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Undiagnosed but Concerned (SVT, Neuropathy)

Discussion in 'Greetings and Introductions' started by tfhall4, Mar 10, 2016.

  1. tfhall4

    tfhall4 Prediabetes · Newbie

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    I'll start with the generics. I'm a 22 American Male. I'm obese—290 lbs., 6'3", 36 BMI. My grandfather is a type 2 diabetic who controls with light medication and a low carb diet, but does not regularly test.

    There's much to say but first I suppose you should know I'm a bit of a hypochondriac—though not your average. I'm the type that becomes unhealthily preoccupied on discomforts and perceived abnormalities/changes but avoids the doctor at all cost because I'm afraid of poor diagnosis.

    Bearing that in mind, I'll begin about two years ago. I went on a hiking trip in a pair of boots that apparently I shouldn't have been wearing. By the end of the day my feet were hurting, but nothing too bad. The day after, though, I noticed the left side of my big toe and almost all of my second toe on my right foot were numb. Over months, I noticed it less but I don't think it's ever gone away completely. Diabetes has always been in the back of my mind but I've always attributed it to the hiking trip.

    About eight months ago, I was sitting in my office when I noticed my heart was racing and pounding. Concerned, I checked my heart rate. 145. Confident that the app on my phone was wrong, I checked again. 160. Off to the emergency room I went partially convinced I was dying. Several tests, medications, and hours later, my HR was under 100 and I was sent on my way instructed to follow up with my GP.

    Not much to note about what happened during my ER visit other than that a nurse said my blood sugar was high and asked if I had just eaten. I said yes, and it wasn't mentioned again. I don't know what my reading was and I've lost all my copies of my reports to various doctors since. Also, in hindsight, I'm not sure having eaten within about an hour and a half of the blood test qualifies as "just eaten" but she wasn't specific so I answered as best I could.

    After seeing a cardiologist for more tests, I was diagnosed with Inappropriate Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT). Inappropriate in this case means that there is no underlying cause for my condition (tumor on adrenal glands, additional electrical pathways in my heart, etc). I take 150mg of metoprolol tartrate (beta blocker) daily to control it. I'm now aware that rapid heart can be a symptom of diabetes.

    Recently I've noticed a bit of a catch or dryness in my throat that's alleviated with water. At first I assumed it was due to changing temperature or humidity, but it's persisted for a few weeks. From my previous googling of numb toes I knew that increased thirst could be an indication of my body trying to eliminate excess glucose through my urine, which seems to have increased appropriately given my intake of water. I wouldn't describe this sensation as thirst as much as I would a dry throat. There is not a sweet odor from my urine, though.

    Circling back to numbness, I began to prod my trouble area on my right foot. Still slightly numb, but sensitive to temperature and pricking. It more feels like there's a thin layer of wax over the area, not anything close to a deadening like you'd get at the dentist. Additional worry let me to prod elsewhere. It seems that the same area on my left may also be a bit numb but less than on my right. I also perceive some numbness in my right ankle on the right side and maybe even on the bottom of my foot a bit, though I've been intentional in recognizing what's normal for callus areas.

    The problem is, is that I can't tell what's normal and what not anymore because I'm so worried. My fingertips have been cold lately and I've been prodding and rubbing my fingers (particularly my pinkies) to compare their sensitivity to one another to see if they are going numb as well.

    After irritating my fiancé with consistently conveying my worry to her (she's great and very patient with me, but I just pushed too much onto her), I bought a glucose meter and decided to finally see for myself if I had anything to worry about.

    I ate a dinner of fried rice and orange chicken followed by an old fashioned (I normally eat relatively low carb but had indulged at lunch for my mother's birthday and gave way to the "what the hell" effect). About an hour or so later I drove the store and discretely picked up a Bayer Contour Next kit with enough strips and lancets for 10 tests. The one I took in the car that night was 133 mg/dL (7.4 mmol/L). I slept a little more easily because I was sure with that many carbs in my system I'd be well over that 140 mg/dL safe zone.

    The next day I kept a record of my measurements.

    7:30: 84—Fasting
    9:00: Finished one serving of steel cut oats and banana
    10:10: 95—1 hour after meal
    11:10: 98—2 hours after meal
    1:45: Finished lunch of roast beef and veggies. Serving of ice cream to test.
    2:30: 99—45 minutes after meal
    3:15: 80—1.5 hours after meal

    I was really perplexed by my low numbers after eating such carby foods to really test my reaction. I started digging around on the web to see if I could figure anything out. Alcohol affects the body's production of human growth hormone and increases insulin production which has been shown to lower fasting blood sugar, even into hypoglycemic levels for type 1 diabetics (http://m.care.diabetesjournals.org/content/24/11/1888.full). So I saved my last two tests for next day where I could take a fasting measurement without alcohol playing a part. I got a reading of 110 (6.1), so to be sure I tested again and got a reading of 100 (5.5).

    That was two days ago. That day I went to get more lancets and strips, but the entire store staff was stocking the health area of the store and I was too embarrassed to pick up more, which I hope doesn't offend anyone here. I realize that logically there's nothing to be ashamed of but I've struggled with self image issues my whole life.

    My grandfather has assured me that nothing's wrong and that he wishes he could have levels like mine, but I'm not sure. It seems like a blood sugar issue would have come up when I was getting my SVT diagnosis (I had blood work done at least 4 times), but other than in the emergency room, it wasn't mentioned. Perhaps no one was looking for that. I've been trying not to let it preoccupy my mind as much, but I'm definitely worried. I've made a plan to adopt a more official low carb lifestyle, exercise, and supplement regimen based mostly on advice from:

    http://wellnessmama.com/1440/reverse-diabetes-naturally/

    http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/diabetic-neuropathy-preve_b_527647.html

    http://draxe.com/how-to-reverse-diabetes-naturally-in-30-days-or-less/

    Ultimately I'm looking for the opinions and advice from others here. I never really sure I can trust myself when it comes to this kind of stuff. I've been able to prolong symptoms just by worrying about them. I'm really hoping I can get this under control myself and not through my GP so I can avoid any official label for as long as I can.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this.
     
  2. Pinkorchid

    Pinkorchid Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    As you say you are a hypochondriac I think buying the meter was the worse thing as you are already stressed by your symptoms and that is probably making them worse and testing your blood is not helping it is just making you more stressed. Go to the doctors and get a proper blood test done don't self diagnose you just can't assume you have diabetes. Do that and whatever the diagnosis at least you will know for sure then you can get some diet advice here if you want it but it sounds like you already know about low carbs.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. muzza3

    muzza3 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @tfhall4

    I totally agree with @Pinkorchid go and get tested by your doctor. You will probably be fine but then you don't have to worry about it.
     
  4. azure

    azure Type 1 · Expert

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    Nobody here can diagnose you @tfhall4 If you're at all concerned about your health, then you should see a doctor. I know you've said you're concerned about being given 'a poor diagnosis' but you could equally be reassured and have your mind put at rest :)

    The blood sugar figures you've posted are in the normal range.
     
  5. Squire Fulwood

    Squire Fulwood Type 2 · Expert

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    None of the figures you have posted are remotely close to those a diabetic would get in your circumstances. I don't suppose there is any point in telling you not to worry so I won't.

    The other posters have given good advice. Go and get tested by your doctor.

    Wear boots that fit in future. We've probably all had ill fitting footwear before and suffered for it. That's good advice even if you turn out not to be diabetic.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. Catlady19

    Catlady19 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Oh dear, poor @tfhall4, you really are a self diagnosed hypochondriac! There is nothing wrong with your BGLs.

    For heavens sake, find a hobby to relieve your anxiety! You are only 22 - what about kick-boxing or some other martial art - it will help relieve your pent up energy/worry and improve your weight situation, which in turn may improve your ailments.

    Good luck and stop worrying! ;)
     
  7. tfhall4

    tfhall4 Prediabetes · Newbie

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    Thanks everyone for taking the time to read this and reply. I know it was a long read, but if anything it was a bit cathartic.

    I'm going to try not to be preoccupied by my perceived symptoms. If it continues to bother me, I'll schedule an appointment with my GP for a fasting test and a A1C test (OGTT seems like an unhealthly way to test for GI and diabetes).

    Really it's the numbness in my feet that really gets to me. I'm just terrified it's blood sugar related and will trouble me and progress forever. Does DNP have any particular distinguishing characteristic from other foot related nerve issues?

    @Catlady19 You don't think my BGL the day after drinking could have been lowered significantly by the alcohol?
     
  8. andcol

    andcol I reversed my Type 2 · Well-Known Member
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    Then see your doctor about them. It may just be hard skin caused by ill fitting shoes or pressure on your spine caused by the way you sit.

    Good luck for the future
     
  9. Catlady19

    Catlady19 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Several forum members, including myself, report that their BGL drops when they have had some alcohol, this is because your liver has something else to work on! However, your BGL is absolutely fine in any case. My BGL was 10.2 (180 in American) :hungover:this morning and I haven't eaten anything 'bad'!

    I am pretty sure you don't need to keep testing as you are just making yourself more anxious; but if you do, make sure you leave it 1 1/2 to 2 hours after your first mouthful, otherwise it is a false reading (your body is still try to absorb the food). The fact that you reported a normal reading after a carby meal means that your body is producing the correct amount of insulin to deal with what you have eaten. This does not happen in the body of someone with diabetes as our pancreas does not work properly.

    Your main worry seems to be about your feet - Andrew above is correct, this could be all sorts of things. If you don't want to go back to the doctor, why don't you consider finding a podiatrist who can look at your feet and rule out simple things like dead skin?

    Also neuropathy in your feet is caused by high blood glucose over a long period of time but your bloods are not high and therefore (in my humble non medical opinion) it is unlikely to be because of diabetes.

    You will no doubt realise from reading the forum that you increase your risk of getting Type 2 diabetes by eating the wrong foods - these are mainly foods rich in sugar and carbohydrates (rice, pasta, potatoes, bread) and having a sedentary lifestyle. Therefore, if you are worried about getting diabetes in the future, these are the foods that you should cut back on and ensure you increase your exercise.

    Good luck :D
     
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