I was just told that I have the beginning stages of diabetic neuropathy. I'm only 23 and scared shitless. I know very little...b/c I didn't expect to have to deal with this so young...and early.
What are some good ways to slow down the progression? What should/shouldn't I do? My endo made it just seem like that was life and that's what happens...and said to have tight control over my sugars...which I already do.
Is it something to keep a watch on? Yes but don't fret yet. It will all be in how well you manage your disease. They found my first 'beginning stages' went I was 20. I am now 39 and I'm not going blind. The little spots can and will heal provided you just stay up on your bs levels and watch your diet. It's always a shock when you first hear those words but it will be fine. Mine actually got really better when I went on a pump - not sure what treatment protocol you are on (just keep doing what's right for you) but do your best to keep the range of your sugars narrow as possible and stay in touch with your endo if you think things need to be adjusted. Hang in there - it's scary at first but we all go through it and we are all here if you need us. Be well.
Slowing down and even reversing problems is possible. My best suggestion is build your knowledge base, it pick up some books on diabetes. "Think Like a Pancreas" is a very good read, almost everything I read was news to me. I have heard good things about "Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution" too.
Build a diabetes team. An endocrinologist, a diabetes educator, a dietitian, and maybe even an social worker who specializes in diabetes. The more people you have on your side the easier it is. Most Endos don't have time for all our disease requires, you have to go out and get it for yourself. That is why you should read up and figure out what you need and what is missing in your care.
Also. your doing a good job asking questions. Stick around here and keep asking questions, we're here.
I know you're only 23 years old, but I don't know how long you've had Type 1.
Please give me some idea of how "tight" your control is. What's your target blood sugar and what are you present average blood sugars and/or A1c? Has your control always been like this?
What are the symptoms you presently have of neuropathy? It usually starts with some numbness and/or tingling in one or both feet.
Are you on any kind of restricted diet (eg. low carbohydrate, low fat, etc.)? Approximately how many grams of carbs do you eat daily?
What is your insulin regimen (eg. injections, pump, etc.)?
Do you engage in any form of regular cardio and/or anaerobic exercise?
There are many ways to cope with neuropathy and many treatment options available. However, in my opinion, it is better to employ the safest ones (like diet, tighter control, exercise, etc.) before medications and medical procedures. You are in a very good position because your neuropathy has been diagnosed early and hasn't had time to cause any permanent damage. In most cases, fortunately, the symptomatic development of neuropathy can be retarded and even reversed.