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May 19, 2000

Complications

Question from Ohio, USA:

I have a friend who has had Type 1 diabetes for 16 years. She is now 29 and has lost sight in one eye. She has hypertension and has protein in the urine for which she has been put on a ACE inhibitor. She has been uncontrolled basically from the start and within the past two years has been seeing a specialist to get her in control. I have many concerns regarding her condition, one being that she is very puffy and has extreme swelling in her legs, ankles, and feet. This condition changes at times (meaning one week she will look extremely puffy the next week only slightly). However, this condition has been going on for close to a year. Do you know what would be causing this condition? My concern would be that her kidneys are not functioning correctly or even that her heart may be affected.

Answer:

All the above are possible, and it is also possible that she is having water retention due to giving extra insulin to try and improve her control (insulin edema).

Good luck to you and your friend.

TGL