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From Lake City, Florida, USA:

I have been having severe swelling and pain in my calves and ankles, and both are discolored (purple). I also get sporadic tingling, burning, and sometimes sharp pains in my calves, knees, and feet. My legs ache, and I am in a lot of pain.

I was just hospitalized to check for blood clots and none were found, but they did find a possibility of diabetes. I had several high readings, followed by low readings, and my fasting level was 116 mg/dl [6.4 mmol/L]. In the years past, I have always had low blood sugar, but I do have a family history of diabetes.

I was sent home with an antibiotic for the infection of the skin. When I asked my doctor about my blood levels, he said he thought we could control that by diet. (I am assuming he will go over this at a later date with me.) Several of the nurses spoke to me about diabetes and after doing a lot of reading on the subject, I have come to believe that the problem with my legs has do to diabetes. I do not feel that the problem was addressed at all and do not feel comfortable with the lack of diagnosis. I am in an awkward position as my daughter works for my doctor. Please give me your opinion. It has been suggested that I get a kit and do my own testing for awhile but that still does nothing for the pain I am experiencing.


Communicate your discomfort with the lack of a clear diagnosis to your physician and request that he provide you with further explanation as to the difficulties you are having with your legs. Give your physician the benefit of the doubt and realize that he may not even be aware that you feel as you do. Express both your continued concern with your current state of health, and your desire to be an active partner in your care. If he cannot provide you with a way to control your symptoms and the answer(s) that you seek, request that he refer you to someone he knows and trusts who can.

Obtaining a meter to check blood sugars at home will assist both you and your physician in developing a treatment plan. That treatment plan will include medical nutrition therapy (diet), exercise, and perhaps medication(s) to control blood sugars and should also address cardiovascular risk factors such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and weight.

You would benefit as well from diabetes self-management education classes or individual consultation with a diabetes educator and/or dietitian. Contact your local hospital or diabetes association for information about classes near you. Although a diagnosis has not been made as such, the Neuropathy Association may be a resource for you. Should your pain continue, so too might a pain management clinic if available in your area.


Original posting 18 Aug 2002
Posted to Aches and Pains


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:38
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