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severe,prolonged hyperglycemia
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stevo57 posted:
I'm a 57 yr. old male who was diagnosed with mild diabetes one year ago. I started taking Metformin. For no known reason, in late August I experienced an attack of very severe high blood sugar (it reached 1100 by the time I entered a hospital). Apparently there was a slow build-up, so I probably had above-ave. blood sugar for a couple weeks without knowing it. After a couple days of extreme thirst for sweet drinks and constant urination, plus blurring of vision & feeling disoriented, I actually drove myself to the hospital. The admitting nurse said I should either be in a coma or a coffin! I was discharged after 3 days and started injecting insulin, testing my blood, exercising more, losing weight, etc. However, my vision continues to worsen (I've had to change my prescription for glasses 4 times) and I'm experiencing cognitive, short-term memory and word-recall problems which started when I left the hospital. I've been examined by my endocrinologist, a neurologist, a psychiatrist, two opthalmologists and a clinical neuro-psychologist, and no one can tell me why I had the spike in sugar, why I'm having the above-mentioned problems or what my prognosis is (except to say "...Everything will return to normal naturally, in about 2 or 3 months..." - it's been 10 months now). Brainscans have been inconclusive. Apparently there's little research on my condition. Has anyone "out there" experienced anything similar? If so, please tell me about it. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
Steve
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flutetooter responded:
With 6 specialists consulting on your case, there would seem to be little for us who are not doctors to guess at. Sometimes, however, doctors do miss the every day to day things like: how many calories and how many grams of sugar do you eat eat day? How often were you taking your blood sugar? How much exercise each day were you getting?

Vision does change whenever you eat more or less sugar and opthamologists often tell a person to wait until their blood sugar is stabalized to make a change in glasses. Possibly with eating less sugar your vision is improving and you no longer need as thick a lens.

Memory problems can happen with any condition of bad health. There can be many reasons. Keep a log until your next doctor's visit and write done every thing you eat with exact measured amounts, and your fasting blood sugar and 2 hours after each meal. Keep us posted and I surely hope you begin to make progress.
If at first you don't succeed, try, try again!
 
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stevo57 replied to flutetooter's response:
Thanks for replying and for the information and suggestions. I've lost about 25 lbs since I had the attack last August, eat mostly Jenny Craig's diabetic cuisine, walk more and test my blood on a regular basis. I eat a low amount of sugar. The cognitive, memory and visual problems started immediately after leaving the hospital, and are getting worse or somewhat stabliized. I had none of these problems prior to the attack - I was known as having a "perfect" memory, was well-spoken with higher level vocabulary, had great cursive handwriting and won many Trivial Pursuit games. In one year I feel my brain has aged at least 15 years, and my friends have noticed the change. I'm absolutely sure it's not dementia or the results of gradually aging. I can still read and write well, but my handwriting worsened significantly soon after leaving the hospital. I think I forgot to mention that since having the attack, I sing or hum constantly throughout the day, a behavior I never displayed before. It can drive my wife crazy, and it causes me a lot of irritation because I have little control over it. Could this be caused by anxiety? If so, I haven't been able to find any research or literature on the behavior. Everything above leads me, an amateur physician (!), to believe that my severe, prolonged hyperglycemia has affected, injured or damaged some very tiny area of my brain (or it may be not so tiny). My endocrinologist said I basically had maple syrup running through my veins, including the ones in the brain! Can you or anyone shed some light on all this? Thanks a lot.
Steve
 
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auriga1 replied to stevo57's response:
Steve, with the "maple syrup" running through your bloodstream, it may have caused damage to blood vessels, including the blood vessels that comprise the brain. Your endo is right. I don't know if there is a reversal of that kind of damage.

The more you worry, the more anxious you get. That can cause stress and higher blood glucose levels.

Just try and keep a level head. Keep your blood glucose levels as close to normal as possible. Exercise will create endorphins and make you fell better. Keep the testing up. You should always be in the know regarding your blood sugar.

Keep on hand a carb counter. Did you ever see a dietician regarding your diabetes? Did your doctor tell you how many carbs you should be eating at each meal? What type of carbs? We are all different in what we can and cannot eat. Sad but true. What works for one may not work for the other. More or less, we need to experiment with foods on ourselves.
 
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brunosbud responded:
Being the amateur physician that you are, than you know what needs to be done.

1. Eat healthy
2. Exercise daily
3. Get plenty of rest
4. Check blood sugar, regularly
5. See you physician, frequently, until stabilized
6. No smoking; limit alcohol
7. Aim for 5-10% weight loss

...and, quite frankly, it sounds to me like you're doing it.


Each person has a story far to complex and vast in information to summarize in a few sentences. Regardless, what's done is done. So, wipe the slate and live in the moment. Your weight loss is good indication you've changed your lifestyle, significantly. You should be very proud of that achievement. Good luck, Steve.


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