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August 14, 2002

Complications, Daily Care

Question from Wilmington, Ohio, USA:

About four months ago, I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes after going to the ER with flu-like symptoms, and not getting better. When they admitted me my sugar level was over 800 mg/dl [44.4 mmol/L], and I was in a coma for 15 hours. Prior to this and since, my feet have been numb, tingly and swollen. Also, my right hand has numbness and twitches. My A1c was 14.8% after having had sugar levels at 200 mg/dl [11.1 mmol/L] and less for 30 days. Could this be neuropathy? Would it be best that I see an endocrinologist? I am seeing my general practitioner for the diabetes and also a pulmonary specialist, but neither one really seems too concerned about these symptoms.

Answer:

I think you should see an endocrinologist as soon as possible. Your average blood sugars don’t match a hemoglobin A1c of 14.8%, and you have a number of symptoms that need immediate attention. You could consult with the endocrinologist now and return to your GP after your A1ccomes down to below 7%.

JS