Study Shows Women More Likely to Suffer from Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

A recent study, evaluating vitamin D deficiency in patients with diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN), found women are at significantly greater risk than men of suffering from peripheral neuropathy.

Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin because it is produced by the body in response to exposure to sunlight. The symptoms of vitamin D deficiency can be similar to the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy including; numbness, tingling, chronic pain, lack of coordination and falling, muscle weakness, and changes in blood pressure.

Study Design

With the similarity in symptoms, researchers hypothesized vitamin d deficiency may be associated with neuropathic pain in patients with DPN. Investigators enrolled 239 patients with type 2 diabetes. The cross-sectional study enrolled patients with type 2 diabetes from the outpatient endocrinology clinic at the King Abdullah University Hospital in Jordan, between January and December 2017.

Researchers measure neuropathic pain, serum vitamin D levels, fasting blood glucose and hemoglobin A1c.


Of the 239 patients, vitamin D deficiency was reported in 67.8% of patients but neuropathic pain was reported in only 26.8% of patients. The surprising significant finding was gender was the only significant predictor of neuropathic pain with 76.6% of patients with neuropathy were women compared to only 23.4% of men suffering from peripheral neuropathy.

About Diabetic Neuropathy

The specific cause of diabetic peripheral neuropathy is not known but researchers believe over time, uncontrolled high blood sugar damages nerves and interferes with their ability to send signals, and also weakens the walls of the small blood vessels that supply the nerves with oxygen and nutrients.

The complications of diabetic peripheral neuropathy are serious and can lead to severe morbidities and mortalities.

Currently, there is no cure for peripheral neuropathy and available therapeutic approaches only treat the symptoms of the disease. Certain prescription medications such as; antidepressants, anticonvulsants and opioid pain medications, can help alleviate the symptoms however, in severe cases, a combination of medications may be needed. These medications may be costly and some are associated with addiction and/or serious adverse events. At the Stem Cells Transplant Institute, we use stem cell therapy to treat the symptoms of type 2 diabetes and peripheral neuropathy.

Complications of peripheral neuropathy include:

  • Amputation of toes, feet or legs
  • Joint damage including swelling, instability and deformity 
  • Urinary tract infections and urinary incontinence. 
  • Hypoglycemia causing shakiness, sweating and a rapid heart beat 
  • Sharp drops in blood pressure especially when standing up can lead to dizziness and fainting
  • Digestive problems that can cause bloating, nausea, and vomiting
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Increased or decreased sweating which can be life threatening 

Stem cell therapy at the Stem Cells Transplant Institute Can Improve the Symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy

Mesenchymal stem cells produce:

  1. Proteins that support the growth and survival of neurons
  2. Angiogenic factors that are essential for the healing, growth, development, and maintenance of blood vessels
  3. Immunomodulatory substances that can reverse the damage to the nerves.

In 2015, researchers published the results of a study using autologous stem cells to treat patients with diabetic foot gangrene due to peripheral neuropathy.  Results showed treatment with stem cells was safe, and patients had reduced pain in the limb, cold sensation was reduced, and clinical symptoms were improved. The ulcers healed gradually and the patient’s quality of life improved.

At the Stem Cells Transplant Institute, we recommend stem cells derived from umbilical cord tissue for the treatment of diabetic neuropathy.

What are the advantages of human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells?

  • Abundant supply containing up to 10 times more stem cells than bone marrow or adipose derived stem cells
  • hUC-MSC have immunosuppressors and immunomodulatory properties that allow their use in any individual without rejection- Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) matching is not necessary
  • Greater proliferation ability than adult autologous stem cells
  • They regenerate at a very rapid rate
  • They are young and very adaptive
  • They have not been impacted by the aging process
  • They have not been affected by environmental toxins
  • Umbilical cord stem cells can be administered multiple times over the course of days
  • Eliminates the need to collect stem cells from the patient’s fat or hip bone reducing pain and recovery time

Regardless of your gender, if you have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or peripheral neuropathy contact the Stem Cells Transplant Institute to learn more about the healing benefits of stem cell therapy. Don’t suffer another day.

Scientific Reference

Alkhatatbeh M, Abdul-Razzak KK. Neuropathic pain is not associated with serum vitamin D but is associated with female gender in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitusBMJ Open Diab Res Care. 2019;7: e000690.