Diagnosing peripheral neuropathy in South-East Asia: A focus on diabetic neuropathy

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Journal of Diabetes Investigation


© 2020 The Authors. Journal of Diabetes Investigation published by Asian Association for the Study of Diabetes (AASD) and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd Burning and stabbing pain in the feet and lower limbs can have a significant impact on the activities of daily living, including walking, climbing stairs and sleeping. Peripheral neuropathy in particular is often misdiagnosed or underdiagnosed because of a lack of awareness amongst both patients and physicians. Furthermore, crude screening tools, such as the 10-g monofilament, only detect advanced neuropathy and a normal test will lead to false reassurance of those with small fiber mediated painful neuropathy. The underestimation of peripheral neuropathy is highly prevalent in the South-East Asia region due to a lack of consensus guidance on routine screening and diagnostic pathways. Although neuropathy as a result of diabetes is the most common cause in the region, other causes due to infections (human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis B or C virus), chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, drug-induced neuropathy (cancer chemotherapy, antiretrovirals and antituberculous drugs) and vitamin deficiencies (vitamin B1, B6, B12, D) should be actively excluded.

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