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On metformin for diabetes. Why is my shoulder tingling? Should I be concerned about MS?

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Practicing since : 2001
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66 yr. old male. On b/b med and metformin 500 mg 2x day for diabetes. Feel terrific, but recently experiencing mild to noticeable tingling rt. shoulder and at times across back. Found on Internet that the diabetes could be the cause. Blood sugar hangs around 120 -130. Was concerned that it could be MS but I have never had any of the other symptoms of MS. And I have no other symptoms other than this mild tingling. It eases up or ceases when I change positions. Doesn't keep me awake. I'm just concerned.
Posted Mon, 28 May 2012 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Shiva Kumar R 12 hours later

Thank you for sending your question.

Your question is a good one and I will work on providing you with some information and recommendations regarding the problems you are experiencing.

From the clinical details provided to me it looks like you are suffering from radicular pain probably due to degenerative cervical and lumbar spondylosis. Adhesive capsulitis also called as frozen shoulder is another condition which can cause pain in people suffering from diabetes. A good physical examination can differentiate between these two conditions.

However considering your age and the nature of the symptoms I personally feel you are not suffering from MS.

My recommendation would be for you to see your general practitioner for a good physical examination and consultation. MRI of the neck and shoulder may be required based on the physical findings. For time being you can use medications like Aspirin or Paracetamol if you have disabling pain. medications like Gabapentin and Pregabalin would be of benefit to you for radicular pain.

I want to reassure you that these symptoms are not suggestive of MS. This is certainly not something that is not life-threatening.

I thank you again for submitting your question. I hope you find my response to be both helpful and adequate. If you have any additional concerns regarding your question I would be happy to address them.


Dr Shiva Kumar R
Consultant Neurologist & Epileptologist
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