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Question:

From San Jose, CAlifornia, USA:

I am 30 years old and have been a diabetic for almost 25 years. I was well controlled for most of those 25 years but as a busy mom had 6 years of bad control. I have a hard time folowing a schedule and I'm 40 pounds overweight. I am currently using a pump with great success, but I suddenly have an overwhelming number of what I call "wake up" signals. I have intermittent claudication, microalbumin in my urine, diabetic bowel syndrome, decreased blood flow to my heart and skin discolorations. What are my chances of reversing these problems so that I can watch my children grow up? I have already reversed beginning stage eye disease, but I am scared for my future.

Answer:

The years of poor control certainly seem to have allowed the encroachment of many of the common long term commplications of diabetes. You should take heart however because you have already achieved a very important step forward by getting back into good control by using a pump. I think the next step is to talk all this over again with your doctor and to ask whether it might not help your complicated situation to get a referal to a center that has a team with a full complement of professional staff inluding a nurse educator, a nutritionist and a medical social worker or clinical psychologist. Perhaps he may have contacts with the one at Stanford in Palo Alto or you may yourself have a suggestion to make after contacting the local office of the American Diabetes Association.

All of the other complications that you talk about are specifically treatable and can be helped even if they cannot be made entirely to regress. It will be a long haul, however, so that even with the motivation of being able to watch the children grow up I think you will also need counselling help.

DOB

Original posting 6 Jan 1999
Posted to Complications

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:02
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