[Editor's note: In recognition of American Diabetes Month, Harvard Health Publications is collaborating with MSN.com on its Stop Diabetes initiative. Today's post, published on World Diabetes Day, is the first of several focusing on this all-too-common disorder.]
People tend to think of diabetes as a silent, painless condition. Don’t tell that to the millions of folks with diabetes-induced tingling toes or painful feet. This problem, called diabetic neuropathy, can range from merely aggravating to disabling or even life threatening. It’s something I have first-hand (or, more appropriately, first-foot) knowledge about.
High blood sugar, the hallmark of diabetes, injures nerves and blood vessels throughout the body. The first nerves to be affected tend to be the smallest ones furthest from the spinal cord—those that stretch to the toes and feet.
Diabetic neuropathy affects different people in different ways. I feel it as Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Harvard Health Blog*
There was a lovely news article on the first California hand transplant patient in the LA Times earlier this week: Hand transplant patient speaks (bold emphasis is mine)
Emily Fennell, 26, last month became the first person in California to have the revolutionary surgery. Six weeks and many hours of therapy later, she has no regrets. …..
On March 5, Fennell became the first person to undergo a hand transplant in California and the 13th nationwide to have the revolutionary surgery. . ….
“It’s crazy how good it looks,” she said at her occupational therapy session one morning last week at UCLA, where she spends about eight hours a day working on learning how to move her new hand and fingers. “I knew the match wouldn’t be perfect, but if you didn’t know what happened, you’d think I just had some kind of orthopedic surgery.” ….
Doctors told her that the biggest risk from the surgery comes from the side effects of lifelong use of strong immunosuppressant medications, which can cause high blood pressure, kidney or liver damage, elevated cancer risks and lower resistance to infections. …..
“I decided the benefits were worth those risks,” Fennel said. She has adjusted well to the medications. …. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Suture for a Living*