Letters to the Editor

Jul 1, 1995

For Love or Money?

Having used beef-pork ultralente insulin in our intensive diabetes program for ten years, I find it unacceptable that the company would remove it from the market. How can it not be profitable to continue producing the best insulin available for intensive programs? Where has service to the community gone? I realize that there is no room for altruism in business, but surely companies will realize that in the long run they will regret their decision for economic reasons as well.

In Canada, the cut off is July 1, 1995. We have advised our diabetics to do a bit of hoarding in hopes that the company will change its mind.

Howard McEwen, MD
Calgary, Alberta

A Mom's Concern

My son was two when he was diagnosed with diabetes. One year later he was diagnosed with celiac sprue, an intolerance to any gluten-containing products such as wheat, oats, rye, or barley. Immediately prior to each condition he had flulike symptoms. Is there a connection here? Now I'm worried that each time gets these flulike symptoms there will be another condition to deal with.

If there is anyone else out there with these two challenges, I would love to hear from you.

Pat Woodward
Lititz, Pa.

Nocturnal Leg Cramps and Low Blood Sugars

This letter is prompted by the correspondence on nocturnal leg cramps that appeared in the June issue.

Occasional nocturnal leg cramps (perhaps once or twice a month) is a universal affliction that affects almost everyone. The scientific literature does not contain references relating this to diabetes. I've had type I diabetes for 49 years. After developing diabetes at the age of 12, I promptly became the only member of my family to experience frequent nocturnal leg cramps. Episodes occurred one or more times per week and involved not only my calves, but ofttimes the anterior part of my legs and my feet. If I attempted to flex my foot upward in order to relieve the knot in my calf, I would precipitate a cramp in the front of my leg. This was most distressing.

It wasn't until after I started monitoring my own blood sugars in 1969 that I found a strong correlation between leg cramp episodes and low blood sugars. Even a slightly low blood sugar of 75 mg/dl could precipitate a cramp. Chewing enough glucose tablets to bring my blood sugar up to my target of 90 mg/dl would rapidly relieve the cramp. This experience has been repeated by many of my patients.

Regardless of blood sugar during an episode, rubbing the overlying skin with a 50% mixture of arnica oil in DMSO provides instant relief. Drinking a glass of diet tonic water, which contains quinine, also relieves the condition. The quinine works more rapidly than other treatments such as chewing a calcium lactate tablet, chewing a nifedipine capsule, or drinking benedryl syrup. Nevertheless, all of these treatments are eventually effective.

My few non-diabetic patients who experience frequent nocturnal leg cramps benefit from taking one or two calcium citrate tablets at bedtime to prevent the episodes.}

Richard K. Bernstein, MD
Mamaroneck, N.Y.

Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Categories: Blood Sugar, Diabetes, Insulin, Letters to the Editor

Take the Diabetes Health Pump Survey
See What's Inside
Read this FREE issue now
For healthcare professionals only
  • 12th Annual Product Reference Guide
  • Insulin Syringe Chart
  • Insulin Pen Needles Chart
  • Fast-Acting Glucose
  • Sharps Disposal
  • Blood Glucose Meters Chart
  • Insulin Pumps Chart
See the entire table of contents here!

You can view the current or previous issues of Diabetes Health online, in their entirety, anytime you want.
Click Here To View

See if you qualify for our free healthcare professional magazines. Click here to start your application for Pre-Diabetes Health, Diabetes Health Pharmacist and Diabetes Health Professional.

Learn More About the Professional Subscription

Free Diabetes Health e-Newsletter

Top Rated
Print | Email | Share | Comments (0)

You May Also Be Interested In...


Add your comments about this article below. You can add comments as a registered user or anonymously. If you choose to post anonymously your comments will be sent to our moderator for approval before they appear on this page. If you choose to post as a registered user your comments will appear instantly.

When voicing your views via the comment feature, please respect the Diabetes Health community by refraining from comments that could be considered offensive to other people. Diabetes Health reserves the right to remove comments when necessary to maintain the cordial voice of the diabetes community.

For your privacy and protection, we ask that you do not include personal details such as address or telephone number in any comments posted.

Don't have your Diabetes Health Username? Register now and add your comments to all our content.

Have Your Say...

Username: Password:
©1991-2015 Diabetes Health | Home | Privacy | Press | Advertising | Help | Contact Us | Donate | Sitemap

Diabetes Health Medical Disclaimer

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. Opinions expressed here are the opinions of writers, contributors, and commentators, and are not necessarily those of Diabetes Health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website.