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December 20, 2000

Complications

Question from Westchester, Illinois, USA:

I'm a 51 year old male who has had type�1 diabetes for 29 years. I am in good control, with HbA1c levels of of 6.2 to 6.9%. I am 5 feet 8 inches tall and weigh 165 pounds. The problem I'm having started gradually 10 years ago and has gotten worse. My muscles and tendons around my knees get tired and sore the more I stand. Exercise doesn't seem to help; they just get more tired and sore. Is this diabetes related? What can I do about it?

Answer:

There are several possible answers to this question. First, having diabetes puts you at increased risk for other problems, such as hypothyroidism. Make sure your physician has checked your thyroid function. Second, there are some forms of neuropathy that can involve muscle groups. Check with your physician to see if you have one of these forms of diabetic neuropathy where the muscles can be involved. Third, I would want to know if you are maintaining the tone in those muscles with regular exercise. I would recommend you take this up with your physician and discuss the above points to your satisfaction.

JTL