Is this because of diabetes?

I have a couple of elusive symptoms that I’ve never been able to find the cause of. My doctor has told me that they could be because of diabetes, but I don’t find them on any symptom lists.

The first one is pitting edema in my shins, specifically my left one. It started in March after a very long plane trip to Australia. I’ve been checked for DVT, I did a 24-hour urine (that was fun) to check for kidney problems, nothing. My doctor told me it could be caused by the Avandia I’m on, but it started a month before the Avandia. It has not gone away. He said it could be the diabetes (I was only diagnosed on Friday) or it could be venous insufficiency.

The second one is an extremely low basal body temperature (BBT). I have been charting for about 6 months, because we have been trying to conceive. My temp NEVER gets above 97. It usually hovers around 96.6. I bet you’re thinking thyroid. I’ve had it checked repeatedly and it’s apparently fine. I am scheduled to have free T3 and T4 done again in September.

The low BBT in particular ticks me off. In my mind it is related to metabolism, because the body has to use up energy to generate your body heat. So clearly my body is slacking off by being so cold. I’m overweight and I certainly wish I could be burning more energy to keep my body warmer, instead of storing it! I think that in general, obese people are WARMER than thin people, not colder. So what is the deal here?

I have never to my knowledge had hypoglycemia, either.

I don’t know if these things could be related to diabetes. My first thought with the BBT was thyroid-- so I’m glad that you had that checked out. I hope others will be able to address your questions.

In my experience, doctors will say that EVERYTHING is related to diabetes. In a way, it is plausible… but I am often skeptical that it is just an easy answer. So I think it is good that you are looking for more clear answers than the simple “diabetes did it”.

I agree with Kristin. A Dr. will blame diabetes …or anything they can if they don’t have the answers. Have you gotten a second opinion or checked out a specialist? Does your GYN doc have any ideas. God bless you and hope you find out something soon.

Thanks for your replies. My GYN doesn’t actually believe in using BBT to predict ovulation, and anyway I’m not ovulating (because of the IR). The GYN (well really a reproductive endocrinologist) was only concerned about the edema until he ruled out DVT and kidney problems. My PCP basically said it could be just VI or a weird diabetes symptom, and anyway the only way to “fix it” is to lose weight. Just like everything else in my life apparently.

Do you have PCOS?

I’m not sure if any of those would be part of PCOS. I have poor circulation and get edema during flights too. I’m often freezing but, my temp runs around 99F.

I wish I had better advice. Someone is bound to stop by with some history and/or knowledge.


Yes I am a veteran of PCOS. LOL

Haha - I just read your other thread. Okay - I’ve been diagnosed PCOS since 17 and I’m 35 now. Can you believe that I haven’t been put on any meds! Not even with an A1c of 6.5%. Okay - I don’t want to derail your thread.


Hi Misty,
Here is just a thought. When you get your T3 and T4 checked have them run a TSH as well. Also at least a week before the blood is drawn stop all kinds of iodine you may be taking in. The salt you use at home and in restaurants is loaded with it also spinach and vitamins as well. This may give you a more clear reading on your tests. Also your adrenals could be checked. And if your kidneys stand in the clear, you may want to ask the doctor is he is serious about the possibility of venous insufficiency.

Hi Misty,

My mother’s hypothyroid. Other than being slender, she has every classic symptom, including hair loss & very low BBT. (Have you been taking your temp first thing in the morning before you get out of bed? My mother was told to put a thermometer in her armpit for several mintues & not to move while doing this. ) She went to endo after endo looking for help because her tests didn’t show that she was that low. She finally found a good endo who admitted the tests aren’t particularly reliable & he put her on Synthroid pronto. He said morning temp was the best indicator of low thyroid function. She later switched to Armour thyroid supplement. It’s the natural form & she did better on this.

Yep I am taking BBT the same time every morning, before I get out of bed. I’m taking it orally though. Armpit temps are supposed to be even lower. Vaginal or rectal (eww) is best, but too annoying and gross.

I don’t have the hair loss. I’m starting to think the fatigue is because my BG levels are not good. We’ll see what happens. I don’t think anyone will put me on synthroid or Armour if I get pregnant soon though.

TSH was 0.89 in June. The doctor said there is nothing to be done for venous insufficiency except water pills and/or compression stockings. Or losing weight. It always comes back to losing weight.

And wouldn’t stopping dietary iodine create a false positive?

Synthroid and Armour are both safe during pregnancy (or at least so I was told). Hypothyroidism can prevent you from getting pregnant-- so I would have them consistently check your TSH and keep track of your BBT.

But I think the problem is that hyperthyroidism can cause problems with the baby. So they would not want to push you over the edge especially if you wre borderline.

Seems like lots of stuff can keep you from getting pregnant huh?

Stopping the iodine would not give you a false positive. I seem to be very sensitive to it and my doctor always has me make sure I do not take any in before my thyroid tests. He says he wants nothing to cloud the issue. I took a low dose of synthroid for years which clearly wasn’t doing what it should. We have been working up the dose of Armour thyroid until we finally get me to a level where my tests are in the notmal range.

I always wondered why armpit temp was suggested. Need to look this up.

I’m with you on the rectal temp–ick & vaginal temp sounds annoying.

You could have Hashimoto’s Diseas, where you body’s own immune system is attacking your thyroid, and eventually destroys all it’s function. It would be will to add a Thyroglobulin Antibodies test to your Free T3 and Free T4.

Hi Misty,

I just had a full thyroid panel because of my mother’s thyroid problems & because of my recent diabetes diagnosis. My TSH & other values were low-normal, but the antibodies luv2chitchat mentioned were through the roof high. My CDE says I don’t need thyroid supplementation yet, but I think I do.

I had the exact same experience Gerri! I’ll go to the endo next month and I get that my TSH will be high by now…

Our fun endocrine systems! I’d just as soon start taking thyroid now before I encounter additional problems. I’m sure I’m lower than the tests show. Know from my mother’s experience that they don’t want to put people on this prematurely because of heart concerns, but not having enough isn’t good either.

How does low thryroid & then thyroid supplementation effect BG & insulin needs?
I haven’t even gotten the insulin part down to start figuring this new thing out.



Am so very sorry to hear about your daughter. Makes me want to scream that the doctors are setting up obstacles to the procedure she prefers! I guess finding a doctor who will do the surgery isn’t possible? Doctors do what’s easier for them & not always in the patient’s welfare.

I’ve had two friends who had the radioactive iodine isotope procedure. Both were hyperthyroid like your daughter. I didn’t know they had to be in seclusion–they never mentioned this part. They’re doing great & feeling great now. Their condition was effecting their heart, along with other problems.

I’m not a good patient. I question just about everything doctors tell me & disagree with them frequently. Question authority is my motto:)

I hope your daughter gets this resolved. You must be worried sick about her.