Researchers have claimed that diabetes patients who are able to tightly control their blood sugar levels are delaying the potential risk of developing diabetic neuropathy.
However, the analysis of 17 clinical trials, published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, showed that this was mainly limited to those with type 1 diabetes, and also that this came at a cost, with patients reporting more severe hypoglycaemia.
The review study revealed that people with type 1 diabetes experienced nearly a two per cent yearly reduction in the risk of clinical neuropathy through aggressive glucose control, but that the advantages for those suffering from type 2 diabetes was only 0.58 per cent per year, and was statistically insignificant.
The scientists pointed out that the benefits of the delay had to be balanced against the substantially higher chance of diabetics having dangerously low levels of blood sugar, which could then lead to health problems such as brain damage. Previous studies have found that around a tenth of diabetes patients show evidence of neuropathy at diagnosis, which goes up to 40 to 50 per cent after a decade with the condition.
The study argued that “Overall, the evidence indicates that more aggressive treatments of sugar levels delay the onset of neuropathy in both types of diabetes. No other treatments have proven effective to date.”

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