In patients with Type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM), the development of complications within the first few years of diagnosis is very unusual and the development of complications within weeks of commencement of insulin therapy is exceptional. Diabetic neuropathic cachexia, unlike the other more common neuropathies associated with diabetes, is a rare form of peripheral neuropathy characterized by profound weight loss, painful dysaesthesias over the limbs and trunk with spontaneous resolution usually occurring within a year. The morphologically distinct diabetic or metabolic cataract in patients with newly diagnosed Type 1 DM is also a rare complication. We describe the first case of a young man with newly diagnosed Type 1 DM who developed these two rare complications within 3 months of diagnosis and insulin therapy commencement. Rapid development of complications in this patient raises two possibilities, i.e. a probable link between the pathophysiology of these two complications following rapid glycaemic control, and a subset of patients with unusual susceptibility to complications. We re-emphasize the need for vigilant monitoring of complications in young diabetic patients, even in the first few years of their disease. In particular, young patients with visual impairment should be evaluated carefully for evidence of treatable eye complications.
- Diabetic complications
- Diabetic neuropathic cachexia
- Type 1 diabetes mellitus
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism