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Concerned about sons muscle tightness when high
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Concerned about sons muscle tightness when high

Hi,

My son is 20 years old, soon to be 21.  He just mentioned to me tonight that when his blood sugar is high he can feel/notice it in his body muscles.  His arms, and legs, back, shoulders get a tight/stretched feeling.

My son has had diabetes for almost 18 years, and hasn't complained of this before.  Could this me neuropathy?  Or is it just that when he was younger he didn't notice some of the symptoms of high blood sugar such as an adult would?

He is very active.  Dan works out daily doing push ups, sit ups, racquetball, soccer, lifting weights, etc.  Do you think this has anything to do with it?  I certainly never want to see him have to curb his exercise routine.  Is it something anyone feels should be mentioned to the endocrinologist?

Thanks for any help, it is just one more concern on his nearly life long journey with diabetes.

Anniem47
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Since we are all volunteers here and not doctors, I can't give you any real daignosis of your son's problem.  My sense is that this is not neuropathy which is more of a nerve/pain sensation and usually in the extremities.  Of course, I would always suggest you talk to your doctor about any concerns or changes.  Diabetes looks different on everyone and it's always a good idea to talk to your doctor about any concerns if for no other reason than to be reassured.  The good news is that your son is in touch with how his body feels. This is true for many of us who have grown up with diabetes and I think it is one of the ways that helps us stay on top of our disease.

You don't say if his exercising pattern has changed recently which might be contributing to the tightness.  His activity level is another very positive thing and will be an asset in his diabetes management.  Although the tightness may be realted to the blood sugars, they may also result from his increased stress and tension and paying closer attention to his body when his blood sugars go up.  Diabetes can be a very stressful disease to live with, especially if you are the type of person who works hard to have perfect blood sugars all the time, which is impossible.

Of course, I don't know all the circumsatnces or what your son is like, but I would encourage him to keep up the good work of managing his life and diabetes and of course, mention this new concern to the doctor.
Es
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Thanks for the advice.  Of course I will mention it to his dr next time he see's him, but that won't be until summer because of college.  

I didn't think it was neuropathy either since it isn't painful.  I can't help but feel as you suggest, that it may be due to the recent onslaught of exercise he has started.  Dan's always been active, but he is trying not to be so thin, and bulk up, so now he is really pouring it on.  His diabetes control is good, not great.  But his endocrinologist states that he is better than most 20 year olds with diabetes so I guess that's good.  His last glyco was 7.9% which is a 1 point drop for him since he started college.  As we ALL know, there is no such thing as perfect control, and the slightest things in life can throw off the blood sugar numbers.

I love your site and appreciate having the opportunity to go somewhere and post a question.  Not only that, but to read some of the issues in other peoples lives concerning diabetes.

You sound like you've had diabetes a very long time, were you young when you were diagnosed?  

Annie
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Just read your post regarding your son wanting to put on some weight. My 20 year old son is type 1, recently diagnosed (September 2004) and is on insulin twice daily. He lost a lot of weight (my first sign that there was a problem) before he was diagnosed, and still cannot seem to put the weight on? Unfortunately, he refuses to eat carbs because they put his blood sugars up too high, so I really can't see how he can gain weight. Do you have any suggestions?
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Annie and Kevin,
I have had diabetes since age 13 and I am now 53, so there is hope for all of us.  And believe me, I wasn't a perfect diabetic. There was no way I could have been 40 years ago even if I had wanted to. There was no blood testing and the insulins were not as refined.  There were very few options for any of us, but to watch our diets, take our insulin and hope for the best. Today, I'm on the pump and test my blood sugar a couple times a day and I'm still not perfect, but I live a very full active life with career, husband and child.  

Being 20 years old is tough enough, but having diabetes as a young person can be especially challenging, but that doesn't mean it can't be done successfully.  Part of the challenge for parents of any young adult and especially a diabetic one is to trust that your child will figure it out for themselves.  I really believe that every person has to find their own way of living with diabetes and that can change over the years.  Your children need your support and they need to know that you believe they are doing the best they can do at this time, even if it is not what you would want them to do.  

As far as gaining weight...as long as your son has energy and is feeling good, he will be fine.  He will eventually learn that he can have some carbs and adjust his insulin to meet the extra load.  Diabetes is still very new for him and there is a lot to learn, not only about the disease, but about how it looks and behaves in his body.  The good news is that he is taking it seriously and paying attention to what he needs to do.  There are many 20 year olds who wouldn't.  I wish both of you and your sons the very best.  I know from experience that both parents and children will be OK.
ES
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