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We answer all types of Neurology/Neurological questions about the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves. Include your age, sex, current meds, and known diagnoses, upcoming/completed appointments, tests, or procedures. We are not physicians. We help explain medical terminology and give support.
Creepy crawlies any problems with diabetes?
demarmomof3 posted:
My father in law has had diabetes for many years and he takes very good care of himself. He just turned 75 and has had problems with his eyes recently but seems to be doing well. However, the latest problem seems like it might be neurological. He seems to feel that bugs or something is crawling on him all the time. Does anyone have any ideas or knows of this? I would love to be able to help him. Thank you.
susiemargaret responded:
hello, D --

your father-in-law is very fortunate to have you looking out for his interests. if indeed the source of this unpleasant sensation is neurological, i believe that the name for what you are describing may be formication or paresthesia. however, i am not a medical person (see PS).

i did some quickie diabetes-related searches on the internet, but to my bumfoozlement, i was completely unable to find anything along that line that sounds like it would be helpful in answering your Q! what i want to suggest first, therefore, is that if you have not already done so, you might want to take a look, or post, in one or more of the following communitites, all of which have an expert on-board --

-- the diabetes community, ,

-- the skin problems/treatments community, , and

-- the allergies community, .

aside from ideas that people in those communities might suggest, three other lines of inquiry come to mind --

-- whether this sensation might come from actual bugs of some kind that are under or on the skin but undetectable to the human eye;

-- whether this sensation might have some connection to an external cause, such as an allergen or a side effect of a med; and

-- whether this sensation might be connected to some condition either independent of diabetes, such as parkinson's, or only indirectly related to diabetes, such as kidney disease.

so let me ask a few other Qs --

-- could this crawling sensation also be described as itching, tingling, or prickling?

-- does it feel like bugs under the skin or only on it, or both?

-- does your father-in-law have this sensation at any particular time of day/night? asleep/awake? indoors/outdoors? when the temperature is hot/cold?

-- does he have this sensation when he is around anyone in particular or in any specific environment? on the couch, in the bed?

-- does he have any visible skin problems?

-- has he recently started any new meds? changed laundry detergent, bath soap, skin lotion?

-- and this seems unlikely from what you said in your post, but does he have any signs of mental deterioration?

without more info, i'm reluctant to speculate any further, but i hope that these suggestions might give you some ideas for avenues of investigation.

i send caring thoughts to your family; please keep us posted on how all of you are doing.

-- susie margaret

PS -- i welcome, solicit, and indeed beg for correction, amendment, or replacement of any inaccuracies in this post.
what good is gold, or silver too, if your heart's not good and true -- hank williams, sr.
RedBear2005 responded:
Your father in law needs to be evaluated for diabetic peripheral neuropathy and blood circulation problems, both of which can produce the "crawly" sensations that you describe. The symptom itself might be called "parasthesia".

Feel free to follow up.
demarmomof3 replied to RedBear2005's response:

Thank you for your response. I will bring up this suggestion to his family and hopefully, they will suggest that he be tested for this. It's wonderful to get info from others and I really appreciate your help. I'll keep you updated on this. Thanks again!!!
demarmomof3 replied to susiemargaret's response:
Susie - Thank you for responding to my question. I don't know of any new meds he is taking. He seems to feel these sensations on the outside of his skin - like something is crawling on his skin. He especially has problems in bed. He pulled up the mattress in his bedroom and sprayed everything with bug spray. His wife has not felt any bugs and they sleep in the same bed. When he goes outside, he feels like bugs are constantly biting him. He stays indoors most of the time because of this. He seems to be getting better, but it still bothers him sometime. I'll keep you informed and, once again, thanks for your reply. Mary
regslady responded:
My hubby has diabetic neuropothy and I've frequently heard him complain of the creepy crawly feeling.
demarmomof3 replied to regslady's response:
Thanks regslady. I'll suggest they see a neuropathologist. I appreciate your help.

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