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TUESDAY, April 12, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Prediabetes may cause more nerve damage than previously believed, researchers say.
"The results of this new study add urgency to the need for more screening of those with the condition and faster intervention," said senior study author Dr. Michael Polydefkis, a professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Over three years, the researchers found that those with prediabetes had damage over the entire length of small sensory nerve fibers, rather than just at the longest ends first. The findings challenge current understanding of prediabetes-related nerve damage, the researchers said.
The study was published online April 11 in the journal JAMA Neurology.
"I liken small-fiber neuropathy to the canary in the coal mine," Polydefkis said in a university news release.
"It signals the beginning of nerve deterioration that with time involves other types of nerve fibers and becomes more apparent and dramatically affects people's quality of life," he explained.
According to the American Diabetes Association, you can reduce your risk of progressing from prediabetes to diabetes by losing 7 percent of your body weight (for example, 14 pounds if you weigh 200 pounds) and by exercising moderately 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
-- Robert Preidt
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SOURCE: Johns Hopkins University, news release, April 11, 2016