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Swollen feet, ankles and hands
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Swollen feet, ankles and hands

Hello to everyone here. I am a type 1 diabetic (28) who was diagnosed when I was five years old. For the past three days, I have noticed that my ankles and feet, wrists and top of hands swelling considerably. On my feet and ankles the swelling is the worst. I can feel the skin tightening, and my ankles dissappear--they're still there...just buried under puffiness. I am a large but not terribly overweight person, just tall and Nordic (lol). I have seen some commentary about edema, kidney issues, and heart issues associated with this kind of swelling (God forbid it's any of those). I have never had this type of thing happen before (well, unless you count injuries from general clumsiness). My insulin usage has also skyrocketed for some reason. I check my blood sugar and take an active part in my health. My feet are in good condition--no injuries or discoloration, just nice and, er, plump, and rather uncomfortable. I can push my finger into my ankle and make a dent. Ick. Called the doctor...I go in for blood work on Monday (today being Friday)--he's great, but he is a general physician (no responsible endos in Greenville that I can see--that's another issue). Also, I have had hip problems resulting in big pain for about a year now. The swelling seems to happen when I am sitting down or when I am sleeping. What could this indicate? Please try not to be too frightening. I am so grateful that this site exists, and thanks for any help you can give. Oh--Lantus and Humalog are my meds along with Zestril 20mg.
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Avatar_n_tn
The swelling you mention can be something as simple as nerve damage, so i never worry too much about diabetes complication issues until i get correct knowledge from a physician about it. As for me my feet swell if i do too much walking during the day. i see my endo in a couple of weeks and will bring this up with her, though in the meantime i'm not walking as much. You may also want to try elevating your feet while sitting or lying down. Good luck with your blood tests,
bret
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Avatar_n_tn
Also, make sure that your circulation is not being diminished in the legs by sitting with crossed legs. This is a problem many women cause by this bad habit, and it can cause some swelling in legs and feet by squeezing the blood vessels behind the knees and good blood flow.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello again...thank you for your prompt replies! I have taken the stance that if I try to be upbeat about it, maybe whatever happens won't get me too depressed. WARNING: complaint :) I have had a significant problem finding an endocrinologist who is worth her/his salt. I made the decision to stop seeing a doctor and continue care with my internist. So far, it hasn't been problematic. Situation is as follows: I get referred to another doctor in the same practice and taken by this doctor. I didn't know you could refuse care from one doctor and wait until the other one became available. All those out there who are referred to one doctor and 'taken' by another, TAKE HEED. Sometimes it is better to wait. Anyway, the endo said 3 things to me on my first visit. 1. I may actually be a type 2 because I was so 'big' (result? C-peptide came back ZERO). 2. He wrote a list of things I could never eat and included peanut butter on it as well as popcorn, red meat, juice, cake, bread. Peanut butter has been a staple for me since I was little to prevent reactions! 3. He had NO idea what carb counting was, and he was not willing to talk about it. I had the flu when I went in to see him, and while I coughed and sneezed, he ignored the fact that I was extremely ill, and didn't offer any standard advice on how to handle sick days because he was an 'endo' and not a 'regular' doctor. I decided that since he did not know anything, that I would try to change to the original doctor. Turns out this guy had written a rule that no patients could change doctors within the practice. This other doctor was willing to take me on as a patient after I explained to her that I also struggled with depression and had problems handling patriarchal attitudes. The first doctor had lost so many patients to other endos in the practice that he outlawed it when he became head of the outfit. So, no endo. But I have gotten far better care under my regular doc than from that guy. Until now. Now I am scared again. I wish I could sue. OK rant over. I did notice that mostly the swelling is when I sit down or lie down. Thanks for letting me rant.
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Avatar_n_tn
Sorry about the griping on my last post. More news. I went on Tuesday and got blood taken and a "liquid" sample. My blood pressure medicine (actually an ace-inhibitor--lisinopril, generic for zestril) ran out of refills, and the doctor only called in one month of refills for this month. I think he is thinking that the swelling is blood pressure-related, or he already found something out and isn't telling me. I go to see him on the 30th...wish me luck and feel free to say any prayers for my kidneys.  I've been telling them not to worry, but they aren't listening. You know how kidneys are...they'd rather think the worst and be pleasantly surprised than the other way around. I've already put them through 23 years of being "brittle," so who knows?
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Avatar_n_tn
This is the first time I have ever run across anything like this online.  I have been a diabetec since '76.  I am now 40 years old.  This is the first time that my feet have swollen and I am a little panicked.  I can push my finger into the top of my foot and when I take it away, there remains a hole.  Kinda freaking me out. I can't get into to see anyone for a day or two but was hoping this is something not serious such as kidneys (only thing I have left unaffected) and just something that can be handled with elevation or medication.  I know this reply is not an answer but I do not know any other diabetics to talk with and this was such an enlightenment for me tht I had to comment.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hey. Sorry I didn't update, people. So I went to the doc, and he found out I have thyroid disease. He put me on something like Synthroid, and the next day I was feeling much better. To the other person who posted about the same problem, I would suggest that you not go into too much depth on possibilities on the internet. I decided I was going to find out what the possibilities were, and managed to scare myself pretty silly. And the doc told me that kidney problems don't happen overnight (NOT A DOC) but take a while. That doesn't stop it from being my worst fear in terms of complications. I try not to let the fear talk to me more than my hope does. Swelling went away immediately. I thought it would be edema related to kidneys or heart. I am showing levels of protein in the 'liquid' analysis they took. Which is scary, frankly. But I can't control that as much as I can control feeling better, right now. So I pretty much focus on that instead. It's not easy though. I'm schedued to come back in 2 months (August from June 30) for more bloodwork. Other simpler things cause swelling as well, like injuries (sprains, infections, breaks, even), too much salt can do it too. I did some other stuff hoping to feel better, and I'll be danged if it didn't help! And I went to a doc. It's not fun, but he's a good guy, so it's not too bad. Anyway...take care, ok?
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Avatar_n_tn
I've had type I for 30 yrs (since I was 8---you do the math! ;)  

I've never had trouble w/swollen feet til a few months ago.  It's not constant, but when it gets bad, it's as bad as previously described.  I've been on an insulin pump since Nov 2004 and so my sugars have been pretty good.

I take a low preventative dose of Cozaar for my kidneys.  I've never had kidney problems, either.  I've taken sythroid, and for the past 2 yrs, Armour thyroid, since 1999 after Graves disease & subsequent I-131 treatment.

I have an endo, but have only seen him twice!  Just hooked up w/him after getting on the pump.  His office is 100 miles away and I hate to have to travel up there for this if it's nothing major, kwim?  

I do have neuropathy and take Neurontin when I have it on hand (no Rx insurance means we can't always afford ALL of my meds  :(  Of the several foot specialists I've seen, none have told me anything about swelling being a part of neuropathy.   ??

Is there any other info or advice to be had out there?  I'm pretty concerned about this, but I have 1 family, zero energy and too many achy joints to go up there if it's not really serious  and I do NOT like to drive that far by myself.  

I appreciate any more info!

TIA!
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Avatar_n_tn
medications taken for high blood pressure or prevention of kidney problems can cause the side effects of swelling of hands,feet,and ankles. i have had the same experience myself. i use accupril- an ace inhibitor. i am going to request a change.
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Avatar_n_tn
I too am swelling in the Barcelona heat. I've had diabetes for over 20 years now. Got on a pump 3 years ago. Find that the swelling coincided with academia. When I spend more than 2 hours sitting (legs UN crossed) I tend to swell. I am also questioning liquid intake. My aunt just had pancreatitis and retained 40 lbs of liquid they had pumped into her intravenously. I have been told that drinking lots of water is good for the body, yet find when I do, I swell.  Hmmm. Perhaps I shouldn't drink water? or is this just a cover for a more serious problem.

By the way, I work with a fitotherapist who swears by biflavanoids to strengthen blood vessels, prime rose oil to keep them veins flexible and circulation herbs every morning... so far, so good. I will get back with what she might have to add-

Stay cool!

SPG3
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Avatar_f_tn
What if elevating your feet is not helping?  Could warm compresses or cold compresses work?
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