HealthDay operates under the strictest editorial standards. Our syndicated news content is completely independent of any financial interests, is based solely on industry-respected sources and the latest scientific research, and is carefully fact-checked by a team of industry experts to ensure accuracy.
- All articles are edited and checked for factual accuracy by our Editorial Team prior to being published.
- Unless otherwise noted, all articles focusing on new research are based on studies published in peer-reviewed journals or issued from independent and respected medical associations, academic groups and governmental organizations.
- Each article includes a link or reference to the original source.
- Any known potential conflicts of interest associated with a study or source are made clear to the reader.
Please see our Editorial and Fact-Checking Policy for more detail.Editorial and Fact-Checking Policy
HealthDay Editorial Commitment
HeathDay is committed to maintaining the highest possible levels of impartial editorial standards in the content that we present on our website. All of our articles are chosen independent of any financial interests. Editors and writers make all efforts to clarify any financial ties behind the studies on which we report.
FRIDAY, Sept. 23, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Nerve damage is a common side effect of type 2 diabetes and it might start in the eyes long before the condition is ever diagnosed, new research suggests.
In this study, scientists used neuropathy, or nerve damage, in the eye’s cornea as a proxy for the damage to nerves throughout the body.
The study included nearly 3,500 people — 21% with type 2 diabetes, 15% with prediabetes and 64% with neither condition — and the investigators looked at the corneal nerves in all three groups.
The researchers found that the amount of damage to the corneal nerves rose in tandem with the amount of impairment to glucose metabolism.
People with prediabetes had corneal nerve damage that was 8% higher than those with no diabetes. Meanwhile, those with diabetes had corneal nerve damage that was 8% higher than those with prediabetes and 14% higher than those with neither condition, the findings showed.
Nerve damage also rose with higher blood sugar levels and with the length of time a person had diabetes. That included higher HbA1c levels (the average blood sugar level over several months), and blood sugar levels two hours after a meal.
“We know from other studies that it typically takes three to five years to progress from prediabetes to type 2 diabetes. Our results, from the first study of its kind, suggest that high levels of blood sugar can begin to damage corneal nerves long before type 2 diabetes develops,” said Dr. Sara Mokhtar, of the department of internal medicine at Maastricht University Medical Center+, in the Netherlands.
“Nerve damage in the cornea is relatively easy to measure and provides a window to nerve damage elsewhere in the body. If we could pick up nerve damage early on, we might be able to delay or prevent it and the problems it causes, and so significantly improve quality of life,” Mokhtar said.
While neuropathy can cause everything from dry eye to vision loss in the eyes, it can also cause pain and numbness in the legs, feet and hands. Diabetes can also trigger muscle and organ problems.
The findings were presented this week at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes annual meeting, in Stockholm. Findings presented at medical meetings are considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
More research will be needed to prove that the higher glucose level is the cause of the damage and whether early blood sugar control may delay or prevent it, Mokhtar added in a meeting news release.
The American Diabetes Association has more on neuropathy.
SOURCE: European Association for the Study of Diabetes, news release, Sept. 21, 2022
This story may be outdated. We suggest some alternatives.
The content contained in this article is over two years old. As such our recommendation is that you reference the articles below for the latest updates on this topic. This article has been left on our site as a matter of historic record. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Published on September 23, 2022