Peripheral neuropathy in prediabetes and the metabolic syndrome
Peripheral neuropathy is a major cause of disability worldwide. Diabetes is the most common cause of neuropathy, accounting for 50% of cases. Over half of people with diabetes develop neuropathy, and diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) is a major cause of reduced quality of life due to pain, sensory loss, gait instability, fall-related injury, and foot ulceration and amputation. Most patients with non-diabetic neuropathy have cryptogenic sensory peripheral neuropathy (CSPN). A growing body of literature links prediabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome to the risk of both DPN and CSPN. This association might be particularly strong in type 2 diabetes patients. There are no effective medical treatments for CSPN or DPN, and aggressive glycemic control is an effective approach to neuropathy risk reduction only in type 1 diabetes. Several studies suggest lifestyle-based treatments that integrate dietary counseling with exercise might be a promising therapeutic approach to early DPN in type 2 diabetes and CSPN associated with prediabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome.