Kate Cornell was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in June of 2005. Since then, she has controlled diabetes through dietary changes, exercise, and, more recently, metformin. She shares her experiences and lessons learned here and on her blog, kates-sweet-success.blogspot.com, which was named as one of the top diabetes blogs for 2015 by Healthline.com.
No matter how well we control our diabetes, more than half of us will develop some level of diabetic neuropathy in our lifetime—a scary statistic. But this unique diagnostic device could help doctors identify this dangerous complication sooner.
Neuropathy is usually diagnosed by foot examinations and questions about your symptoms and medical history. Now, there is an incredible device, announced at the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) 22nd Annual Scientific and Clinical Congress, that can detect neuropathy using sweat.
This new device has been approved by the FDA, and it works “by measuring the skin conductance response through the sweat glands.” It’s also possible to determine which type of neuropathy you have (there are four types), which can help when deciding which form of therapy to begin.
Symptoms of neuropathy include:
- Numbness or reduced ability to feel pain, especially in your feet and toes
- A tingling or burning feeling
- Sharp, jabbing pain that may be worse at night
- Pain when walking as well as muscle weakness
- Serious foot problems, such as ulcers, infections, deformities, and bone and joint pain
People with type 1 diabetes should be tested for neuropathy every five years. Those with type 2 should be tested yearly.
This new device can detect neuropathy in five minutes or fewer and requires no special skills to use, which will greatly improve doctors’ ability to catch neuropathy earlier and hopefully delay further complications.