Don’t lose your legs/FEET over it.
IF YOU DON’T WANT TO HAVE YOUR FEET AMPUTATED, READ THIS!
You don’t have to buy anything or even do anything you don’t already do as a diabetic. Just change the way you do it. It can save your feet, maybe save your life.
If you are like me, a diabetic you’ve been told how you could eventually lose your feet and even your legs because of the disease. Nerve damage and or bad blood circulation. Doctors don’t seem to know exactly why this happens or how to counter it.
I believe I have figured out why: The insulin you inject is used up before it gets to your feet. And they slowly starve to death.
The cells of the lower extremities, just like the rest of the body need insulin to get glucose through the cell walls to create energy in a process called the “Krebs” cycle. If you inject insulin in your mid-section area like I “used” to do, so much of the insulin is used powering the waist hip and legs there is little to no insulin left.
I became a diabetic in 1995 (@ age 40) after having an accident that knocked off my right knee cap. My family: immediate, maternal and paternal is rampant with the disease. With two sisters having it (half of the six siblings). A mother, her mother, her grandmother. Paternally dozens of extended family members with it. So eventually getting it was just in the cards.
That said, It was difficult to understand that I would have Type one diabetes. My present age is 56 years old. 6’ 215 lbs. While that may be high on the insurance scale, I am muscular, strong, fast with a very low body fat composition (the last time I had it checked it was 6.5%).
I have been doing regular exercise since I was 4 years old (started with my mom and Jack La Lane). And have been lifting weights since I was 7 years old (started after watching Steve Reeves break out of chains in “Hercules in Chains”). I have always been fairly active: amateur power lifting, physique, long distance biking, hiking, rock climbing, little running, long walks (neighborhoods, cities, museums etc.
If there was one person who shouldn’t have gotten it, it would be me. But I did.
In 2009 I had a checkup and the nurse looked at my feet and a wave of sadness rushed across her face that was so intense, it frightened me. She left for a few minutes and came back with some vitamin enriched cream. For the first time in years I took a good look at my feet. They were almost completely black, scaly, all the way past the ankle; with little sensitivity. (I am a brown colored African American but this was not natural). The callus’s on my heals had literally traveled up the Achilles tendon with deep cracks in them.. It rubbed off like dandruff. They looked like crocodile skin and felt as if they were dead.
After that visit I paid a lot more attention to my feet and realized they were in bad shape and getting worse.
My feet, ankles and lower legs were:
So cold all of the time that I had to wear socks to bed to try and keep them warm. Keeping my feet warm literally required using a space heater.
The feet were numb all the time.
The lower legs were now thick and numb.
Feet were swollen all of the time.
Walking was becoming more painful every day. As if I were walking right on my bones.
On the morning of March 3 2011 I could walk. BUT I could not feel my feet or halfway up my lower legs at all. The best description of how they felt was: dead.
For years prior to this day, I had done hundreds of calf raises to increase blood circulation. To prevent this from happening. I had been told that this was probably a result of poor circulation. It didn’t hurt. Nor did it work.
The deterioration was getting worse and happening faster. There was no doubt in my mind that I would be losing one or both my feet within a year. Withlegs following. Having several relatives that have amputations or have died I knew I wasn’t just being paranoid.
That morning was a turning point. I sadly looked at my feet and said to myself:
“I think their starving to death.”
As all of us know, every cell in every part of the body needs insulin to get glucose through the cell wall. That’s is how they “eat.” Without insulin it doesn’t matter how much glucose “food” is available, your cells can’t get it and they will starve to death. . Heat energy is created during this metabolic process which helps keep our body temperature regulated at 98.6 degrees That’s what I theorized was happening to my feet, If part of the body, In my case the feet, is very cold, it can only be because it isn’t creating heat. The only reason that could be happening is that little or no insulin was getting to the feet to start the metabolic process.
How can that be?
Easy…. Once I thought about it. I normally shoot my insulin in my stomach area. It’s the most convenient injection site.
Assuming half goes up the other half goes down. The area, closest to the injection site will get the most. The area furthest from the injection site, the least. the feet (the furthest part of the body)
it travels down and gets use by the most powerful energy consuming muscles in the body. The gluteus Maximus and the rest of the hip muscles.
From there it feeds the largest, strongest group of muscles in the body. Your thigh muscles. Using up even more of the insulin
After that the insulin travels to feed the lower leg muscles: gastrocnemius muscle. Responsible for holding about 95% of your body’s weight when you stand or walk, these muscles require a lot of energy.
By the time the insulin reaches your feet, it is virtually if not all gone.
How do you get insulin past all of the insulin using muscles? Make each foot the injection site. Insulin now starts at the extremity and works up. Gaurantying an insulin supply for the feet before its used up.
Having decided that the feet needed more insulin, I first started injecting my insulin in EACH of my feet. (I use both R and N)
I noticed a difference within 30 minutes.
The feet first started feeling “icy hot” like they had been rubbed with menthol.
Within 3 days the “thick” dead feeling was gone.
Within 10 days all swelling had disappeared.
In about 3 weeks the feet felt fully alive for the first time in years.
In the same time my feet went from feeling freezing cold to icy hot to warm to normal.
Healthy color started at the toes and was slowly returning to them.
Numbness was slowly going away.
It has now been about a year and a half since I changed the points of injections.
All of the callusing is gone, completely.
There is still a small amount of numbness on the bottom of the feet. right where the big toe flexes. And along the side of the big toe. But even that area is vastly improved. I used to could not feel that area at all. I theorize that the nerves take considerably longer to re grow.
About 6 months ago I dropped something on my big toe causing the nail to bruise, fill with blood and eventually pop off.
This would have terrified me a year earlier. (a cousin had a similar problem and ended up getting her toe amputated. She has since started injecting close to her feet and has not had any more problems since.) the old nail fell off and a new healthy one has since replaced it.
this is how a healthy foot should look.
My feet which previously looked as if they were dead, This is notmy foot, this is how it used to look. Now look and feel as healthy as anyone’s. It took almost a year for all of the sick and dying cells to finally shed. Which tells me that they were very sick indeed.
They not only look good, they feel great…. I mean just that. They actually feel “great”
The reason for the change is clear: By changing my injection sites so my feet get the insulin first they are no longer starving for insulin.
If your feet are becoming a problem, or even if they haven’t…yet. By making your injection sites closer to the feet, giving them an ample amount of insulin every day can make the difference between having your feet or having your feet amputated.
How often should you inject in your feet?
Like the rest of your body, before every meal, it possible. I have to inject insulin before every meal with R An inject R and N. in the evening. I make it a point to try and inject as close to the feet as possible each time
I take 15 units of R before each meal. I make it a point to inject each foot with 3 to 5 units of R in each foot or close to, before each meal.
Sometimes also injecting the N in each foot too. Don’t think that matters as much because it is long- acting insulin and probably cycle’s more evenly before it’s activated anyway.
Since it can be inconvenient to take you shoes off to inject in your feet each time, I will inject at the ankles under the calf muscles, just above the calf muscle o the side and behind the knee.
The key is to give your feet the best opportunity to get as much insulin as they need to survive.
If you have serious foot problems it’s best to inject at least at the ankle area. Once everything is healed you can experiment with what’s best for you.
Be careful. Like any other part of the body, you want to inject sub-dermally. But not in a vein. The feet have a lot of veins close to the surface. It will serve no purpose if you inject in a vein that sends the insulin straight to the top of the body where it then has to work back through 98% of the muscle mass before your feet get a chance at it.
Hygiene is a key consideration. Feet are sweaty. So clean the site as you would any other injection site.
Make this simple change in your injection site, and your feet will stay with you for the rest of your life.
Over all I inject my insulin in up to 4 different injection sites at each injection time. To try to make sure that the whole body gets enough insulin. By doing this I have eliminated virtually all of my foot problems. I can’t say with 100% certainty that injecting close to the feet did it. Actually I can say that. And plan to continue this way. Because the opportunity to lose my feet was far closer than I ever want it to be.
Again, this is not a picture of my foot. But this is how my feet looked a year and a half ago.
This is how my feet look today