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HI There, I have tingling pins and needles like feeling in my left foot, often when I drive and sometimes when I'm just sitting. I'm a type 2 diabetes diagnosed for 3 yrs and 40 yrs old. Surely I haven't damaged my nerves through diabetes in 3 yrs or have I? Doctor has just given me ibuprofen and told me nothing else they can do, great!

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It is not unusual for neuropathy to be diagnosed before diabetes is diagnosed. However, diabetes is more often than not type 1 when symptoms of neuropathy appear.

I advise you see another doctor. Tell your doctor of your concerns.

To help in the diagnosis, your doctor will likely take a full medical history and perform a physical and neurological exam that may include checking your tendon reflexes, your muscle strength and tone, your ability to feel certain sensations, and your posture and coordination.

Your doctor may also request blood tests to check your level of vitamin B-12, a urinalysis, thyroid function tests and, often, electromyography — a test that measures the electrical discharges produced in your muscles. As a part of this test, you'll be asked to have a nerve conduction study, which measures how quickly your nerves carry electrical signals. A nerve conduction study is often used to diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome and other peripheral nerve disorders.

Your doctor may recommend a nerve biopsy, a procedure in which a small portion of a nerve is removed and examined for abnormalities. But even a nerve biopsy may not always reveal what's damaging your nerves.

Be persistent. Insist your doctor look close and hard to determine if you have neurological problems. Once neuropathy is diagnosed and the source if found, treatment can begin.

The first goal of treatment is to manage the condition causing your neuropathy. If the underlying cause is corrected, the neuropathy often improves on its own. The second goal of treatment is to relieve the painful symptoms. Many types of medications can be used to relieve the pain of peripheral neuropathy.
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