Diabetes and ElectroDiagnostics

There are a wide variety of medical conditions that are assessed utilizing ElectroDiagnostic testing.

Frequently, the examination is requested in a patient experiencing symptoms that suggest some problem with the nerves (numbness, tingling, weakness or pain) or muscles (weakness or pain). The ElectroDiagnostic test can help clarify the cause of the patient’s symptoms, and the extent of muscle or nerve involvement.

Nerve Damage and Nerve Entrapment - In diabetic patients generalized nerve damage is very common as is nerve entrapment which is caused by local pressure on a nerve thereby causing trauma to the nerve with symptoms that usually arise from that area.

It is very difficult to differentiate in a diabetic patient between general nerve damage in the limbs and nerve entrapment unless ElectroDiagnostic testing is undertaken.

Nerve Damage and Vascular disease — The diabetic patient can suffer from many complications due to the disease. Among the more common complications are nerve damage (above) and damage to the peripheral arteries that can result in pain in the lower limbs similar to pain caused by nerve damage.

It can be difficult to differentiate between the different possible causes of lower limb pain in diabetic patients. EDX testing enables the physician to know with certainty whether the nerves in the lower limbs are damaged and may be involved in causing the patient’s symptoms.

Back Pain and Diabetes — Back pain is one of the most common ailments with 41% of all adults aged between 26 - 44 years reporting having back pain within a 6 months period. It is as common for diabetic patients to suffer from back pain as the rest of the population but a diabetic patient complaining of pain in the extremity is more likely to be labeled with neuropathy (nerve damage) than evaluated for causes of back pain.

Only EDX testing can differentiate with objectivity between nerve damage caused by diabetes and radiculopathies or back pain caused by musculoskeletal issues.

Reasons for nerve conduction testing of patients with suspected Neuropathy

  • Diabetic polyneuropathy involves different patterns of nerve damage so testing enables physicians to identify all affected nerves as well as differentiate between damaged nerves and healthy nerves
  • Testing enables the physician to determine the severity of nerve damage with an objective tool
  • Testing allows the physician, in an objective manner, to determine the progression of disease
  • 10% of patients will have a diagnosis after testing than differs from the referral diagnosis and 30% will have co-morbidities (additional findings)
  • Patient trials have demonstrated benefit with stabilization of glucose levels and even in some cases regression in disease.

Correct diagnosis of neuropathy can affect patient treatment and care.