A 61-year-old male asked:
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how can diabetic neuropathy be distinguished from b12 deficiency nerve damage?

3 doctor answers
Dr. Donald McCarren
36 years experience Neurology
Mainly Clinical: Your question is a good one as recent reports suggest that about 20% occur together. A few hints to the difference- if you have anosmia (loss of smell), hyperactive reflexes, large greater than small fiber sensory loss, and/or cognitive changes then suspect B12 deficiency. If you have an asymmetric neuropathy, small fiber changes, and/or autonomic dysfunction(bp, sweat...) then think diabetes.
Answered on Jul 26, 2017
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Dr. Neal Birnbaum
51 years experience Rheumatology
By laboratory tests: The symptoms of a peripheral neuropathy may be very similar, regardless of the cause. Peripheral neuropathy from diabetes, vitamin B12 deficiency, or other reasons usually presents as numbness, tingling, or burning in the feet. Physicians evaluating a patient with those complaints will usually do a battery of lab tests looking for the specific cause.
Answered on Jun 24, 2014
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Dr. Payam Rafat
22 years experience Podiatry
Blood tests.: Have it evaluated and appropriately treated.
Answered on Aug 15, 2013
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2 thanks

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Related questions:

A 27-year-old female asked:
Dr. Derrick Lonsdale
73 years experience Preventive Medicine
None: Both mainly affect the autonomic (automatic) nervous system. Diabeetic neuropathy is related to the metabolism of vitamin b1.
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A 62-year-old male asked:
Dr. Ronald Krauser
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Treat it.: In some cases an underlying cause is not found. Therefore, start treatment with Gabapentin or lyrica (pregabalin).
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A 38-year-old female asked:
Dr. Le Wang
Dr. Le Wang answered
36 years experience Internal Medicine
B12 deficiency: At least, B12 deficiency is known to cause neuropathy, both sensory and motor neuropathy, even before anemia develops. Get a B12 trial.
A 34-year-old female asked:
Dr. Robert Kent
12 years experience Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Depends: This depends on the severity and length of time you have had the deficiency. If it was caught and corrected very early, then yes, it should improve. ... Read More
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