Diabetic neuropathy: Often silent, often dangerous

– Neuropathy can blur the seriousness of injuries, especially in patients with diabetes, and that can lead to severe consequences such as falls, foot ulcers, gangrene, and amputations, said Lucia M. Novak, MSN, ANP-BC, BC-ADM, CDTC, in a presentation on assessing and treating neuropathies at the Metabolic & Endocrine Disease Summit, sponsored by Global Academy for Medical Education.

As many as half of the cases of diabetic neuropathy may have no symptoms, and more than two-thirds of cases of diabetic neuropathy, even some with obvious symptoms, are ignored or missed by clinicians, said Ms. Novak, director of the Riverside Diabetes Center and adjunct assistant professor at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, both in Bethesda, Md.

At the same time, she said, diabetic neuropathy is very common. It affects an estimated 10%-15% of newly diagnosed patients with type 2 diabetes, 50% of patients with type 2 disease after 10 years, and as many as 30% of patients with prediabetes.

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