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Peripheral neuropathy at low weight

Discussion in 'Diabetes Discussions' started by onnecar, Dec 28, 2020.

  1. onnecar

    onnecar Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Just wondering if anyone else has been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy, and is a relatively low weight diabetic type 2? I'm wondering how common this is? I've recently been diagnosed with this condition over the telephone due to covid restrictions. I very recently had a blood glucose test that was a little higher than previously but not overwhelmingly so. The doctor was expecting it to be much higher, as neuropathy is normally linked to out of control diabetes, which mine cannot be said to be. All he could say was that I'm probably just unlucky and it does happen sometimes. I am 68 and have been diabetic for some time. I'm on metformin meds as well as meds for other conditions and fairly fit for my age as I do a lot of walking.

    I have it on my feet, which at first I thought was an allergy or an infection. They are constantly red in the shape of a shoe around my soles and sides of feet and really itchy and tingly at times and cracked dry skin. I use urea cream, but too much makes them worse as urea can also irritate if over-used. I alternate between that and other creams. Then it appeared on my palms too red and itchy and tending to be dry. I always use a good hand cream anyway, but it doesn't eliminate the problem unfortunately.

    The doctor suggested tweaking my diet as that is the only way he knew to try to reverse it. As it's holiday period right now it does seem to have deteriorated a little due to overeating somewhat. However I did notice it did seem to recede when my diet was better. I usually keep an eye on carbs. I can't go too low on carbs as I seem to get other symptoms such as anaemia and lose too much weight and look gaunt, so I strive for a middle road, with exercise.

    I'm in the process of moving house at the moment too, so maybe stress is a factor, although I don't feel ultra stressed. I am slightly worried about it deteriorating to the point where amputation is necessary. Perhaps I am just scaring myself, but I am a widow with a dog to walk so cannot afford that to happen really, if I can help it. Unfortunately there are no diabetic clinics being held at the moment as they are deemed to be non vital.
     
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  2. Jo_the_boat

    Jo_the_boat Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I went to a podiatrist. She was very good, very thorough and gave me a heads up as to what to look out for. I have a bit of neuropathy but diet helps with that really. I initially went with a corn which she sorted out but, being diabetic (T2), she gave me a very thorough check-over.
    What I'm saying is that this maybe a way for you to get some more constructive help through the back door, as it were. In other words the first time I went to the Podiatrist I was referred to another specialist (won't mention that as it's not your problem), one that wouldn't necessarily have been a consideration from the GP I think.
    Doctor may refer you to a Podiatrist - or private?
    Good luck.
     
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  3. onnecar

    onnecar Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Jo I also see a chiropodist regularly and recently saw a very good one. However she really didn't have a lot of advice for what I had, other than using the creams that I already use. They do help but don't eliminate the problem unfortunately.
     
  4. DCUKMod

    DCUKMod I reversed my Type 2 · Master
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    Hi there - When you had your bloods done, did they look at your vitamins and wider blood results? The reason I ask is some deficiencies can cause nerve pain, and tingling. An example being Vitamin 12.

    Not tall neuropathy is caused by diabetes, and I can get on my hobby-horse about that topic. Some medical treatments, such as chemotherapy can cause it, as can surgery. I have neuropathy in my ribcage, following surgery, although it has improved over time.

    In your shoes, I would consider asking for a wider blood panel, if what you had done before didn't cover vitamins, minerals and full blood count.

    I'd also invest in a bit of reading. In Germany, a supplement called R-ALA, which is a natural form of a lipoic acid has been approved for the treatment of some neuropathies. It isn't available on the NHS, and some GPs are not familiar with it, but it is available over the counter (or on Amazon etc.,)

    If you are considering it, it must be the R variant, so R-ALA, not plain old ALA, which tends to be less effective.

    I tried R-ALA, and over the period I was taking it, my neuropathy improved, but I must stress as my neuropathy was caused by a surgical, mechanical trauma to my ribs, there was always a chance it would just improve anyway, as my deep healing took place.
     
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  5. onnecar

    onnecar Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    It is interesting what you have said. I had the Hba1c done, plus iron levels and several other possible causes were tested too such as viral of infection. So they were pretty thorough. He did say as you have that peripheral neuropathy is not always caused by diabetes. I have also started taking a multi vitamin tablet for over 50s, so will see if that has any impact. I've had low iron stores for as long as I can remember, even though I now eat meat every week, whereas I used to be vegetarian and then became pescatarian. I can't tolerate iron supplements unfortunately, or at least not in the quantity required. I do suffer with a lot of allergy issues too. However that could be due to meds as I'm on quite a cocktail of them for various issues such as blood pressure low thyroid and a lipids issue that cannot be thoroughly corrected with meds. I have not had any recent surgical prodedures. The last op I had was to have a small nodule of bladder cancer removed several years ago and more recently had a bleb put in my right eye to ease pressure as I have glaucoma. I could probably have done without yet another issue, but that's life I guess. I've also been tested for rheumatoid arthritis. I do have some osteo arthritis. Sounds like I could write a book. I think with all the issues it's difficult to pin anything down. I'd just like to get on with my life really. I'm sure a lot of others on this forum think the same.
     
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  6. DCUKMod

    DCUKMod I reversed my Type 2 · Master
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    You mention you have a low thyroid? Vitamin deficiencies are very common in hypothyroid patients; particularly, although not exclusively those with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. You may not even know whether or not you have Hashi's as patients aren't always told.

    Whilst your bloods may be in range, "in range" and optimal are not always the same thing. It would make sense if you had a copy of your blood results.

    Personally, I'm not keen on multivitamins as they usually contain a small amount of everything whether or not you need it, and if you need a vitamin or mineral supplement, the amounts in multivitamins are unlikely to be appropriate to you individually. Where I find myself with low levels of something, like, say Vitamin D, I will add an appropriate supplement to target that. I figure if I want my Vitamin D levels (just as an example) to rise, I don't necessarily need to take Vitamin C, E, A or whatever else is packaged in the multi-vitamin.

    Do have a read up on R-ALA, and have a search on forum for threads discussing it.
     
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  7. onnecar

    onnecar Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Thank you, yes I will look into it. I midst house move right now, but will get to it. As the info is here now I can refer back to it.
     
  8. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Legend

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    Back in 2013 I had 6 rounds of chemotherapy that left me with peripheral neuropathy in my feet. This is a common side effect of chemo, and my oncologist explained it could take many years to disappear as the nerves down to the feet are the longest ones we have in our bodies and take a long time to repair, and may never repair. I wasn't diabetic in those days. I started taking R-ALA after reading about its benefits. My feet improved very quickly. For a period of about 3 months a couple of years ago I stopped taking them - and my feet got worse again. I began taking the supplements again and they improved. I no longer feel any symptoms. I still take the supplements.
     
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  9. TriciaWs

    TriciaWs Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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    One of the reasons I am careful about carbs is that I already had Non-diabetic peripheral neuropathy before I had T2 diabetes.
    My GP, and a second GP after I moved house, failed to investigate properly and it was only after I was referred to a neurologist that a simple blood test showed I had a serious Folic acid (B9) deficiency.
    Both Folic acid and B12 deficiencies can lead to nerve damage, so it is worth getting them checked out. And yes, too many carbs are the other risk factor.

    (And after a locum took the folic acid off from my prescriptions last year I developed the same deficiency - no investigations as to why, just another short course of pills and told over the phone by the receptionist to eat green veg! But I eat so much broccoli/spinach/etc. already these days so there is obviously something else going wrong - I'm now buying it over the counter till I can get in to see another GP.)
     
  10. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse · Well-Known Member

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  11. onnecar

    onnecar Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. I looked this description up before contacted the surgery. It didn't seem to help with a solution though unfortunately.
     
  12. onnecar

    onnecar Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks will definitely look into the R-ala.
     
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  13. onnecar

    onnecar Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I'm definitely not low on B12 as that has been checked numerous times because of my tendancy to anaemia which reared it's head when I went very low carb. Same as yourself I always eat loads of leafy veg and ate even more on the extreme low carb diet. I think my folic acid is okay too. I do have an online access to my tests and as far as I could tell there is nothing obvious there. I will recheck them in light of the comments here though. The stand out thing for me is always the low iron stores. Although I am not actually anaemic at the moment. I've even tried increasing vit C and not having tea straight after a meal. Although numerous people don't do this and still have perfectly normal iron stores. The doctor said that some people just have low stores for no apparent reason. He has quite a few on his list. I also have to take omeprasol daily as I have a rolling hiatus hernia. That can interfere with vitamin absorption so I gather, and there really isn't an alternative for me on that.
     
  14. onnecar

    onnecar Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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  15. onnecar

    onnecar Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Just had a quick look at R-ala on Amazon. I did notice that some reviewers were saying that you should check first with a health practitioner and that there is some evidence that it can affect iron levels. As I have low iron stores, I'm wondering whether or not I should try it.
     
  16. scrumpymike

    scrumpymike Type 2 · Newbie

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    Interesting thread this one. I am a 70-year-old, low-weight T2D sufferer with neuropathy (mainly in my legs), which has significantly lowered my quality of life - especially my ability to get a proper night's sleep - over the last couple of years. The pains I get are muscle spasms rather that numbness or pins and needles and are more like restless leg syndrome symptoms (could that be what they are? My GP doesn't know!). At time of chance diagnosis 6 years ago, my T2D was fairly mild and I soon brought my hba1c down from its already reasonable level of 56 to the low 40s (now 39) by low-carb-dietary means rather than medication, So, my GP is loathe to accept any connection between my neuropathy and T2D - although I do suspect that I was probably T2-diabetic for some time before diagnosis. Following an accident and trauma injury requiring knee surgery at the end of November, the neuropathy pains increased to the point of being intolerable - especially when the healing of my knee allowed me to come off the pain-killers prescribed after the operation. I am now looking at 2 options: private acupuncture treatment and medication in the form of Duloxetine. It baffles me that my GP seems unwilling or unable to refer me for specialist diagnosis. When pressed on the subject, she says that she doesn't know who to refer me to!

    I'm afraid my contribution probably isn't of much practical use to you so far, onnecar - but I can strongly recommend you try the Handy Gurugu cream made by Lush on your feet!
     
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