It is well-known that diabetic patients frequently develop peripheral neuropathy. Today, doctors are exploring a link between peripheral neuropathy and pre-diabetes (also known as impaired glucose tolerance or IGT). An estimated 20 million people in the US have what is being called "pre-diabetes" or "borderline diabetes" — a condition where the body has higher than normal blood sugar levels, but not high enough to be diagnosed as true diabetes. If left untreated, people with pre-diabetes are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and nerve damage (which could result in peripheral neuropathy.)
People with pre-diabetes often have no symptoms. People who actually have diabetes-and who therefore are at greater risk of developing peripheral neuropathy-often don't realize it because the symptoms of diabetes (frequent urination, constant thirst, blurred vision, fatigue, cuts and bruises that heal slowly, and tingling or numbness in the hands or feet) come on so gradually. You might want to consider being screened for pre-diabetes if you are over the age of 45, overweight and not physically active, have a family history of diabetes, and belong to an 'at-risk' ethnic or minority group.
The good news is that studies show that with modest weight loss (5 - 10% of total body weight) and increased moderate physical activity, such as walking 30 minutes a day, five days a week, you can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58%.