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Peripheral Neuropathy
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rgcdenver posted:
I was diagnosed with diabetes over 15 years ago when I was 49. I was on metformin for several years until I lost my medical, prescription coverage. I did fairly well for the intervening 10+ years, until last August. At 63, I experienced pain and weakness in my left leg, ultimately diagnosed with out of control diabetes. Along with peripheral neuropathy leg and foot "tingling", the reflexes in my left leg were damaged as shown with no response to pressure just below the kneecap. I also fell, and have fallen several times due to my knee buckling. I walk with a limp to keep my knee/leg somewhat "locked". I have responded well to oral medication and diet change, and monitor my blood sugar several times a day. I am considering buying a recumbent tricycle to exercise with as a regular bicycle is scary with my leg (legs) in their current condition(weak). My doctor is "don't know" when I ask if the nerve (reflex) in my leg will recover. Any hope for recover?
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davedsel2 responded:
Hello.

I am not a doctor, but I also have neuropathy in my left leg and left hand. From what I understand, the symptoms can be relieved somewhat by medication but the nerve damage can not be reversed.

Personally, I would do whatever exercises I could. If the recumbent bike is something you can do on a regular basis, then I think that it would be a wise investment.
Please click on my username or avatar picture to read my story.

Blessings,

-Dave
 
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mrpkguy responded:
I had peripheral neuropathy in both feet making it painful to walk and when I bumped into things - also they got cold It alsommade me wobbly when walking. I wasn't really overweight but lost close to 25 pounds and then I felt nerves beginning to make connection in my feet - like quick minature sparks. I felt the nerves were reestablishing themselves. My feet are almost back to normal as I rub them with coconut oil then put on light socks before going to bed......a world of difference. At first it was every night with the coconut oil but now it is just kind of a maintenance regimen doing it about 3 times a week.
I attribute most of it to the coconut oil - try it!
 
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Michael Dansinger, MD responded:
Thank you for sharing your symptoms and experiences. As you know, diabetes can cause nerve damage (neuropathy) especially when the blood glucose levels run high for several years. Most common is for both feet to be affected and can affect both shins as well with tingling, pain, sensitivity, or loss of sensation. Foot ulcers and changes in the shape of the feet are not uncommon in patients with diabetic neuropathy. There are many variations of diabetic neuropathy and it can sometimes affect one leg and not the other, although not every nerve disorder in someone with diabetes is necessarily due to diabetes.

Diabetic neuropathy is often partially reversible by controlling the blood sugar levels. Sometimes better control just slows the progression rather than reversing the problem/symptoms. It is hard to know because the benefits of treatment vary so much from patient to patient. I've seen dramatic recoveries with good long-term prognosis, and I've seen disappointing recoveries despite lifestyle changes. Leg nerves can heal very slowly over the course of several years--there is good reason to be hopeful.

A recumbent exercise bike might be a good move but always consult with your doctor.

Michael Dansinger, MD
 
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rgcdenver replied to Michael Dansinger, MD's response:
Thank You. I now understand the prognosis has an up and a down. Yes, symptoms are now apparent in my right leg/foot. It is especially the toes and the top of my feet (both). My leg strength is extremely diminished as I can tell how quickly I tire.Last year I umpired over 250 youth fastpitch softball games. But I had to pass on officiating basketball this last fall, as well as no officiating so far. I am 140 lbs at 5"9", never smoked. I also never "exercised" but it appears now is the time to change that. Again, Thank you for at least that glimmer.
 
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rgcdenver replied to davedsel2's response:
Thanks. (meant to send this earlier)


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