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-   -   eyes and feet? (https://www.diabetesforum.com/diabetes-complications/1458-eyes-feet.html)

yesofcourse 08-28-2009 22:09

eyes and feet?
 
I am 24 years old. I was diagnosed with type 1 when I was 9. I have always taken good care of myself - a1c has always been around 6 - and have, in general, never worried or even cared about having diabetes. However, over the last 6 months to a year two things have occured.

First, when my blood sugar gets above 170 or so my eyes start to feel funny. I find myself blinking alot to rid myself of the irritating sensation. The best way I can describe it is an itchy burning sensation.

Second, my feet have began to feel swollen at various times throughout the day. It usually gets progressively worse as the day goes on. It is extremely uncomfortable. Nothing has changed in my environment to make me think that this is caused by something other than diabetes. Is this just one of those things that you have to learn to deal with if you have diabetes?

Has anyone experienced similar symptoms? If so, was there anything that you did, or could do, to help get rid of the problem? I am desperately hoping that "control your blood sugars" is not the only recommendation; for that would not seem to actually reverse either of the problems but instead just prevent them from getting worse. But they both are already extremely annoying. Any comments are greatly appraciated.

Richard157 08-29-2009 01:09

Hello and welcome to our community! I had all those symptoms and more, in the past. I thought my blood sugar control was rather good. My A1c was below 6.0. Then I started watching my charts more closely and did whatever was necessary to keep from having so many highs and lows. I have read a number of articles saying that a low A1c is not enough to prevent complications. Of course it helps, but highs and lows can average out to a good blood sugar average and a good A1c but our bodies do not like those highs and lows. They can cause damage after an extended period of time. After getting better control and having very few highs and lows my problems with neuropathy (feet) and retinopathy (eyes) went away. It took awhile but things kept getting better and the problems disappeared.

For example consider BG readings of 42, 145, 97, 68 and 178 for one day. The average is 106 and that is good but there are highs and lows. If I was like that every day it could cause me trouble in the long run. Suppose I had 78, 93, 106, 134, and 119. The average is again 106 but there are no highs and lows. Numbers like that every day would not cause any long range damage. The curve connecting the first batch of numbers on a graph would look like a roller coaster. That is unhealthy. The graph of the second batch of numbers would be a much more level ride. That is healthy.

I dont know if you have this problem with your numbers but some people do and I wanted to mention it, just in case.

Richard

yesofcourse 08-29-2009 01:28

Yea I definitely know what you mean; and I have struggled with the lows and highs in the past resulting in a deceptively good a1c. However, my a1c's have continued to be around 6 after I switched to the pump and consequently got rid of the fluctuations.

You said that the complications can actually GO AWAY if you have really good blood sugars for a while? If so, do you remember how long it took the eye and feet pains to go away for you? I was just always under the impression that diabetes complications can only be prevented with tight blood sugar control, and not reversed? Is that a misconception?

Richard157 08-29-2009 01:51

Reversal is possible if the damage already done is not too extensive. If it is too extensive then the better control should keep things from getting worse and would also keep new complications from appearing. My neuropathy and retinopathy were not severe so my doctors were not surprsed that my problems vanished. I had carpal tunnel surgery on my right wrist about 15 years ago. The nerve damage was so bad that my neurosurgeon told me that the the procedure would just keep further damage from occurring. The damage already done remained but I can use the hand very well. I would probably still have damage in my eyes and pain in my feet if those problems were very bad before my control improved. It was my pumping that began June, 2007 that gave me the better control.

yesofcourse 08-29-2009 02:55

on that note, do you remember how long you were having eye and feet problems before you started to get your numbers under control? I am just trying to get an idea of how reversible these problems are that I am having.

ps thanks for taking the time to reply

Richard157 08-29-2009 04:12

My eye problems started about 5 years before pumping. My ophthamologist would see little spots of retinopathy in both eyes and then, a few months later, they wold disappear. They probably appeared after a few week of bad highs and lows. Then when things were more stable the spots were gone. It is difficult to remember those details now but my eyes were never very bad. i have had no spots since I have been pumping.

The pain in my feet had also been present for several years but the pain was in one toe on my left foot and somewhhat around my ankle bones. It was bad enough that it kept me awake some nights and I got up and walked the floor. It rarely bothered me during the day time. Some nights it was not a problem. It seemed to come and go like the eye problem. I had an EMG done by my neurologist this spring. He said my neuropathy is stable now and has not grown worse since I started pumping. I never feel the pain in my feet now.

If I started having a lot of unstable blood sugar I feel certain both the eye and feet problems would return.

StdDeviation 08-29-2009 20:32

i have experienced both eye and foot problems. eyes and feet are the first signs that you might not have tight control like you should. for a few days test blood sugars more often than usual (atleast before and after each meal). I find that charting helps give you a better picture of whats going on with your sugars.

Also watch your salt intake and its good idea to get your blood pressure checked. Another possible reason for foot swelling is water retention. Talk to your doctor about testing kidney function.

If your young and you catch damage early and get under control, you would be amazed how well the body heals itself. :juggle:

warrenh 09-30-2009 06:25

I have to agree about avoiding spikes and maintaing good control.

I had some neuropathy in my feet, but it went away with better control, and very few spikes of 140+.

Hoping my mild left eye retinopathy follows suit. My eyes were perfect when I was diagnosed. No sign of any damage, then in August, a small cotton wool spot showed up. It was another wake up call to control it better. The doctor was surprised I had even noticed any visual problem from it, but I am sensitive like that.

Since I have gotten better control through watching carbs and exercise. You really have to watch what you eat and avoid little spikes.

Ardz 10-26-2009 17:42

Quote:

Originally Posted by Richard157 (Post 6095)
Hello and welcome to our community! I had all those symptoms and more, in the past. I thought my blood sugar control was rather good. My A1c was below 6.0. Then I started watching my charts more closely and did whatever was necessary to keep from having so many highs and lows. I have read a number of articles saying that a low A1c is not enough to prevent complications. Of course it helps, but highs and lows can average out to a good blood sugar average and a good A1c but our bodies do not like those highs and lows. They can cause damage after an extended period of time. After getting better control and having very few highs and lows my problems with neuropathy (feet) and retinopathy (eyes) went away. It took awhile but things kept getting better and the problems disappeared.

For example consider BG readings of 42, 145, 97, 68 and 178 for one day. The average is 106 and that is good but there are highs and lows. If I was like that every day it could cause me trouble in the long run. Suppose I had 78, 93, 106, 134, and 119. The average is again 106 but there are no highs and lows. Numbers like that every day would not cause any long range damage. The curve connecting the first batch of numbers on a graph would look like a roller coaster. That is unhealthy. The graph of the second batch of numbers would be a much more level ride. That is healthy.

I dont know if you have this problem with your numbers but some people do and I wanted to mention it, just in case.

Richard


I am sorry, by the way what is A1c as my mum also suffering from diabetics?


Thanks.

Richard157 10-26-2009 23:19

A1c is a blood test done at a lab. It gives the average blood sugar for the three month period preceding the lab visit. A diabetic in good control should have an A1c below 6.5.


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