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Is my diabetes killing me?

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by slayer, Dec 18, 2015.

  1. slayer

    slayer Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I've been diabetic for 20 odd years and for most of that time been in denial. At the age of 32, desperate to start a family, I finally managed to look diabetes in the face and started controlling my blood sugars. However, tighter control has led to diabetes retinopathy, my eye specialist decided not to laser my eyes even though he said I needed them lasered! He said because I 'might' be going on the pump, we would see how things go. My diabetes team are taking their time making a decision on the pump. If I am driving at night, the street, car or traffic lights look like massive stars and effect my vision. I have no idea what is going on with this. Is it the diabetes? I've also started dropping things that are in my hand. In addition, my right foot has recently felt tingly at the base and numb. Is my diabetes killing me and have I left it too late to reverse the damage? :(
     
  2. freddy2

    freddy2 Type 2 · BANNED

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    Well done, it's never too late to draw a line and start again,

    I think this page on a large dropping of A1c may help, there seems to be an initial spike, but over the long term you seem to be much better off. Did your Dr think you haven't done that much damage overall and got off ok?

    http://www.diabeticretinopathy.org.uk/retinopathyprogression.htm
    upload_2015-12-19_10-56-41.png
     
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    #2 freddy2, Dec 19, 2015 at 12:34 AM
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 19, 2015
  3. slayer

    slayer Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, this information is very helpful. I am annoyed that the diabetes nurse did not tell me my eyes would get worse with tighter control. I think I have bouts of high blood pressure and now they are looking at the possibility that my kidneys have also been affected.
     
  4. slayer

    slayer Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I have developed insulin resistance after a month of tight control so my sugars are all over the place again now!
     
  5. freddy2

    freddy2 Type 2 · BANNED

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    I know this is a stressful time for you, but some T1's find their BG easier to control with a lower carb diet, hopefully some will be awake in the UK soon to help you. They may suggest you start with a basal test, to get that right first
     
  6. slayer

    slayer Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Will a correct basal in itself cause my current issues to get worse? I feel like I am in a Catch 22 situation.
     
  7. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
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    Can I ask, were your diabetes team aware that you had diabetic retinipothy before you tightened up your bg control, the advice is for anyone who has retinopathy and has poor diabetes control is to make improvements slowly over a longer period of time.

    If your bp is raised then you need to get this down and you should discuss treatment methods with your gp, it's important to keep bg, bp and cholesterol levels under control once diabetic retinopathy has been diagnosed.

    Although my own bp was normal when my retinopathy was active I was advised to take a low-dose bp med called Ramipril to bring my levels down below 130/70 which my Ophthalmologist said would be beneficial to my eyes.

    Do push your diabetes team with regards to the insulin pump, make them aware of what your Ophthalmologist has said to you.
     
  8. slayer

    slayer Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    They checked my records from the previous year and said my eyes were stable after I had laser in the past, so they knew I had retinopathy in the past and it had been treated. The nurse recommended that I purchase a blood pressure checking machine because I suspect my BP does fluctuate. In the summer, I had severe chest pains at work and an ambulance was called because my colleagues thought I was having a heart attack. The paramedics said my blood pressure was high. I teach in a school and I do feel the stress has most likely caused the increase in blood pressure.
     
  9. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
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    Do discuss treatment methods for your bp @slayer as this is important not only for your retinopathy but your overall health and will help your kidneys if you were to be diagnosed with kidney disease (nephropathy).

    As for the glare from street lights and such, this is quite normal after laser treatment and I get this in one eye, you can buy glasses with a anti-glare coating, Specsavers do this but there's a small charge.
     
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  10. slayer

    slayer Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    The strangest thing is, the glare only started after the eye specialist put the eye drops in my eyes and then decided not to laser... Thank you. I should have gone to Specsavers!
     
  11. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
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    Strange, light does effect the vision as the drops dilate the pupils, that is why they say you haven't to drive afterwards and advise people to wear sunglasses once they come back outside into the light.

    If at any-time your concerned about your eyes then do get in touch with your Ophthalmology Clinic, wishing you the best of luck.
     
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  12. MellitusTrap

    MellitusTrap Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    The issue is when you drop hugely high blood sugars fast.

    Now I know why my doctors always encouraged me to drop them slowly - (I'd thought they wet scared I might hypo)
     
  13. bexley

    bexley Type 1 · Newbie

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    I have been diabetic for 23 years now and never looked after myself until about 4 years ago when I met my wife now all that time of not looking after myself I now have some complications with my diabetes I have diabetic retinopathy, diabetic kidney disease, my feet are messed up no feeling at all my hands are numb all the time and I dropped lots of stuff all the time. But I am having the pump sorted on the 11th of February 2016 and I have been told that because of the time I had not looking after myself I won't ever get back to a normal life hands will be numb and feet will have no feeling so I won't ever not have them problems as I gave them to myself by not looking after myself and trying to ignore the fact I have this problem. But they won't get worse fast they will slow down once my diabetes is under control with the help of the pump.
     
  14. slayer

    slayer Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I have been on the insulin pump before and it really helped with my control. I hope and pray you get your diabetes under control, I am certain the pump will help. I guess all we can do is look forward instead of backwards.
     
  15. popsicle56

    popsicle56 Type 1 · Newbie

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    This is so much like reading my own history slayer. No all is not lost! It is good you are beginning to take control now. I had a sudden vitreous haemorrhage after 17 years as a T1. I instantly tightened my control but as a result (I wasn't told either that that can cause more problems with retinopathy) had a further 6 haemorrhages. Both eyes were affected (thankfully at different times) and I had 6000 laser burns over a two year period. That was 18 years ago and I have had no problems since! When I began learning carb counting, correction dosages etc. I expressed concern about getting good control too quickly so we initially set my target BG to 10 and after about 3 months when I felt things were working with that I reduced target BGs to 7. 7 years later and my targets are between 4.5 and 7.5(overnight). Carb counting gave me the feeling that I was much more in control. Prior to working out ratios etc. I just guessed my insulin requirements and at times was taking up to 90 units (yep, 90!) for a single meal. I am also very insulin resistant. I am now on an insulin pump and although it is hard work it does give me much more sense of control over my diabetes and I no longer ignore it.

    What you describe with night driving happens to me for up to 24 hours after I have had drops at the eye clinic. When getting laser treatment I did not drive at night for 2 years because it was also a side effect of laser treatment but once I finished treatment things gradually resolved.

    I also had changes in sensation on both my feet with them feeling freezing cold even when they were warm. The good news is that the symptoms from such nerve damage will improve over time when overall control is brought within more normal limits although it can take up to a couple of years.

    Don't beat yourself up about what has gone before. Having a life long condition is a massive challenge for most people and we all deal with it in different ways. Just know that controlling things now will help to avoid further damage and it is never too late for that. Good luck.
     
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  16. slayer

    slayer Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Thank you so much for your message. I struggle with carb counting although I did take the dafne course about six years ago. I need to reduce my intake of carbs which I find difficult as a vegetarian. Your comments about the nerve damage improving are very reassuring. The pins and needles/numbness and pain in my feet are a nuisance and a constant reminder of this dreadful condition! Thanks and all the best.
     
  17. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Moderator
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    You may not want to go particularly Low Carb, but the threads below will show that being a low carb vegetarian is possible.

    http://www.diabetes.co.uk/forum/threads/vegetarian-vegan-low-carb-recipe-index.61859/

    http://www.diabetes.co.uk/forum/threads/vegetarians-what-have-you-eaten-today.88074/
     
  18. Roger Ditchburn

    Roger Ditchburn Type 1 · Newbie

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    It's great you're starting to get to grips with it. I've been type 1 for 34 years, diagnosed when I was 20. The first 15 or so years I didn't really manage it very well. Drinking too much & way off with checking my bloods. I'm kind of on top of it now but it's still difficult, guess I've been really lucky with it. Keep trying & keep talking to people about it, especially the medical professionals. They are there to help you & they are brilliant. Things have changed a lot in diabeties care since I was diagnosed & i think it's much easier to keep good control these days. Keep it up !
     
  19. Jane Milburn

    Jane Milburn Type 1 · Member

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    For carb counting, in my opinion the Carbs & Cals book or app are the best. I've been rubbish at carb counting for years and a diabetic nurse recommended this, it works for me.
    http://www.carbsandcals.com/
     
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  20. ExpectSuccess

    ExpectSuccess Type 1 · Member

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    Three books to read
    1. "Good Calories, Bad Calories" by Gary Taubes; this debunks most of the rubbish spoken about diets and diabetes/obesity etc etc over the last two hundred years (which has been mostly funded by chemical/food companies); judge for yourself its value and whether Taubes is correct!.

    2. "There is a cure for Diabetes" By Dr Gabriel Cousens MD; applies to type one and two.

    3. "Dr Bernstein's Diabetes Solution - the complete guide to achieving normal blood sugars". an excellent book but more limited viewpoint as it applies mainly to type one.

    Interesting thing is none of the Medical "pro's" in the UK ever seem to read anything - apart from their own limited "industry" stuff all of which is funded by the food/drugs industry.

    Having listened to incorrect medical advice from the authodox medical profession for 25 years and as a result lost the muscular control of my toes and fingers to a large extent, got frozen shoulders and lived with massive sugar spikes from bs of up to 20 and down to 2.5. I decided to find out for myself. By taking charge of my own destiny and the management of my own case,

    I have in the last couple of years stabilized my bs to between 4 and 9 ish; got my hba back to around 6; hypo's are now almost non existant. I eat 2 meals a day - mostly eggs (3 a day for breakfast) at arounf 11am; evening meal meat; clotted cream/quality butter/strawberries/grapefruit/cabbages/brocoli/apples/avocados/cucumbers/kale/lettuce/brussels sprouts/raw cabbage; tomatoes(in moderation) etc etc, mid meal snacks; fruit/hard boiled egg/ apple cheese etc etc.

    Coconut oil for cooking; I eat mostly raw foods, (meat very rare and less than 50 gm per day. lots a full fat cheese / seafood/fish. I suppose its basically a modified Atkins diet) and NO bread; cake, rice,spuds, beans, canned stuf, prepared meals etc. Occasional glass of white wine. If I can't recognise it as a basic food, I don't eat it! 8 large mugs of water a day as well, plus heaped teaspoonful of Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C); Flat teaspoonful of Sodium Bicarb to help with alkalinity. Oh and 100 ml pure Aloe-vera per day to boost immune system. use pure Stevia if you need sweetening.

    I Feel great and very energised. Weight same as it was when I was 30 (and non diabetic) - I'm 70 plus, agewise). Planning to do a single-handed sailing circumnavigation in a year ot two in a my 34 foot vintage sloop - just to prove to the quacks that it can be done with out their (chemical or otherwise) intervention. Usual proviso's and disclaimers. My Diabetes consultant said my suggestions are "VERY Dangerous" and publicly slagged me down at a Dafne meeting recently. Only thing I can say is read the books; get studying and form your own opinion!.

    Ah, yes and one other thing. Got insulin requirements down to 10 units degludec (background bolus) and approx 25 units Humulog shortterm per day, from 25 degludec and about 40 units humulog per day (and hba of around 8 when I was on the standard "medic recommended" high carb diet.
     
    • Like Like x 4
    #20 ExpectSuccess, Jan 7, 2016 at 1:35 AM
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 7, 2016
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