorders, headaches, hot flashes, shingles, and restless leg syndrome.
  • amitriptyline – also used to treat depression, migraine headaches, pain caused by multiple sclerosis, and insomnia.
  • duloxetine (Cymbalta) – also used to treat depression, anxiety disorder, and fibromyalgia.

Careful diet, exercise, and meal planning, along with blood monitoring and medication compliance, are critical to keeping blood sugar levels from fluctuating too much. The American Diabetes Association has several books with instructions on meal planning and eating out in restaurants …

  • dietitians, doctors, and specially trained diabetes nurses can answer individual questions.
  • doctors and trainers can help with physical activity plans.

Blood sugar should be monitored four times a day and before and after exercise or as directed. New types of blood sugar monitors without the need for finger pricks or cost materials are now available. Type 2 diabetes can sound overwhelming when you are first diagnosed but think of it as similar to learning to read. All those words dealing with blood sugar and the disease itself, look a little like learning a foreign language, but taken in short doses is much less complicated to master.