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    When a Veteran starts considering whether or not to file a VA Disability Claim, there are a lot of questions that he or she tends to ask. Over the last 10 years, the following are the 14 most common basic questions I am asked about ...
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  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

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    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

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jimiusmaximus

Question About Foot Pains And Diabetes

Question

Hello everyone,

I am new to this site but I have to tell you I am very impressed with the depth of knowledge being shared here. Thank you all for that. I know this issue isn't AO related, but I know a lot of AO vets due have DM so I am hoping to find someone her to answer a question. If I am in the wrong I apologize in advance.

Here is a little background on me. I am service connected for DMII, diagnosed in 2005 during my Army retirement physical. Over the past year I have been having a lot of pain in my fingers and toes. I don't really have any numbness or much tingling. I get the pains usually in my big toes and index fingers and it kind of shoots up through the hand/foot. My hands and feet also feel stiff and my hands are really sensitive to pain, like if i smack something it stings bad for quite a few minutes. On my past 2 visists to my PCP (non VA) he has told me that I have not had Diabetes long enough to have Neuropathy, and he is hesitant to give any meds for it due to me already being on a lot of meds (oral) for the DM. The meds are really not the concern, I occaisionally take ibuprofen for the pain and it is not that great.

Here is my question. Is pain like that realted to the DM.. to neuropathy? Can a person who has somewhat controlled diabetes (A1C 6.4) suffer from Neuropathy after only a few years? Can you have Neuropathy and not have numbness? Just last week I have enrolled at the VA and will be getting my healthcare addressed through the VA going forward. They have me scheduled for a lot of bloodwork and tests. I belive one of the tests is a nerve conduction test... whatever that is.

Thank you all for bearing with me and thanks in advance for your help.

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Where to begin!

The VA's own treatment documents (and other medical references) state that you may have Diabetes (on the average) for ten years before it's diagnosed when you hit the levels used to confirm Diabetes. Other than random testing, most Diabetes is detected when there is one or more symptoms present, and as a result, blood sugar tests and or A1c tests are made.

A good diet may delay the onset of sugar levels associated with the diagnosis of diabetes for an indefinite period. According to various medical references, serious problems, such as cardio and vascular problems may occur long (years) before Diabetes is actually diagnosed. In my case, sugar levels were measured over twenty years ago as a precursor to major surgery. The levels were 157 and 102 fasting. They said I didn't have diabetes.

The last time I looked, a Diabetes diagnosis would have been made if the level had been 160, using more recent standards. A diabetes diagnosis is a confirming diagnosis, not one that determines when you actually started having diabetes. Any sugar level above 100 should at least be looked at, particularly if it's a fasting level.

If that isn't bad enough, such things as peripheral arterial disease or arthritis can cause the symptoms you mentioned. Diabetes can cause or aggravate these kinds of medical problems. A.O. exposure can also cause tham, but there is generally less of a time lapse between exposure and your stated symptoms.

To the best of my knowledge, the symptoms you mention can occur with neuropathy, or other causes as well.

A nerve conduction test may be used to help diagnose neuropathy.

I'm NOT a doctor. This is not medical advice. The information I've mentioned is a result of research into my own problems, and how they relate to "on the ground" A.O. exposure. Although the medical profession is generally thought of as conservative, the VBA has it's unique ways, and often ignores sound medical practice and current medical information. Usually, this occurs when the VBA decides to deny a claim.

Hello everyone,

I am new to this site but I have to tell you I am very impressed with the depth of knowledge being shared here. Thank you all for that. I know this issue isn't AO related, but I know a lot of AO vets due have DM so I am hoping to find someone her to answer a question. If I am in the wrong I apologize in advance.

Here is a little background on me. I am service connected for DMII, diagnosed in 2005 during my Army retirement physical. Over the past year I have been having a lot of pain in my fingers and toes. I don't really have any numbness or much tingling. I get the pains usually in my big toes and index fingers and it kind of shoots up through the hand/foot. My hands and feet also feel stiff and my hands are really sensitive to pain, like if i smack something it stings bad for quite a few minutes. On my past 2 visits to my PCP (non VA) he has told me that I have not had Diabetes long enough to have Neuropathy, and he is hesitant to give any meds for it due to me already being on a lot of meds (oral) for the DM. The meds are really not the concern, I occasionally take ibuprofen for the pain and it is not that great.

Here is my question. Is pain like that related to the DM.. to neuropathy? Can a person who has somewhat controlled diabetes (A1C 6.4) suffer from Neuropathy after only a few years? Can you have Neuropathy and not have numbness? Just last week I have enrolled at the VA and will be getting my health care addressed through the VA going forward. They have me scheduled for a lot of blood work and tests. I believe one of the tests is a nerve conduction test... whatever that is.

Thank you all for bearing with me and thanks in advance for your help.

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You should file a claim for PN secondary to DMII. You will get a C&P exam. They check for numbness, especially the glove and sock kind of sensational neuropathy. Even if the EMG is negative you may still get connected for PN with the pin prick test.

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VA knew I had diabetes and never bothered to tell me. Blood sugars in 400's and higher and lots of sugar in urine and not a peep from those damn foreign gatekeepers they have.

At least now I have a couple of VA Docs trying to help me.

I take Gabapentin and it helps me a lot with the foot neuropaty where feet burn and tingle are numb at same time.

Good Luck some Docs at VA care and others think all Vets have diabetes and like it is our fault.

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You should file a claim for PN secondary to DMII. You will get a C&P exam. They check for numbness, especially the glove and sock kind of sensational neuropathy. Even if the EMG is negative you may still get connected for PN with the pin prick test.

I have seen a neurologist and primary care doc. They both concur it is pn. I still haven't had the EMG yet. Should I file for the pn or wait. I have a couple of more appt's for other sc issues. My thought was to wait and file all at once.

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My only comment would be that diabetes effects everyone differently.

Your A1C iisn't horrible. Keep asking questions, don't seetle for something that sounds like b.s.

Diabetes won't kill you, but the complications will......Eric

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