Need help! Can't find an answer

By GuidoGuy202 Latest Reply 2014-11-23 14:19:33 -0600
Started 2014-11-18 21:03:21 -0600

Hi i was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes march 2013 and have been somewhat succeeding in my battle with this disease. Since starting insulin treatment (8 lantus units morning around 15 novolog units/day) my eyes are just not the same. After about 6 months of going through these vision problems I became depressed and extremely anxious about my appearance. I've been to doctors and most think that it's just my eyes going through the change of my blood sugar going from a high average back down to a normal average. Others think I've developed a neuropathy (specifically cranial mononeuropathy iii). So following these visits I figured I would do some research and figure out a way to get my vision back so I researched treatment and it seemed the only solution is tight control of blood sugar or surgery. I've done eye patching too throughout the last year and it seems to help only temporarily. Also I've tried and control my blood sugar as best I can with an a1c of around 6.0. Though having a very good a1c i have felt that I have had numerous highs and lows (blood sugars). What can I do about this neuropathy? I've been trying so hard to get my vision back since being diagnosed but it's been so hard and it's ruining every aspect of my life. Last year I dropped out of school and quit my job because I just can't focus on any given task and I feel as if I don't want to do anything until I feel myself again. With diabetes is it more about what you eat or how you manage your blood sugars? I've been stabilized for nearly half a year. I'm also 19 years old and weight 175lbs if that helps. Any input would be great. Thank you so much!!


22 replies

RosalieM 2014-11-23 12:31:44 -0600 Report

Hi Guido,
I am type two, but this applies t all diabetics. Diabetics excrete Thiamin (vitamin B1) 25 times faster than non diabetics. Thiamin is an important nutrient for the nerves. Thiamin is water soluble so it can easily be excreted by diabetics. An over the counter product (supplement) called Benfotiamine which I made from thiamin but is fat soluble has been prescribed by the Germans since 1992 to protect the cells from damage from sugar. Insulin can take sugar from the blood but not the cells. Apparently this is what causes nerve damage. My feet started to tingle (early nerve damage) I took 1200 mg per day.
It takes 45 days to show improvement, but the tingling went away. Don't take my word for it however. Use Benfotiamine, thiamin, diabetes
as search words. You should find the anser. Granma Rose

Type1Lou 2014-11-21 15:09:29 -0600 Report

ustin, here is a reply I got to my Facebook post about your question on The Medtronic Minimed Ambassador site: Hi Louise, thanks for reaching out to try to help Justin even though sports is not your area of expertise. He may be interested in reading this blog about pumping with an active lifestyle - He may also be inspired by this blog we (Medtronic) did with a professional rugby player - If he is interested in learning more, I'd be happy to connect him with someone. Keep us posted!

Let me know if you wish me to connect you with someone at Medtronic.

GuidoGuy202 2014-11-23 12:17:46 -0600 Report

Thank you Lou for reaching out to find someone who could help me out much appreciated. I would love to be connected with one of the specialist who could help me further understand the pros and cons of having a pump with an active lifestyle.

Type1Lou 2014-11-23 12:39:20 -0600 Report

I've sent you a friend request so we can exchange contact info via private message. I hope you get the answers you need/want.

tedblack 2014-11-21 14:04:11 -0600 Report

Hi Justin, since I am not a physician I do not try to give much advice. I will let you know some of my history and experiences. I am 62 was diagnosed when I was 6 and put on insulin, thanks to a very advanced thinking mother and dietitian I was only on insulin for 3 years. I was diet controlled until I I was 55 when diet alone did have the control I needed. I was placed on oral medication, Then at age 60 40% of my pancreas was removed and I was placed on insulin. At that point I had vision changes while my glucose levels were matched to both oral and insulin. When my levels got to the point I did not experience wide swings my eye sight corrected. I have worn corrective lenses for years and have not had any degenerative eye problems caused by diabetes.
As far as my diabetes is concerned I have not viewed the disease as something to fight. It is a problem I have and it will be with me for life. I just work at not letting the disease control my life. I eat, exercise, and enjoy everything I do in moderation. I will not say that giving myself injections everyday does not get me down once in a while, it does but I do not stress about it. One thing that I started when I became insulin dependent was to exercise with strengthening bands for 10 - 15 minutes before going to bed. This has helped a great deal. my physician informed me that there are 2 body systems that use glucose, 1st the brain (not a big user), 2nd muscles so strengthening muscles allows the body to use glucose more efficiently. It made sense to me and it seems to help. Before I had the pancreatic problem I was 5'7" and 185 - 190 lbs. I am still 5'7" 148 lbs that is up from a low of 120 2 years ago. I wish you the best it is a difficult disease because of how it effects every system in the body. I believe it can be controlled and not control us unless we let it.
My best to you, we all need encouragement,
Ted Black

GuidoGuy202 2014-11-23 12:21:22 -0600 Report

Thank you ted for telling me your story. I certainty think I have a better understanding of what I need to do now thanks to all of these wonderful people (including yourself) posting their stories and giving me the little bit of encouragement I needed to get myself back together. Thanks again!

Karenkhig 2014-11-20 14:19:15 -0600 Report

Hi Justin, I see you have had many reply to you. I did not take the time to read them all, but I will say that your eye sight can get better. When I was 15 I found out I had type 1 . I am now 56. But any who I started on insulin and in aprox 3 weeks are so I could not see anything not even a face about all I could see was light, dark and forms. This lasted for about 2 weeks then one day, BAM I could see, after all these years I still have good vision and use glasses only to drive. I taught aerobics for 25 years and a personal trainer for 5 years, so yes you can do sports and I did some of this while on the pump. I have only been on my pump about 12 years. With your Dr/Endo. help and close monitoring and sharing with those around you what to look for when you go low, you will do just fine. Hope you will do well. Read, share and listen to the dr.

GuidoGuy202 2014-11-23 12:26:38 -0600 Report

Thank you very much for your post Karen and thank u for telling me your story. I think I definitely have a better understanding of what I need to do now. All of you that have posted have helped tremendously and I thank you 1000x.

Type1Lou 2014-11-19 16:37:47 -0600 Report

Hi Justin! I was diagnosed Type 1 at age 27 and am now 65. I was working in a stressful job when I began to have some double-vision issues. I eventually had eye-muscle surgery to deal with that but never really resolved some of the vision problems. Diabetes may have been the cause of this as well as some thyroid imbalance issues…both fairly common for people with diabetes.I continued to work and did well in my career until retiring. I just dealt with the vision issues as best I could. The best you can do for yourself is try to gain better control of your blood sugars by avoiding extreme highs and lows. An A1c of 6.0 is great but only reflects the AVERAGE of your BG. You appear to be highly sensitive to insulin, which is a good thing. What you eat contributes to you blood sugar readings so, you need to manage what you eat in order to manage your BG's. For me, following a low-carb diet has led to better BG control. Have you considered trying an insulin pump? I only started pumping in 2011 but am sorry I waited so long to try it. It has given me better control with less overall insulin and eliminated those scary low BG's that sent me to the ER more than once. I resisted pumping because I didn't want to be connected to something 24/7. It's really no big deal and I hope I never have to go back to injections. Please don't hesitate to ask any specific questions that you might have. The more you learn, the better position you'll be in to make the right decisions leading to better control.

GuidoGuy202 2014-11-19 19:59:47 -0600 Report

Hi Lou thank you very much for your post and sharing your story. As far as a low carb diet goes, before being diagnosed in March 2013 I would eat a lot of carbs mostly because of the amount of physical activity I do (I play a lot of basketball ). What would be some foods that I would replace the carbs with. They seem to be the only foods that I'm filled up by. I've also have had a good amount of lows ranging from 60 to as low as 30. I've also have had a good amount of highs mostly overnight when I would forget to treat for the dinner I ate. But most of these highs and lows were last year but some have still been this year maybe the fluctuating blood sugar is just too much for my eyes. As far as a pump goes I'm not exactly sure if it's for me. As I've said earlier I play tons of basketball and plan on having my vision back by next year to play college basketball so I don't know how a pump could co-exist with basketball. I'm not sure how diabetics with pumps play sports. Any advice on that topic?

Type1Lou 2014-11-20 15:14:09 -0600 Report

Here's a link I found when I googled "athletes with insulin pumps":
You may wish to check out some of the other links in that search. In addition, I often recommended Gary Scheiner's book, "Think Like a Pancreas", which is my go-to manual for treating my diabetes with insulin. Mr. Scheiner is an exercise physiologist who has worked with athletes who have diabetes. I'm sure you'd find the book helpful.

Type1Lou 2014-11-20 13:01:54 -0600 Report

There are many pro-athletes with diabetes and some use pumps. A tubed pump would probably not be the best during contact sports like basketball and football. Since I'm not really an athlete, I'm hoping someone here will step up to offer their advice/experience. Meanwhile, I'll google diabetes athletes to see if I can garner any additional info for you. I know that there are some people on my Medtronic Minimed Ambassador site who run marathons, but again, that's not a contact sport…just endurance. I'll post on that site too to see what advice they might have for you.

GabbyPA 2014-11-19 08:14:42 -0600 Report

Growing up is hard enough without these kinds of things going on. But there is always a silver lining, no matter how thin it might be.

I recently spoke with another young member here who has taken charge of his type 1 and is doing some great things. I found him to be very inspiring. He does a lot of things that would require a doctor's watchful eye to take on, but here is a little of his story and his YouTube page where you can see what he has done.

I hope it gives you hope and keeps that fire going inside you.

GuidoGuy202 2014-11-19 09:30:31 -0600 Report

Thank you for your kind words I will certainly get passed this stage as I've always been a strong and motivated person I just gotta keep pushing.

GuidoGuy202 2014-11-19 09:00:50 -0600 Report

Thank you very much gabby for your reply. I will certainly check the video out and try and find more ways to cope.

GabbyPA 2014-11-19 09:13:34 -0600 Report

I hope that soon you will get past coping and get into living, no matter the obstacles. There is greatness in each of us and sometimes our limitations bring out the best we have to offer.

cowman12 2014-11-19 00:22:30 -0600 Report

As a 24 y/o I know exactly what you are going through. I became type 1 in June this year. I am an Air Force pilot with 20/20 before the diagnosis. For about a week after the hospital my vision was so bad I literally could not read anything within a foot of my eyes. I was seeing two if everything at a distance. While this did go away I do still notice it is harder to see in general. My last eye exam I was barely 20/30 in both eyes. I assumed it was just the lingering effects if the rapid rise and fall of blood sugar. As for the disease itself I know exactly how much it can screw with your life and your plans. Do not give up. You have been forced in a new direction, same as me. My experience thus far has been that an Adkins style diet combined with gratuitous exercise will keep sugar down. I went almost 3 months without insulin between August and two weeks ago in an effort to stay a flyer.. Wouldn't recommend trying that but it still proves a point. At 19 you have so much potential even as a diabetic. When I went to the hospital I weighed 158 lb. I am 6'2 and normally 180-185. I gained the weight back within 2 months and am in the best shape of my life. The diet and lifestyle changes as a type 1 tent to force you to be healthier ironically. Don't let this crap control you. Push forward and rise above it. If you have any questions or want to talk just let me know. Good luck man

GuidoGuy202 2014-11-19 00:38:48 -0600 Report

Thank you so much cowman for your encouraging response/story. Your right I have to see this threw and do whatever it takes to get my self back on track mentally and not let it beat me I will certainly write u if I have any other questions.

Anonymous 2014-11-18 22:47:16 -0600 Report

An a1c of 6.0 is extremely good. Your body can react to high levels of stress by producing more hormones, which will negatively impact your sugars. I know it's tough, but try to stay calm and think positively. Type 1 diabetes is not a death sentence. You can ABSOLUTELY live a normal life.

First, have you seen an optometrist? They will tell you if there is something wrong with your eyes (I don't know much about cranial mononeuropathy though).

Second, as a 19 year old soon to be 21 year old, if you drink alcohol stop immediately, otherwise you're making your liver work twice as hard.

Third, try to maintain a consistent eating schedule. If you eat the same(ish) meal and then test yourself 2 hours afterwards because it takes your body time to digest what you've just eaten (research basal and bolus) If you are too high consider taking more insulin next time you eat that meal, and if too low consider taking less. Over time you'll get the result you're looking for. DO NOT, however, make any drastic changes in your insulin regimen, make only small, incremental changes.

Fourth, try to exercise. If you don't have enough vision to run, try riding a stationary bike. It will help maintain your sugars, but make sure you test yourself before and after you workout. Also, keep enough sugar with you to avoid hypoglycemia. Which brings me to my next point.

When you have low blood sugar, everything in the kitchen will look good to you. So before you start eating ice cream from the container or chugging orange juice from the carton at 3am, try eating small portions of sugar then wait to see if you feel better.

I know it's a lot of information, and realize that I'm not a doctor, but I'm a young guy like you and I have lived a relatively normal life with diabetes for almost 20 years. Trust me, it'll get better. Again, not a doctor but come up with a list of questions and then consult with a doctor before changing your habits, especially your insulin regimen.

GuidoGuy202 2014-11-18 23:42:35 -0600 Report

I've been to eye doctors and they say that nothing is wrong they just think it's the sugar level change. As far as drinking alcohol goes I was drinking maybe twice a week for a few years but I stopped drinking last month and also I was drinking quite often before my diagnoses which could be one reason for my vision problems. I've been exercising everyday at home doing push ups and pull ups and doing intense solo training sessions on my basketball hoop in my backyard and have had quite a few lows because of my workouts. Quite frequently last year I would eat late at night and not check my blood sugar or treat the highs I was having because I was depressed and just wanted my vision back but I got over that stage. Now I just want to do whatever it takes to get myself back on track.

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