One hundred and seventy-six patients who were newly referred to two diabetic clinics completed an initial questionnaire and a second questionnaire 1 yr later. Over the 1-yr period the average 2-h postprandial blood sugar was reduced from 13.8 to 8.8 mmol/L. The questionnaire included 33 questions on symptoms, and four symptoms improved by more than 10%: increased thirst (reduced by 29%), dry mouth (reduced by 24%), pruritus (17%), and weakness in the limbs (10%). No symptom was increased by more than 7%. The changes in five symptoms were significantly related to the changes in blood sugar observed, the improvement in symptoms being associated with reductions in blood sugar. These results are contrasted with newly referred hypertensive patients in whom marked improvements in symptoms were not observed and an increased frequency of certain symptoms was observed owing to drug side effects.

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