Diagnosis of Diabetic neuropathy
Tests and diagnosis discussion for Diabetic neuropathy:
A doctor diagnoses neuropathy based on symptoms
and a physical exam. During the exam, the doctor may check muscle
strength, reflexes, and sensitivity to position, vibration, temperature,
and light touch. Sometimes special tests are also used to help determine
the cause of symptoms and to suggest treatment.
A simple screening test to check point sensation in the
feet can be done in the doctor's office. The test uses a nylon filament
mounted on a small wand. The filament delivers a standardized 10-gram
force when touched to areas of the foot. Patients who cannot sense
pressure from the filament have lost protective sensation and are at risk
for developing neuropathic foot ulcers. Physicians may order the filament
(with instructions for use) free from the Lower Extremity Amputation
Prevention Program, (LEAP) Bureau of Primary Health Care, Division of
Programs for Special Populations, 4350 East West Highway, 9th floor,
Bethesda, MD 20814; telephone (301) 594-4424.
Nerve conduction studies check the flow of electrical
current through a nerve. With this test, an image of the nerve impulse is
projected on a screen as it transmits an electrical signal. Impulses that
seem slower or weaker than usual indicate possible damage to the nerve.
This test allows the doctor to assess the condition of all the nerves in
the arms and legs.
Electromyography (EMG) is used to see how well muscles
respond to electrical impulses transmitted by nearby nerves. The
electrical activity of the muscle is displayed on a screen. A response
that is slower or weaker than usual suggests damage to the nerve or
muscle. This test is often done at the same time as nerve conduction
Ultrasound employs sound waves. The sound waves are too
high to hear, but they produce an image showing how well the bladder and
other parts of the urinary tract are functioning.
Nerve biopsy involves removing a sample of nerve tissue
for examination. This test is most often used in research settings.
If your doctor suspects autonomic neuropathy, you may also be referred
to a physician who specializes in digestive disorders (gastroenterologist)
for additional tests.
(Source: excerpt from Diabetic Neuropathy The Nerve Damage of Diabetes: NIDDK)
Diagnosis of Diabetic neuropathy: medical news summaries:
The following medical news items
are relevant to diagnosis and misdiagnosis issues for Diabetic neuropathy: