Back to Ask the Diabetes Team Ask the Diabetes Team

From Tampa, Florida, USA:

I am 20 years old and have had diabetes for two years. I have been on an up and down rollercoaster with controlling it and then not controlling it. I went on a kayaking trip and because of the position of my legs my left foot went asleep. I didn't think anything of it, but the next day my big toe on my left foot was still numb. I am very concerned, but my next doctor appointment isn't for six months, and my doctor is really hard to get an appointment with. Is this something that will go away if I make sure (from now on) my blood sugar is in good control or is this a permanent problem caused by not having good control? Should contact a physician about it immediately? Keep in mind that lately, I have not been doing very well with diabetes control. My blood sugar has been pretty high.


Numbness of the hands and feet is typically seen with the most common form of diabetic neuropathy. The exact reason the nerves are involved is still not clear but, there seems to be an inability of the nerves to repair themselves and produce energy to function normally. Neuropathy is more common in patients with high sugars and with a long duration of diabetes. Previous clinical trials have shown that good blood sugar control can prevent the onset or slow the progression of this complication. There are no other preventive therapies for neuropathy. Sometimes, people with diabetes can have other reasons for numbness. These other reasons may include compression of nerves, such as with carpal tunnel syndrome.However, you need to work with your physician on this because the best way to diagnose it is with a clinical exam. Sometimes EMG with nerve conduction studies are performed. I am not sure why your big toe is numb, but I do know that your blood sugars sound awfully high a lot of the time.


[Editor's comment: I am surprised to learn that your next appointment with your doctor is in six months. People with diabetes, especially when they are not in good control, should be seen at least every three months. SS]

Original posting 13 Dec 2000
Posted to Complications


  Back to Ask the Diabetes Team Return to the Top of This Page

Last Updated: (none)
This Internet site provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. If you have any concerns about your own health or the health of your child, you should always consult with a physician or other health care professional.

This site is published by T-1 Today, Inc. (d/b/a Children with Diabetes), a 501c3 not-for-profit organization, which is responsible for its contents. Our mission is to provide education and support to families living with type 1 diabetes.
By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Legal Notice, and Privacy Policy.
© Children with Diabetes, Inc. 1995-2018. Comments and Feedback.