Diabetes Research & Wellness Foundation

Balance & Diabetes

hello everybody!

about 18 months ago, i was diagnosed with D2.

i was told by my doctor to exercice, eat healthy & in smaller quantities, lose weight (not in this order necessarily) . i have been put on metformin (1000mg twice a day).

i turned 66 yesterday and am really decided to improve my health & weight in 2017.

but there is a question that i want to ask : i have experienced tingling in feet but, as far as physical symptoms are concerned, that was about it.

now that i think about it, over the last few months, i experienced a lack of balance ; it's as if a strong wind was pushing me from behind. i am sure that ppl must think i am drunk. sometimes, i have the fear that i am gonna topple over.

so, my question is ; do you think that diabetes might affect balance?

thank you so much.

6 Replies

Hello Christinehennequin and welcome to DRWF forum!

In how far are you exercising daily? Even walking ½ an hour daily should be enough to alleviate circulation and neuropathy in the feet.

Except of course for cases of hypoglycaemy which may be mistaken for drunkenness diabetes shouldn't affect your balance. Did you already mention this balance issue to your physician. s/he will most likely refer you to a neurologist.

Don't hesitate to ask more questions if you have any doubt.


1 like

Ho christinehennequin - happy birthday for yesterday.

Please be aware that Metformin can adversely affect your Vitamin B12 level leading to a deficiency which in turn can produce neurological symptoms and balance problems such as you describe.

I suggest you ask your doctor to test your serum B12 and serum Folate levels as the two work together.

If he/she "laughs at you" list your symptoms and take with you the leaflet that comes with the Metformin where it says under Very rare side effects - "low Vitamin B levels in the blood".

That may seem an unimportant throw away remark but your age is also against you.

As we get older the acid level in our stomach reduces and this is essential to grab the B12 from our food which can only be obtained "naturally" from animal products.

Who’s at greatest risk for B12 Deficiency?

Anyone at any age, can become B12 deficient. However, certain people are at an elevated risk. They include the following:

Vegetarians, vegans and people eating macrobiotic diets.

People aged sixty and over

People who’ve undergone any gastric and/or intestinal surgery, including bariatric surgery for weight loss purposes (Gastric bypass).

People who regularly use proton-pump- inhibitors. H2 blockers, antacids, Metformin, and related diabetes drugs, or other medications that can interfere with B12 absorption.

People who undergo surgeries or dental procedures involving nitrous oxide, or who use the drug recreationally.

People with a history of eating disorders (anorexia or bulimia).

People with a history of alcoholism.

People with a family history of pernicious anaemia.

People diagnosed with anaemia (including iron deficiency anaemia, sickle cell anaemia and thalassaemia).

People with Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, gluten enteropathy (celiac disease), or any other disease that cause malabsorption of nutrients.

People with autoimmune disorders (especially thyroid disorders such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Grave’s disease) Type 1 diabetes, vitiligo, lupus, Addison’s disease, ulcerative colitis, infertility, acquired agammaglobulinemia, or a family history of these disorders.

Women with a history of infertility or multiple miscarriages.

If you can "see yourself" in any of the above "people" that will further confirm the need for your B12 level to be tested.

Here are some of the symptoms associated with B12 Deficiency.

The following general symptoms are common in those with PA:

 The Strange Tiredness

 Fog days, where you have difficulty in thinking clearly

 Weakness

 Fatigue

 Upset stomach

 Abnormally rapid heartbeat (tachycardia) and/or chest pains

 Abnormal yellow colouration of the skin (jaundice)

 Heightened sensitivity to hearing, smell, and taste

 Vision distortion, e.g. seeing stars, or double vision

 Breathlessness

 Headache

 Cankers (ulcers) in the mouth

 Sleep disorders

 Intolerance to loud sounds, flashing lights

 Intolerance to crowded malls (needing personal space)

 Tinnitus – ringing in ears

1.2 Neurological Symptoms

The neurological symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency may include:

 Numbness and tingling of the arms and more commonly the legs

 Difficulty walking

 Loss of balance

 Hands feel gloved with loss of sensitivity

 Loss of vibration sense, having to look down to see where you are walking

 Unable to close your eyes and stand on one foot

 Night vision

 Memory loss

 Disorientation

 Dementia

 Extreme mood changes

 Short term memory loss

I am not a medically trained person but one who has had Pernicious Anaemia (a form of B12 Deficiency) for 45 years due to gastric surgery 13 year previously.

I wish you well


I was diagnosed T2 in 2011 and have been on Metformin 1000mg twice a day since then. Exercise and good diet has helped me get just outside the normal range of BG and I have had no problems on it, except that last year (June) I was found to be B12 deficient. I'm now on injections every 12 weeks. However, I think after only 18 months its unlikely that Christine has B12 deficiency so soon, but its definitely worth checking it out. I'm also Vit D3 deficient and on prescribed supplements for that too.

The symptoms that Christine is experiencing could be down to several things so its really important that she sees her GP again and requests that she gets tested to see if there are any other underlying reasons for her symptoms - definitely check B12 and Vit D.


I agree there could be other causes ceejayblue.

I only focussed on Metformin and christinehennequin's age as that is all the information I had on her when I replied.

Unfortunately autoimmune diseases tend to come along in pairs or threes like corporation buses in Birmingham as too do deficiencies like B12 and D.

Another visit to a doctor is called for for those blood tests on B12, Folate and Vitamin D.

I too have Type 2 Diabetes - and I'm on Metformin. Hey Ho!

1 like

Your Dr is right, Go for a walk after a meal etc. Do you go to see the nurse about feet etc ? Mention it to her. High bg is probable cause.


If I were you I wold not sit down to long. "Keep active for the future !", Keep clear of high carbs & things that will make your BG spike high. Good luck

1 like

You may also like...