Does anyone have pain in their heels? Do you have any remedies for it?
Location: Chicago, IL
Hi Marsia, welcome to the KD forums. They have fairly low traffic lately so if you don't get the answers you seek here you might want to try the KD facebook groups which have more participation.
I think my experience is unusual but still you might find some of it of value. I used to get pain in my heels. It was worse when standing or walking. I found some shoes were better than others but never found any that would make it go away. I also rarely had ball of foot pain but usually much less than in my heels which I think was due to having weak calves with more weight and impact on my heels than others with better strength. I also had numbness and tingling in my toes.
All of which is much better now and I rarely notice any of it any more. I'm not entirely sure what fixed it for me but I suspect the biggest thing was due to having unstable blood sugar which in combination with KD was causing peripheral neuropathy and poor blood circulation in my legs similar to what type 2 diabetics get although my fasting blood sugar never got bad enough to get diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
I had other comorbidities of type 2 diabetes such as frequent urination and not being able to sleep through the night without getting up to pee. I would get irritable and weak when hungry and was hungry frequently despite gaining weight and having plenty of belly fat. I also had skin tags, high fasting triglycerides and low HDL cholesterol all of which are signs of insulin resistance and pre-diabetes.
I bought a finger prick blood sugar testing kit as used by diabetics. I started testing my blood sugar after meals and was surprised to find most of the foods I was eating would spike my blood sugar badly. I had eaten a low fat diet trying to be healthy and to minimize the amount of fat I was slowly gaining over the years. Which meant I was eating a lot of carbohydrates and it turned out they were a big problem for me. Which in hindsight isn't too surprising as to regulate blood sugar the pancreas produces insulin to stimulate muscle to take in sugar and store it as glycogen to be burned later in heavy exertion but I had lost too much muscle and it was functioning too poorly to do that job well.
When I stopped eating the carbohydrates my blood sugar got stable, I stopped getting hungry frequently and lost much of my excess body fat. I started sleeping better and with the loss of weight I started moving better, walking more and gradually the issues of my feet and the other things often associated with type 2 diabetes cleared up. I had tried vegetarianism and veganism when I was in my decline. Now my diet is nearly the opposite mostly meat, eggs, and fish. I eat small amounts of low carb dairy, nuts, veg and fruit.
In addition to fixing those issues I think were related to poor blood sugar control most of my symptoms of KD are also going away. I rarely get any of the tremors, shaking, cramps, abrupt muscle weakness or choking and I've been slowly regaining strength and muscle mass although I'm still weak and under muscled for my age, 55. But I have 50 CAG repeats and was in rapid decline in my 30s and 40s so even a slow recovery in my 50s is satisfying and a huge relief.
In my case it wasn't just the blood sugar problem but over the past few years I've discovered and addressed numerous other issues such as lead poisoning, a home mold problem, several nutrient deficiencies and imbalances, periodontal sinus and ear infections, toe fungus, stress and insomnia, etc. and I've adopted new habits such as strength training, sauna, meditation, fasting, dietary supplements, etc. It is hard to sort out the impacts of each thing with so many changes in just a few years.
From: Marsia K <firstname.lastname@example.org> Thanks for that info. I probably should explain a little more. Tom is confined to a wheelchair. He can't walk at all anymore. He has a trach and a g tube. We've tried Gabapentin for neuropathy but it didn't do anything.
Marsia, sensory neuropathy is somewhat common with KD but many don't experience it and it isn't believed to be directly caused by KD. You might ask Tom's physician to look for other things which cause sensory neuropathy. If Tom is wheelchair bound poor circulation of the legs such as venous insufficiency or lymphedema might be contributing factors to sensory neuropathy which perhaps could be addressed through physical therapy, compression garments or changes to furniture and mobility devices. I'm just offering this as examples but there are surely many possibilities and medical professionals might help find the answers you need. And until you find and address root causes a doctor should be able to help find the best pain medication to cope with it.
Ok, thank you.
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