Rx, Aging and false diagnoses

Two years ago I was sitting in a diabetes education class as a support person for my dearest friend.  She has type 2, insulin-dependent diabetes and I wanted to learn as much as I could about the disease in order to help her.

As the educator was explaining the risk factors associated with diabetes I began listening far more earnestly.

They are:

  • Weight.
  • Inactivity.
  • Family history. .
  • Race.
  • Age.
  • Gestational diabetes.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

As she pointed out each risk factor and gave a brief explanation I started checking off the factors that I experienced.  I panicked. seven of the nine.  CRAP!

Luckily I attend a free clinic that does blood testing and requested a complete blood scan with an A1C check. (A1C shoes blood glucose levels over a three month period ).  Once I received the results, I signed myself up for the diabetes education class…as a participant.  My A1C was at 5.9 which is 1/10th of a percent away from a diagnosis.

No way am I am going to develop this disease!

Medication was prescribed to lower my blood glucose, changed my diet to a low carb, low protein diet and thought all would be fine.

After six months I had reduced my A1C to 5.5 and had lost 22 pounds.  I thought life was great.  except I was showing MORE signs of active diabetes than I ever had before. Frequent urination, a thirst that never seems to go away, sleeplessness, muscle cramping.  All of these are signs of diabetes. so back to the clinic.

I was taken off the medication and told to continue the diet plan…and a few months later my A1C was back up to 5.8..so back onto meds.

Now if this sounds like a yoyo, you’d be right.  And I felt depressed.  I felt as if no matter what I did I was going to have medical problems.  To top it off, I started having extreme dizzy spells; I fainted a few times and I had unrelenting muscle “freezing pains” in my thighs.

I started to research just what this new and rather odd symptom could be trying to tell me…and came up with only one thing it could be.  A sign of lactic acidosis…which happens to be a fatal condition.

So, one complete and total spazz attack later I tried to get an appointment with a doc.  No insurance, no extra money for a new patient and the clinic was closed.  Now what?  Take a breath….  then another.  And the thought popped in…..”maybe it is a drug reaction”.

I grabbed my list of scripts, my list of symptoms and headed for a pharmacist I trust….I asked if he could check the symptoms next to the meds and see if anything struck him.

His first question was “how long have you been taking Lisinopril?” (a blood pressure med).  I said “7 years, why?”.

He answered,

“that should be taken short-term only.  You are looking at possible liver failure if you keep taking it. It’s already more than likely inhibited your ability to process insulin or you wouldn’t be on Metformin.  Those leg cramps are a sign of liver malfunction”  Check with a doctor, but I bet you anything that if you stop taking Lisinopril you won’t need the Metformin and all those symptoms will start to go away.”

My clinic doctor said “Yea, it could be that. Why are you taking Lisinopril anyway?” I said “I had a heart attack”  The doctor just looked at me and said, “what does that have to do with taking this drug?” Well, I didn’t have an answer for that.

I have been off those meds for a little over a week now. The leg cramps are totally gone, my blood pressure is normal for a person of my age, all those pesky diabetes symptoms have disappeared.

And, I keep thinking to myself if I had just ASKED why the drug was prescribed in the first place, if I had ASKED is this drug necessary, or ASKED how long I was expected to stay on it, I could have prevented two years of fear and nonsense.

 

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12 thoughts on “Rx, Aging and false diagnoses

  1. WOW, my sugar has been fine but the symptoms you list could easily describe me, especially the leg pains and cramps, sleeplessness and frequent urination. I have been on Lopressor for nearly 15 years. My blood work every 6 months is fine….thanks.

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    1. holy hell, Larry. use hydrochlorothiazide instead..or a simple water pill. talk to your doc. liver dysfunction can kill ya.

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    2. Wouldn’t that be a bitch…..liquor gave up on my liver but my BP med could put me under. I hate talking to doctors. Medicare drs just want to prescribe, prescribe, prescribe. Thanks for caring, Suze. Water pills? Rx or OTC?

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      1. rx….the cost is about 1.78 a month for generic
        no, i don’t have insurance and yes that is what i pay. lol

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  2. Thanks, I’ll check it out

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  3. Why don’t you have insurance? Not even Medicare or Medicaid?

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    1. 1 dollar too much per month for medicaid..two years till medicare. it’s all good. i have a free clinic I can go to.

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  4. My old kidney dr put me on Lisinopril 10+ years ago as an experiment to see if it would keep my cysts from growing. My new kidney dr thought it strange, but instead of taking me off, he cut in down to 5mgs daily. Hopefully it won’t kill me!

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  5. The lesson here is, be your own health advocate. I have been off any meds for two years and feel better than ever.

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    1. every day that goes by, I feel better and better.

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  6. I have been suffering a digestion condition for over 15 years. I went to many doctors, and everyone of them treated me like a lab rat. Eventually, I discovered after trying many courses of medication that a couple of very cheap pills taken on daily basis were my remedy. I have been following this course for two years, and I feel much better than I did when I followed the doctors’ prescriptions. I guess I agree to a certain extent with rugby’s comment.

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    1. I am so sorry you had to suffer, both from doctors and the underlying condition that brought you to them. Thank goodness you have a solution that works for you.

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