My Diabetes, new to this forum

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Amaristo
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 29
   Posted 12/7/2009 3:56 AM (GMT -7)   
I was originally diagnosed with Diabetes almost exactly 3 years ago. I had sought out my doctor because of very bad foot pain. It resulted in a diagnosis of Diabetes and neuropathy. My doctor believed that I had had diabetes for quite some time without it being diagnosed and therefore neuropathy was quietly developing in my feet.

My body is also blessed to have SVT (supraventricular tachycardia) partially managed through a beta blocker, high blood pressure which is under control with the help of medication, IBS (irritable bowel Syndrome) and high cholesterol which is also controlled through medication and diet.

These all present their own unique challenges. My greatest obstacles are the pain from the neuropathy and the danger of the SVT.

I have altered my diet so as to include the once loathed diet sodas and various "sugar free" items. Gone are the sweets of the past. Hello to the bland of the now.

My wife and I have looked into some diabetic recipes. I'm lucky that she is involved in keeping me healthy. She administers my once a day shot of insulin (lantus) and makes sure I am eating properly. She also watches out for sudden spikes or drops in my blood sugar.

The biggest issue I am currently grappling with is the pain in my feet. It is at times excruciating. When not medicated, the pain keeps me from sleeping or getting any meaningful rest. It also affects my daily life. It can turn a day of christmas shopping at the mall into misery. I have, more than once, ruined a day out with my family because my feet just can't take it anymore.

Right now, my doctor has me taking 300 mg of lyrica at bedtime as well as lortab (hydrocodone) as needed for pain. I also take ibuprofen for the swelling in my feet. The lyrica alone is not enough to control the pain. I was previously on Neurontin at a very high dose before I began taking lyrica. My doctor also mentioned the possibility of taking ultram with the lortab, if needed.

A major concern for me is the long term pain medication usage. I don't want to become addicted/dependent on pain meds to lead a normal life. But without the medication, I can't sleep or perform normal every day tasks. Which leaves me between a rock and a hard place.

I'm also worried about my body becoming tolerant to the pain medications, which would then require me to go up to higher doses. I don't drink, but I do already know that my body already has a high tolerance level to drugs. A single pill that might make one person loopy or tired, has little affect on me.

It is a sometimes bleak thought when I think of the upcoming years and the neuropathy. Will controlled sugars make it go away? The answer seems to be maybe, but not a definite. Will I be in less pain in 6 months? A year? Five years? I don't know. But I hope so. My latest A1C was 7.3%, it needs to be better. And it is a constant battle to keep my sugars to a low and controlled point.

This is the first time I have sought out any type of support group or forum. I wanted mostly to read the experiences others are going through and what did or didn't work for them. Which medications to avoid, and what works best.

I love my life, and the people in it, but I hope for more and better things in the future.

Thanks for reading.

TVEditor
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 481
   Posted 12/7/2009 6:18 AM (GMT -7)   

Welcome Amaristo smile

We don't dispense medical advice here but all are willing to share common-sense knowledge and personal experiences.

Are you overweight? (we ask personal questions too ;-)

The reason I ask is that when I was overweight, I had terrible pain in my knees and, borrowing from another thread, used to break out into a cold sweat if I just wrote the word 'sweat' on a piece of paper ;-)  After going on a low-carb diet (no starches, sugars) and dropping some poundage, my knee pain is virtually gone and no more sweating.  Other side-effects of this diet are lowered blood pressure and cholesterol.  Incidentally, low-carb doesn't have to be bland, there are lots of recipes and ideas around the internet.

I don't know if weight loss would help you but it did me.


Chris - Forum Moderator, Diabetes

~ Diagnosed Type 2 in July 2008 ~ Dropped 53 or so pounds after following HealingWell advice ~
~ Diabetes under control / no meds - so far - knock on head

I used to eat 100% wrong -- now I eat 95% right


Phishbowl
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 547
   Posted 12/7/2009 8:38 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi! & Welcome!

In my case, I watch the "sugar-free" stuff as much as anything else (carbs, of course :-). They're all chemicals (sugar alcohol), with the exception of natural stevia. In limited amounts, I find I can tolerate it it but, say, half a diet coke? My knees start to ache and I personally notice a change in my blood sugars. My body knows how to handle the real stuff much better (honey, cane sugar, fruit sugar). My body doesn't like chemicals (medications, processed foods) so, we eat a very natural diet and find that helps both my Diabetes and Hubby's IBS. Everyone's situation differs, though. It's through glucose meter testing on a regular basis, that lets us know how our food choices and meds affect us.

Low carb bland? No way, doesn't have to be at all. I don't know much about the meds you're on and what limitations to those you might have but, spices and vinegars and peppers and all kinds of things like that can really kick it up without any/much carb count. Check out some of our past posts to see what we're talking about :-)
Cheers,
- Phishbowl (Type 1 since Jan'05 - Levemir, NovoRapid)
"What's Not Measured Is Not Managed"

"It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows"-Epictetus


Jeannie143
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 12/7/2009 11:50 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Amaristo,
I have low levels of neuropathy in my feet and have had good success with the capsaisin cream (generic) from the drug store. I put it on while wearing rubber gloves and then put on my socks. I also wash the gloves and dry and re-use them. The burning from the cream seems to interrupt the foot's other pain signals.

Also, lowering your sugars may help. It has helped others in the past. One idea is that neuropathy is thought to be from dying nerve cells. They are starved for oxygen and nutrients when the capillaries that support them are clogged with the big fat sugar molecules. Cutting back on starches should let your body use up stored fats and prevent the flooding of your blood vessels with the larger carb strands. Worth a try!

As far as the additiction/dependency issue goes they are as different as night and oranges. Addiction is what a person does when they need a drug for its own sake (and its pleasant effects). Dependency is what you have about your car or electricity. You depend on your car for transportation. You don't drive for the fun of dodging traffic. You depend upon electricity to operate things you need such as appliances and lights. You don't just go around your home turning on the blender, lights or the oven for fun. You don't crank up the furnace to 85º just to see if it will make your home that warm. You use them when you want to cook or see in the dark or heat your home.

Using pain medication so that you can function in everyday life is a form of dependency but not a form of recreational addiction. Do you see what I mean?
~ Jeannie, Forum Moderator/Diabetes & Fibromyalgia
I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much. ~Mother Teresa

"People are like stained glass windows: They sparkle and shine when the sun's out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within."- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross


Amaristo
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 29
   Posted 12/7/2009 11:56 AM (GMT -7)   
Overweight? A bit, I'm about 20 pounds from my ideal weight. I seemed to put on the weight when i went on some of these drugs. I've gained that 20 pounds since being diagnosed diabetic. Previously I was at my ideal weight. (Currently I'm on Lantus insulin and Metformin for my diabetes)

I'm sure losing those 20 pounds will help my overall health, but probably not with the foot pain. I've had the footpain at every weight. My proper weight to now.


The bland food I find is a result of both my diabetes and IBS. Diabetes immediately limits certain foods I can eat. And IBS affects a great portion of the menu. I can't eat something too spicy for instance. I have to watch out for dairy. Certain cheeses will trigger IBS. etc.

SmurfyShadow
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 2386
   Posted 12/7/2009 3:32 PM (GMT -7)   
Some people become intolerent, some can take it for years. How do you know how it is going to work for you if you dont try it? I personally have a body that any doctor tells me "I wish your body didnt work the way it does and I hate it when I have to give you antibiotics". In other words, they hate my body LOL! I have to have two meds on hand for the exact same thing, but I fool my body into making it work. I will take pill A for a couple weeks then switch to pill B for a couple weeks and repeat that, There are ways around it, you just need to talk to your doctor and listen and do as bid.
 
Smurfy Shadow/Desirèe 
DX: Wegener's Disease, Migraines, Diabetese Type II, PCOS, Lactose Intolerant, Benign Heart Murmer, Depression, Asthma, Asperger's Syndrome, Necrotizing Gramultous Inflamation in eye, A.D.D., Acid Reflux, Tumor Behind the Eye, Carpal Tunnel, Fibromyolgia, Clasterphobic, Arthritis
Medications:  Tri Nessa, Percocet, Metformin, Prilosec, Protonix, Zantac, Advair, Cingulair, Albuterol, Calcium + Vitamin D, Pro-Air, Pepcid, Rolaids, Zofran, Compuzeen, Refresh Plus Eye Drops  PRN: Epi-Pen, Albuterol Nebulizer, Benedryl
Undergoing Radiation Taking Lorazepam (Ativan) on Radiation Days


Jim1969
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2042
   Posted 12/7/2009 10:05 PM (GMT -7)   
Talk to your doctor about adding Cymbalta in addition to the Lyrica.

I have a pretty severe case of nueropathy in my feet and all I take is Cymbalta, 90 mg once a day, and for me it works well. I occasionally have some foot pain but 99% of the time I just have the numbness.
2 confirmed herniated lumbar discs. Spinal Arthritis. Spinal Stenosis, diabetic peripheral nueropathy.


Amaristo
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 29
   Posted 12/8/2009 1:57 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for all of the replies. I will definitely look into Cymbalta for the neuropathy. Currently I'm taking 300mg of lyrica at bedtime, 10/500 Lortab, 100mg of ultram and ibuprofen (for the swelling). It seems like a hefty dose of medications for pain. The pain is severe and life altering. But I'd like to manage it with a lot less medication.


Right now I'm on 25 units of lantus insulin once daily, and 1500mg of metformin at dinner time. Which seems pretty effective. I've only been using insulin since august. And my sugars have come under much better control.

I hope for great improvement with my foot pain over time. But I know there is no guarantee.

Jim1969
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2042
   Posted 12/8/2009 8:21 AM (GMT -7)   
The better your control over you blood sugars the better the pain will get too.

I have major problems keeping my blood sugar under tight control, but when they do run good I notice fewer flair ups and my nueropathy meds seems to work better. They probably do since my nerves are not being attacked by the high blood sugars.
2 confirmed herniated lumbar discs. Spinal Arthritis. Spinal Stenosis, diabetic peripheral nueropathy.

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