Previous studies had suggested that vitamin D deficiency might be linked to the development of neuropathy pain in those with type 2 diabetes. However, this study “found no significant association between serum vitamin D levels and neuropathic pain in patients with type 2 diabetes. Instead, neuropathic pain was significantly associated with female sex, suggesting that women with type 2 diabetes could be more susceptible to neuropathic pain compared with men,” said study author Mohammad Alkhatatbeh, PhD.
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The researchers looked at data from 239 adults with type 2 diabetes, evaluating information such as neuropathy pain levels (via questionnaire), fasting blood glucose, vitamin D levels and HbA1c (a measure of glucose levels over the previous 2–3 months). Roughly 27% of the participants reported neuropathy pain and about 68% were found to be deficient in vitamin D. Based on their analysis of various factors, the researchers found that being female was the only one that was significantly linked with neuropathy pain.
“Although there is a similarity between some symptoms of peripheral diabetic neuropathy and vitamin D deficiency, it seems that vitamin D deficiency could not be implicated in the development of peripheral diabetic neuropathy,” noted Alkhatatbeh. “Our findings also suggest that women with type 2 diabetes should receive more attention regarding peripheral diabetic neuropathy.”