Teen with T1D experiencing "electric shocks" in feet

Hello - My 14 year old daughter has been experiencing some unusual pain in her feet over the last several weeks. She describes these painful episodes in her feet as an “electric shock”. It becomes so painful that she must sit down and get off her feet. The sensation only lasts about a minute or so then goes away. She was diagnosed with T1D at the age of 7. Was wondering if any of you experienced these sorts of symptoms when you were a teenager? I know that many folks with T1D experience “Peripheral Neuropathy” and am wondering what the average age of diagnosis is for this condition. My daughter is also a 10 year brain tumor and stroke survivor so it is possible that these symptoms are related to that but I am also beginning to wonder if T1D is playing a role. Thank you in advance for sharing your stories and knowledge.

Hi @cherylkilpatrick. There’s an earlier post with different symptoms but you might want to check it out:

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About 50+ years after my diagnosis I also experienced sharp pains like electrical shocks in part if my left foot. I could not sleep so I got up and walked the floors all over my house. That helped a little. It continued in the morning, but gradually improved for a couple of hours, Then it stopped. If your daughter has poor control with frequent highs and lows, that may be the cause of her problem.
I recommend a pump and a good CGM, while keeping track of the blood sugar numbers, and making needed adjustments.
I noticed that a day without any lows or highs that were out of my range (70-170) were not likely to cause the problem. I had the shocks about two nights each week, on the average. I started using an insulin pump in 2007. The careful chart keeping and testing frequently every day using variable rates, gave me fewer highs and lows. My control improved so much that I stopped having that problem.

Hello, 67 year old T1d diagnosed at 18 here. I went for many years before developing peripheral neuropathy in my feet to the point of “electric shocks”. Your daughter has only been T1d for 7 years and I would think that to be too early for peripheral neuropathy to have developed. Her doctor should diagnose the cause for this symptom, but there are medications to treat it if so. Best of luck!

Hi Cheryl, don’t know f this will help, but check your daughters bloodsugar when this happens, if she is low or (here I go) within scale, and her numbers are the same each time this happens, you might want to raise her blood sugar a bit and see if the relieves the problem, I used to have pain in my feet until I realized it was tied into my blood sugar level. Some of us don’t operate well on the normal scale. I don’t. Hope this helps, Bye Jan

I was diagnosed as T1D four years ago, at age 72. I do have mild peripheral neuropathy, resulting from the 15 months it took to get a diagnosis of diabetes. We were chasing my main symptom – extreme leg cramps – and it was my bad luck to have normal random glucose and urine glucose tests with a routine physical just before the sudden onset of my symptoms, so diabetes was long overlooked as a possible cause.

I have definitely experienced strong electric shock sensations in both feet – indeed, strong enough that if they continued more than a fraction of a second, they would put me on the ground. They’re not due to diabetes, though, and they precede my diabetes by many years. They’re due to Morton’s neuromas in both feet. I’m only writing to suggest that you not automatically assume the symptoms your daughter has are associated with her T1D, although they might be. Just sayin’.



Excellent point. My father started getting very painful cramps in his feet when he was in his 50s, and he did not have diabetes. I get them occasionally myself, usually when I’m sleeping under a sheet or blanket that is tucked in - something about the pressure. I’ve heard that low sodium or dehydration could be possible culprits as well.

You’ve got that right, @ceolmhor. Just because a person has diabetes, it does NOT mean that every other ailment that person encountered is CAUSED by diabetes.