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Diabetes: Lab Tests for Nerve Problems

Topic Overview

Nerve problems linked with diabetes are most likely caused by diabetic neuropathy, although nerve problems may also be caused by other conditions. Tests that may be done to rule out other conditions include:

  • Complete blood count, which checks red and white blood cell levels, to evaluate a wide range of symptoms.
  • Electrolyte levels, which checks levels in the body such as sodium, potassium, creatinine, glucose, calcium.
  • Thyroid function tests, such as testing for thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels.
  • Tests to evaluate levels of B12, folic acid, and other vitamins and minerals, to check for deficiencies.
  • Sedimentation rate (ESR), to check for vasculitis and inflammation of the nerves and blood vessels.
  • A test for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection if you and your doctor think you may be at risk.
  • Tests for Lyme disease if you and your doctor think you have been exposed to an infected tick.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Barrie J. Hurwitz, MD - Neurology
Last Revised April 12, 2012

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