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Endocrinology (including Diabetes)/Lower leg neuropathy + artery disease

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Question
Hello Sheri,

My question doesn't necessarily relate to Diabetes as I have been tested repeatedly and they all come back negative.  I am, however, experiencing symptoms common to diabetics, specifically bilateral lower leg neuropathy due to poor circulation.  Specifically peripheral artery disease.  

I should also mention that 2 yrs ago I experienced a heart attack and subsequently had to have triple bypass surgery.  It was at that time I learned I had peripheral artery disease.  Ironically, just a few months earlier I began to experience edema and venous ulcers in both lower legs.  

I have been to doctors, wound care clinics, and the ER a number of times and each time I get the same answers;  lose weight, and keep applying compression wraps or stockings to reduce the edema.  Well I'm working on the weight loss, but due to poor flexibility I am unable to apply wraps or hose.  It is very difficult for the most limber person.  I live alone so I have no one here to help with this.  And I do not know anyone to ask for help doing this on a daily basis.  

My question for you is;  do you have any knowledge of any other treatment, technique, or remedy to reverse or at least improve neuropathy, or artery disease?  I have heard of an alternative treatment called Chelation Therapy that is supposed to help diabetics, but after doing a little research on it I found that it can deplete the body of essential minerals/nutrients.  Do you have any knowledge of this?  My legs burn and ache constantly and it is contributing to insomnia.  It is difficult to walk as each step is very painful.  I am at a loss about what to do.  Doctors have not been much help, and I have no insurance, nor am I eligible for Medicaid, so I can't afford to be admitted to the hospital.  Do you have any suggestions?  

Thank you,
Gary

Answer
Gary,
  The only treatment that I know of that may help with neuropathy is called NutriNerve (http://www.neuroeffex.com), which was formulated by a medical doctor who is a research colleague of mine.  I have no idea if it can help with PAD, but it is possible since it contains some strong natural antioxidants.  Some pain caused by PAD can get better when you exercise regularly, taking as many steps as you can even if there is some pain when you do that.  I think there are also some assistive devices that help people put on socks/shoes that you may be able to find to help with pulling on compression socks.  Since you had bypass surgery, they took some veins out of your leg to replace your blocked arteries, which just adds to the problems in your legs.  Sheri

Endocrinology (including Diabetes)

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Sheri Colberg, PhD

Expertise

I am an exercise physiologist with a PhD who specializes in diabetes--as such I CANNOT answer general questions about other endocrine problems as I am neither an expert in all areas of endocrinology nor am I a medical doctor. My expertise lies in answering questions about diabetes (of any type) and physical activity, so please limit your questions to those areas. I can help you if you want to begin exercise or if you're already a diabetic athlete, and I am prepared to respond to questions about physical activity to which even your diabetologist may not know the answer. I can give suggestions about changes in your diabetic medications that differing types and intensities of exercise may necessitate, but I will have to refer you to your regular health care team to get final approval to make such changes. I can also answer questions about physical fitness, exercise metabolism, prediabetes reversal, and prevention of type 2 diabetes and diabetic complications.

Experience

I have both personal and professional experience in the areas of diabetes and exercise/physical activity. On a personal level, I have had type 1 diabetes since 1968, and I have been an avid exerciser since I was a child. Professionally, I have been conducting clinical studies on diabetes and exercise since 1992, largely with funding from the American Diabetes Association. I am also the author of 8 books related to diabetes, exercise, and more: The Diabetic Athlete (2001), Diabetes-Free Kids (2005), The 7 Step Diabetes Fitness Plan (2006), 50 Secrets of the Longest Living People with Diabetes (2007), The Science of Staying Young (2007), Matt Hoover's Guide to Life, Love, and Losing Weight (2008), Diabetic Athlete's Handbook (2009), and Diabetes? No Problema! (2009).

Organizations
I am a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, a professional member of the American Diabetes Association (and professional volunteer for the ADA), and a former member of the Board of Directors of the Diabetes Exercise & Sports Association.

Publications
I have published research and review articles in the following journals and magazines: Diabetes Care, Diabetes, Journal of Diabetes & Its Complications, Diabetes Self-Management, Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, Journal of Applied Physiology, The Physician and Sportsmedicine, Journal of Clinical Investigation, International Journal of Obesity, FASEB Journal, The Diabetes Educator, Journal of Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance, Clinical Exercise Physiology, Clinical Diabetes Reviews, Insulin, ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal, Biomechanics, On the Cutting Edge, Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics, Microvascular Research, Drug Benefit Trends, ACSM Certified News, Diabetes Health, SportEX Health, Diabetes Focus, Diabetes In Control, dLife-For Your Diabetes Life, Pediatrics for Parents, and My TCOYD (Taking Control of Your Diabetes) Newsletter. I have also been interviewed in myriad other magazines, such as Men's Health, Men's Fitness, Diabetes Forecast, Countdown Magazine, Joe Weider's Muscle & Fitness, Health, Tidewater Parent, Barron's News, Diabetes New Day, and Newsweek International.

Education/Credentials
I have an undergraduate degree (1985) from Stanford University, a Master's degree in exercise physiology (1987) from the University of California, Davis, and a Ph.D. (1992) from the University of California, Berkeley, in the same field. I also spent two years in an NIH-funded postdoctoral research position in endocrinology (studying obesity, diabetes, metabolism, and exercise) at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (1993-1994).

Awards and Honors
Fellow, American College of Sports Medicine (FACSM) - 1996 Old Dominion University Darden College of Education Young Investigator Grant Award 2003 Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, Old Dominion University Chapter 2004-Present Great Women of the 21st Century by the American Biographical Institute 2005 Edition Old Dominion University Darden College of Education Largest Research Grant Award 2006 Old Dominion University Darden College of Education Publications Award (for greatest number) 2006 Saint Louis University, The Max K. Horwitt Memorial Lecture Distinguished Lectureship Award 2008 Old Dominion University Darden College of Education Publications Award 2009 Old Dominion University Darden College of Research Grants Award 2009

Past/Present Clients
I have consulted for numerous groups, including Can-Am Care, Numera|Social, California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training(about candidates with diabetes), Animas Corporation (an insulin pump company), Therasense, Inc. (makers of the Freestyle blood glucose meters), Council of Healthcare Advisors, and the City of Chesapeake (Virginia) Health Department.

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