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Airing Pain 124: Diabetic Neuropathy

Managing neuropathic pain related to diabetes, and how to adapt diet to treat the disease

This edition of Airing Pain has been supported by a grant from The Champ Trust and Foundation Scotland.

According to the most recent Scottish Diabetes Survey in 2018, there are an estimated 304,000 people living with a diagnosis of diabetes in Scotland, around 5% of the population. A long-term effect of diabetes can be the development of diabetic neuropathy. This edition of Airing Pain focuses on neuropathic pain in people with diabetes, and how the X-PERT diabetes courses helps people to deal with the complications that arise when living with diabetes.

First up, Paul Evans speaks to David Bennett, Professor of Neurology at the University of Oxford, who outlines the differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes and how the initial treatment plan differs between the types. Professor Bennett then goes on to describe how neuropathy develops in people living with diabetes and how neuropathic pain manifests.

Paul then talks with Steve Sims, who lives with diabetic neuropathy as a result of type 2 diabetes. Paul and Steve discuss how they have adjusted their diets to deal with type 2 diabetes and how the X-PERT diabetes course has helped them to adjust to living with diabetes.

Issues covered in this programme include: Diabetes, the differences between type one and type two diabetes, diabetic neuropathy, diabetic retinopathy, nutrition, diet, insulin levels, glycemic control, risk factors of diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, foot pain, burning pain, gabapentinoids, and support groups.


  • Professor Dave Bennett, Professor of Neurology, Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford
  • Steve Sims, Secretary, Cardiff Diabetes Group.

More information:

With thanks to:

  • The British Pain Society (BPS), who facilitated the interviews at their Annual Scientific Meeting in 2019 –
  • The International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) –
  • Diabetes UK, a leading UK charity that involves sharing knowledge on diabetes –
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