The Diabetes Forum Support Community For Diabetics Online banner
1 - 4 of 4 Posts

2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a few troubling and frustrating symptoms that my doctor can not explain, and thus sometimes even refuses to acknowledge exist!

My legs swell up often, sometimes so badly that I can't see my ankles, though usually it's just a constant low-level swelling that I can always FEEL is there, even if people say "well I cant really see it...."

Also, my hair has been falling out in large amounts since about five years ago. It's slowed somewhat over the last year, but refuses to grow at anything but a snail's pace, and is dry and brittle and breaks off very easily. I've been taking vitamins for hair growth, which I'm not sure is what is helping or not, but I'm pretty desperate not to end up bald, so I'll try everything.

My GP sent me to a few apathetic and uncaring "specialists" for investigation into both of these problems. Every one of them did a few blood tests, and told me "you are normal. there is nothing wrong."

I HATE that! Nothing wrong?!? Then why the H*LL is my hair falling out, and why do I wake up with legs so swollen some days that I can't walk?

Anyone have any input?

1,078 Posts
Hi There and Welcome: :)

I'm sorry to hear that you are going through this especially with no idea why There are many things that can cause these symptoms although both symptoms may not be caused by the same condition.

Unfortunately most Drs. test mainly for what they think are the major causes of a symptom and don't look into the rest. Many symptoms do not have a medical reason behind them. Swelling of the legs supposedly has about 100 reasons. :eek: Although I'm sure they are including ankles and feet, which you did not mention.

You are on a Diabetes site but you didn't say if you have Diabetes. Hair loss is not normally a symptom of Diabetes although I have heard some say that the stress of getting Diabetes for Children may play a part in minor hair loss. I do not know if this is true. This did not happen to me.

These are some reasons for hair loss:

-Alopecia areata -- bald patches that develop on the scalp, beard, and, possibly, eyebrows. Eyelashes may fall out as well.
-Autoimmune conditions such as lupus
-Certain infectious diseases such as syphilis
-Continual dyeing of the hair
-Emotional or physical stress
-Excessive shampooing and blow-drying
-Hormonal changes -- for example, thyroid disease, childbirth, or use of birth control pills
-Male pattern baldness
-Nervous habits such as continual hair pulling or scalp rubbing
-Radiation therapy
-Tinea capitis (ringworm of the scalp)
-Tumor of the ovary or adrenal glands
Some Reasons For Leg, ankle and/feet swelling:

-Baker's cyst
-Congestive heart failure
-Lung disorders, such as pulmonary edema
-Problems in the veins of the leg, such as varicose veins or blood
clots, also called deep venous thrombosis
-Liver failure, such as from cirrhosis
-Acute or chronic kidney failure
-Kidney disorders, such as nephrotic syndrome
-Salt retention
-Kidney problems due to Diabetes
-Idiopathic Edema (Swelling of Unknown Cause, typically in women)
-Tumors or cancer
-Infections, such as cellulitis
-Certain medications, such as nifedipine, estrogen or corticosteroids
(furosemide, Lasix hydrochlorothiazide, Hydrodiuril triamterene and hydrochlorothiazide, Maxzide, Dyazide, others)
-Low protein in the blood, called hypoalbuminemia, which may be due to malnutrition, kidney disease such as glomerulonephritis, or liver disease, such as hepatitis
-Trauma to the lymph drainage system of a limb, such as swelling in the arm after breast cancer surgery
-Trauma or injury(Contusion, Hematoma)
-Family history

A few vials of blood will be enough to test for many of these conditions.
In some cases, the first test may not show that a Person has a condition.
That is why it is a Good idea to be tested again in 6 mths. or a year.

We do hope that you are successful in finding out what is causing your symptoms(hopefully nothing serious) and that you find treatment for it or
it disappears on its own. Good Luck.

1 Posts
Hi. I read your message and I can't diagnose you, but I can help lead you to find the right diagnosis. Does this sound OK? I am a medical technologist senior student and I know how to read and understand lab tests- blood, urine,etc. Just a few questions, 1) has the doctor ordered kidney functoin tests such as a BUN (blood urea nitrogen), creatinine, serum protein, complete urinalysis, urine microalbumin tests?? Sometimes diabetics with kidney problems usually have proteins, like albumin, that leak out in the urine. Protein loss, kidney damage can cause fluid build up, or edema in the feet and other areas in the body. Hair loss may also be related to protein loss, but the doctor will have to take a more deeper look and more tests. Do you have an endocrinologist?? Find a good one. It's hard to say what's exactly the problem, but it's not impossible to get to the bottom of this. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me.


2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
thanks for your input!
Yes, I've had all those tests done (after returning and requesting a few specifically), and the doctors all told me they were "normal levels".
I didn't like being just told "oh you're normal" when, plainly, my body was NOT behaving normally, so I asked for a copy of my results, to see exactly what my numbers were. And indeed, they did all fall within "normal" ranges. My iron levels were on the lowest end of the normal range, but that was the only thing that wasn't well within range.

I have a kinesiology degree, spent 4 years in athletic therapy program, and am a graduated registered massage therapist. I have taken over 6 years of coursework in anatomy, physiology, neurology, and disease pathology. I ALWAYS research the testing protocols and norms before or after I see my doctor (which I'm sure drives her nuts, but hey. It IS my body after all!) The best she could tell me is that she has a few patients with the same baffling symptoms, and same lack of explanation.
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.