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Diabetes Hand Problems

Nerve Damage (diabetic Neuropathies)

Nerve Damage (diabetic Neuropathies)

What are diabetic neuropathies? Diabetic neuropathies are a family of nerve disorders caused by diabetes. People with diabetes can, over time, develop nerve damage throughout the body. Some people with nerve damage have no symptoms. Others may have symptoms such as pain, tingling, or numbness—loss of feeling—in the hands, arms, feet, and legs. Nerve problems can occur in every organ system, including the digestive tract, heart, and sex organs. About 60 to 70 percent of people with diabetes have some form of neuropathy. People with diabetes can develop nerve problems at any time, but risk rises with age and longer duration of diabetes. The highest rates of neuropathy are among people who have had diabetes for at least 25 years. Diabetic neuropathies also appear to be more common in people who have problems controlling their blood glucose, also called blood sugar, as well as those with high levels of blood fat and blood pressure and those who are overweight. What causes diabetic neuropathies? The causes are probably different for different types of diabetic neuropathy. Researchers are studying how prolonged exposure to high blood glucose causes nerve damage. Nerve damage is likely due to a combination of factors: metabolic factors, such as high blood glucose, long duration of diabetes, abnormal blood fat levels, and possibly low levels of insulin neurovascular factors, leading to damage to the blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients to nerves autoimmune factors that cause inflammation in nerves mechanical injury to nerves, such as carpal tunnel syndrome inherited traits that increase susceptibility to nerve disease lifestyle factors, such as smoking or alcohol use What are the symptoms of diabetic neuropathies? Symptoms depend on the type of neuropathy and which Continue reading >>

What Is Diabetic Hand Syndrome?

What Is Diabetic Hand Syndrome?

I fielded a question earlier this week on my Facebook page in regards to a fellow type 1 diabetic having diabetic hand pain and issues with their hands being stiff and they seemed harder to move. Immediately carpal tunnel syndrome popped into my head, but after she brought this up to her doctor and they ruled out carpal tunnel, they moved on to another diagnosis. A condition called diabetic hand syndrome (DHS). Honestly, I’ve never heard of DHS but like most things that grab my attention and not knowing much about something, I decided to see what this was all about. So what is DHS? Let’s take a closer look! What Is Diabetic Stiff Hand Syndrome? So here we are, diabetic hand syndrome or as its more formerly know as, stiff hand syndrome or cheiroarthropathy. Stiff hand syndrome is one of the most common hand disorders for people with diabetes. Another common nerve and joint problem is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). Granted carpal tunnel is not caused by diabetes, but happens more often to people with diabetes, especially those who have diabetic neuropathy. Diabetic Hand Syndrome Symptoms Stiff Hand Syndrome is painless and can effect both type 1 and type 2 diabetics. It usually begins in your little finger. Then it spreads over time to your thumb. This stiffness then keeps you from being able to straighten your fingers fully. In addition, the skin on the back of your hand may also become thick, tight and waxy-looking. One way to tell if you have Stiff Hand Syndrome is to hold the palms of your hands together as if you are praying. If all of the skin and joints of your palms and fingers don’t touch, there is the possibility that you may have stiff hand Syndrome. What Causes Diabetes Hand Syndrome While it’s not fully known, doctors believe that multiple factors are Continue reading >>

Oh My Aching Hands: It May Not Be Neuropathy

Oh My Aching Hands: It May Not Be Neuropathy

Arthur Segal had Type 2 diabetes for many years. So when he began to have trouble opening medication bottles and turning door knobs, using a knife and counting his change, he assumed it was neuropathy and that nothing could be done. Most people with diabetes have heard of a condition called diabetic neuropathy. Diabetic neuropathy takes many forms and its effects vary from person to person. Because of this, treatment is often difficult and outcomes vary depending on the nature of the individual case. However, your pain may not be due to diabetic neuropathy at all. Long-term diabetics with hand pain may actually be suffering from other hand conditions. These two often-overlooked conditions are carpal tunnel syndrome and trigger finger. According to Dr. Keith Segalman, orthopedic hand surgeon with the Curtis Hand Center at Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore, MD, both of these conditions are more prevalent in diabetics than in the general public. Surprisingly, these conditions are not caused by poor circulation, nor are they forms of diabetic neuropathy. In long-term diabetics, advanced glycation end-products, or AGEs, can collect on the tendons in the palms of the hand. The accumulation causes the tendons to thicken, thereby causing nerve compression by pressing on the nerve in the carpal tunnel. This leads to numbness and tingling, similar to neuropathy symptoms, especially when the hands are in certain positions. Many diabetics also find that they have stiffness or restricted movement in one or more fingers. This may be due to trigger finger. Trigger finger results when the thickened tendons can no longer slide easily through the cartilage rings along the fingers. The rubbing causes the tendon to swell even further to the point where the tendon can no longer slide thr Continue reading >>

Dupuytren's Contracture

Dupuytren's Contracture

A Dupuytren's contracture is a localized formation of scar tissue around the tendons that flex the fingers beneath the skin of the palm of the hand. The scarring accumulates in a tissue (palmar fascia) that normally covers the tendons that pull the fingers to grip. As a Dupuytren's contracture progresses, more of the fascia becomes thickened and shortened. Dimpling and puckering of the skin over the area eventually occurs and ultimately can make it impossible to fully extend the fingers (as in laying the hand flat on a tabletop). How fast does a Dupuytren's contracture develop? A Dupuytren's contracture usually progresses slowly over years. In rare cases, it can progress more rapidly. What are the causes and risk factors of a Dupuytren's contracture? The precise cause of a Dupuytren's contracture is not known. However, it is known that it occurs more frequently in patients with diabetes mellitus , seizure disorders ( epilepsy ), and alcoholism . A Dupuytren's contracture can be inherited. In medical terms, the inherited form of a Dupuytren's contracture is transferred in the family as a so-called autosomal dominant trait with incomplete penetrance and partial sex-limitation. This means that the gene for a Dupuytren's contracture is not on an X or Y chromosome (sex chromosome) but on one of the other 44 chromosomes. Consequently, one version of the gene is enough to cause the disorder (it is dominant), but not everyone who has the gene has the disorder (the gene is not fully penetrant), and the disorder is most frequent in males (the gene expression is partially limited to males). Typically, a Dupuytren's contractures occur in males over the age of 50. It is more common in males of Northern European descent. The ring and little finger are affected most commonly. Xiaflex Continue reading >>

Watch For Warning Signs

Watch For Warning Signs

When your blood sugar is out of control, you may start to have other health problems. But if you know their warning signs, you can nip them in the bud or keep them from getting worse. Nerve Damage This usually starts in your hands and feet. But it can also affect your stomach, bowels, bladder, genitals, heart, and other parts of your body. See your doctor right away if you get: Tingling, pain, or numbness in your hands or feet Stomach problems like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea A lot of bladder infections or trouble emptying your bladder Problems getting or keeping an erection Dizzy or lightheaded If you have nerve damage, you can improve or slow its progress if you keep your blood sugar levels near normal. Some supplements and medications for pain, nausea, or sexual problems can also help. Skin Issues Skin problems like yeast infections are a warning that your blood sugar is too high. You may notice symptoms like: Itching in moist folds of your skin, such as under your breasts, between fingers and toes, or in your armpits Itching, pain, or discharge in your vagina For uncircumcised men, itching under the foreskin Your doctor may prescribe medication for yeast infections, especially if you get them often. Watch for these other skin symptoms: Hair loss on your toes, feet, or lower legs Brown patches of raised skin on the sides of your neck, armpit, or groin, called acanthosis nigricans Eye Damage The sooner you get treatment for eye problems, the better. Get help right away if you notice these warning signs: Blurred vision Trouble reading See rings around lights or dark spots Get very sensitive to sunlight and other bright light Can't see well at night Eye damage doesn't always cause symptoms, even when it's advanced. So it's important to see an eye doctor at least once Continue reading >>

Tips For Treating Diabetic Nerve Pain

Tips For Treating Diabetic Nerve Pain

Diabetes can cause long-term problems throughout your body, especially if you don’t control your blood sugar effectively, and sugar levels remain high for many years. High blood sugar can cause diabetic neuropathy, which damages the nerves that send signals from your hands and feet. Diabetic neuropathy can cause numbness or tingling in your fingers, toes, hands, and feet. Another symptom is a burning, sharp, or aching pain (diabetic nerve pain). The pain may be mild at first, but it can get worse over time and spread up your legs or arms. Walking can be painful, and even the softest touch can feel unbearable. Up to 50 percent of people with diabetes may experience nerve pain. Nerve damage can affect your ability to sleep, decrease your quality of life, and can also cause depression. Damaged nerves can’t be replaced. However, there are ways that you can prevent further damage and relieve your pain. First, control your blood sugar so the damage doesn’t progress. Talk to your doctor about setting your blood sugar goal, and learn to monitor it. You may be asked to lower your blood sugar before meals to 70 to 130 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) and your blood sugar after meals to less than 180 mg/dL. Use diets, exercise, and medications to decrease your blood sugar to a healthier range. Monitor other health risks that can worsen your diabetes, such as your weight and smoking. Ask your doctor about effective ways to lose weight or quit smoking, if necessary. Your doctor might suggest trying an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), aspirin (Bufferin), or ibuprofen (Motrin IB, Advil), which are available without a prescription but can cause side effects. Use a low dose for a short time to control your symptoms. Other options exist for stronger Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Your Joints

Diabetes And Your Joints

Diabetes can cause changes in your musculoskeletal system, which is the term for your muscles, bones, joints, ligaments, and tendons. These changes can cause numerous conditions that may affect your fingers, hands, wrists, shoulders, neck, spine, or feet. Symptoms of diabetes-related musculoskeletal problems include muscle pain, joint pain or stiffness, lessened ability to move your joints, joint swelling, deformities, and a “pins and needles” sensation in the arms or legs. Some musculoskeletal problems are unique to diabetes. Others also affect people without diabetes. For instance, diabetes can cause skin changes such as thickening, tightness, or nodules under the skin, particularly in the hands. Carpal tunnel syndrome is frequently seen in people with diabetes, as is trigger finger (a catching or locking of the fingers), although these conditions are commonly seen in people without diabetes, as well. The shoulder joint may also be affected in diabetes. And, of course, the feet are susceptible to problems caused by diabetes. Most of these conditions can be successfully treated with anti-inflammatory medications, steroid injections, or other therapies. It is important to mention any troubling symptoms to your doctor. Ask yourself the following questions, which address some of the more frequent symptoms people have when diabetes affects their muscles, ligaments, tendons, or joints. If you answer “yes” to any, consult your doctor. • Do you have stiffness in your hands that affects your ability to move or use them? • Do your fingers get “locked” in certain positions? • Do you have numbness or tingling in your hands, arms, or legs? • Do you have stiffness or decreased motion in your shoulders? • Do you have muscle pain or swelling? View Abstract Edito Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Hand Pain

Diabetes And Hand Pain

Richard A. Bernstein, MD The effect of diabetes goes beyond problems with blood sugar: diabetes may also be affecting your hands. There are four hand problems that occur in patients with diabetes, many of which can be easily addressed and treated. Carpal tunnel syndrome is not only a problem in assembly workers or people who spend their days on computers. Diabetes also puts you at risk for developing this problem. Carpal tunnel syndrome involves pressure on one of the three major nerves coming down to the arm, specifically to the thumb, index, and long fingers. Numbness and tingling are common symptoms as well as pain that oftentimes awakens people from sleep. Many people develop symptoms while driving a car or reading a book or newspaper. Some- times it is simply numbness, other times pain can develop with an aching sensation. People will commonly try to shake their hands to restore sensation. Splints and therapy can help diminish the symptoms of carpal tunnel compression and despite what people hear, surgery is often not needed for this condition. There have been some reports of good success with the so-called cold laser. Th is ultrasound-like wand has been used in Europe and one study was done at a large car assembly plant showing that it can help diminish the pain and discomfort of carpal tunnel. Second, pain, clicking and the sense of locking of one’s finger is medically known as a trigger finger. This condition is also more common in patients with diabetes and sometimes will cause a painful locking of the finger, especially when getting up in the morning. Rather than locking, some people develop a less severe example of trigger finger pain. Tendonitis, is an inflammation of the tendons. It usually affects the tendons which allow us to bend our fingers. Similar t Continue reading >>

Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetic Neuropathy

Print Overview Diabetic neuropathy is a type of nerve damage that can occur if you have diabetes. High blood sugar (glucose) can injure nerve fibers throughout your body, but diabetic neuropathy most often damages nerves in your legs and feet. Depending on the affected nerves, symptoms of diabetic neuropathy can range from pain and numbness in your extremities to problems with your digestive system, urinary tract, blood vessels and heart. For some people, these symptoms are mild; for others, diabetic neuropathy can be painful, disabling and even fatal. Diabetic neuropathy is a common serious complication of diabetes. Yet you can often prevent diabetic neuropathy or slow its progress with tight blood sugar control and a healthy lifestyle. Symptoms There are four main types of diabetic neuropathy. You may have just one type or symptoms of several types. Most develop gradually, and you may not notice problems until considerable damage has occurred. The signs and symptoms of diabetic neuropathy vary, depending on the type of neuropathy and which nerves are affected. Peripheral neuropathy Peripheral neuropathy is the most common form of diabetic neuropathy. Your feet and legs are often affected first, followed by your hands and arms. Signs and symptoms of peripheral neuropathy are often worse at night, and may include: Numbness or reduced ability to feel pain or temperature changes A tingling or burning sensation Sharp pains or cramps Increased sensitivity to touch — for some people, even the weight of a bed sheet can be agonizing Muscle weakness Loss of reflexes, especially in the ankle Loss of balance and coordination Serious foot problems, such as ulcers, infections, deformities, and bone and joint pain Autonomic neuropathy The autonomic nervous system controls your hea Continue reading >>

Ab0846does Diabetes Mellitus Cause Problems In Hand Functions And Quality Of Life? | Annals Of The Rheumatic Diseases

Ab0846does Diabetes Mellitus Cause Problems In Hand Functions And Quality Of Life? | Annals Of The Rheumatic Diseases

AB0846 Does diabetes Mellitus Cause Problems in Hand Functions and Quality of Life? Back pain, mechanical musculoskeletal problems, local soft tissue disorders AB0846 Does diabetes Mellitus Cause Problems in Hand Functions and Quality of Life? Ministry of Health Ankara Training and Research Hospital Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Ankara, Turkey Background Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a chronic condition which can effect different systems of the body Objectives In this study we aimed to determine the impairments in hand and upper extremity functions, pain and quality of life in diabetic patients. Methods Fifty diabetic patients who attended to physical medicine and rehabilitation outpatient clinics were evaluated. The patients fasting blood glucose levels, hemoglobin A1 C levels, body mass indexes were detected; existing hand deformities were noted; evaluations of hand strength was made by hand grip strength, hand pain by VAS, hand skills by purdue pegboard test and nerve involvement by semmes weinstein monofilaments (SWM). For upper extremity functions Disabilities of Arm Shoulder and Hand scores (DASH) and for quality of life Nottingham Health profile (NHP) test were selected. Results The mean age of the patients were 62,7610,99 years. Among our DM patients only 4 patients had normal weight, 14 were over weight, 29 were obese and 4 had morbid obesity. The mean valueof fasting blood gucose was 145,2 and that of HbA1 c was 7,64. In hand evaluations we found trigger finger and dupuytren contracture in 10,6%, restricted hand mobility in 3,4%,crepitation of hand tendons in 55,3% and carpal tunnel syndrome in 38,3%. SWM median nerve mean values were 3,640,68 and that of ulnar nerve was 3,770,83.In correlation analysis we found hand pain by VAS correlated all evaluation Continue reading >>

Diabetic Nerve Problems

Diabetic Nerve Problems

If you have diabetes, your blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels are too high. Over time, this can damage the covering on your nerves or the blood vessels that bring oxygen to your nerves. Damaged nerves may stop sending messages, or may send messages slowly or at the wrong times. This damage is called diabetic neuropathy. Over half of people with diabetes get it. Symptoms may include Shooting pains, burning, or tingling Nausea, vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea Problems with sexual function Urinary problems Dizziness when you change positions quickly Your doctor will diagnose diabetic neuropathy with a physical exam and nerve tests. Controlling your blood sugar can help prevent nerve problems, or keep them from getting worse. Treatment may include pain relief and other medicines. NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Your Hands

Diabetes And Your Hands

While it’s common knowledge that diabetes involves an elevation of a person’s blood sugar, it is not well known why diabetes can cause stiffness of the hands, shoulders, and other joints and how exactly it plays a role in diseases like trigger finger and Dupuytren’s contracture. Diabetes Stiff Hand Syndrome Diabetes can cause stiffness of the hands in a condition known both as diabetic stiff hand syndrome or diabetic cheiroarthropathy. It is an uncommon condition in which a person’s finger movement becomes decreased and the hands take on a thickened and waxy appearance. As it turns out, people with both type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes can both get the disorder. People who keep their blood sugars under good control and partake in physical therapy usually can overcome the condition. Diabetes stiff hand syndrome is found in 8 to 50 percent of type 1 diabetic patients. Lesser numbers of type 2 diabetic patients will come down with the disease. The longer a person has diabetes and the worse control of the diabetes the person has, the greater is the chance of getting diabetic cheiroarthropathy. People who have diabetes that results in diabetic neuropathy have a greater chance of having stiff hands when compared to diabetics who don’t have diabetic neuropathy. Common symptoms of diabetic stiff hand syndrome include an inability to move the joints very much, which winds up causing limitations in the function of the hand. Usually the stiffness starts in the smallest fingers of the hands and progresses so that eventually all of the fingers are affected. In the most severe cases, the individual with stiff hand syndrome are unable to clench the hands at all and the fingers stick straight out, unable to hold onto anything with any degree of strength. The skin is also a Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Your Hands

Diabetes And Your Hands

Did you know that diabetes can hurt, stiffen, and even disable your shoulders, wrists, fingers, and other joints? None of these conditions is well understood. So how can you prevent them and deal with them? Of course, people without diabetes can have joint issues, but having diabetes raises your risk. All of these conditions seem to be related to thickening or stiffening of connective tissues — the ligaments and tendons that hold our bodies together. These tissues are mostly made of collagen, a protein that should have some give and flow to it, like a soft rubber ball. When collagen stiffens, joints start to hurt and don’t work as well. Here are four of the more well known diabetes-related joint conditions: Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a condition in which the range of motion of the shoulder joint is severely restricted. According to the American Diabetes Association, it affects 20% of people with diabetes and 5% of the general population. It usually starts with shoulder pain and inflammation and can progress to stiffness and near-complete immobility. Then it starts to resolve, and is usually gone within two years, especially with treatment. Diabetic stiff hand syndrome is a painless disorder caused by an increase in collagen in and just below the skin. It can sharply limit hand function. Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a painful condition caused by pressure on the median nerve, which passes into the hand through a narrow “tunnel.” If this tunnel is squeezed by thickening of ligaments or other structures, severe pain can result. CTS is often associated with typing or other repetitive work that keep wrists in unnatural positions. Trigger finger is a condition where one or more fingers curl up and are difficult to straighten. The tendons Continue reading >>

How To Deal With Nerve Pain If You Have Diabetes

How To Deal With Nerve Pain If You Have Diabetes

If you have diabetes , you know it well: Too much sugar isn’t good for you. People whose blood sugar is too high or difficult to control are more susceptible to cardiovascular disease, kidney damage, eye problems and other complications, including nerve damage (diabetic neuropathy). Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy “High blood sugar is toxic to your nerves,” says  Robert Bolash, MD , a specialist in Cleveland Clinic’s Department of Pain Management. “When a nerve is damaged, you may feel tingling, pins and needles, burning or sharp, stabbing pain.” Diabetic neuropathy typically starts in your toes, feet or ankles and creeps up your body as the condition worsens, he says. However, nerve damage also can affect your hands and wrists as well as your heart, digestive system, sex organs and more. Up to 70 percent of people with diabetes have some kind of neuropathy , reports the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) . “Anyone with diabetes can get nerve damage at any time,” says Dr. Bolash. “It’s most common in people whose blood sugar is poorly controlled and those who have had diabetes a long time.” According to the NIDDK, the highest rates of neuropathy are among people who have had diabetes 25 years or longer. To avoid getting diabetic neuropathy, control your blood sugar, keeping it as close to nondiabetic levels as possible, advises Dr. Bolash. The bad news about diabetic neuropathy is that it’s tough to reverse. It also can cause serious problems, especially in your feet. If you don’t feel blisters, sores or other foot injuries and don’t promptly care for them, you Continue reading >>

Hand And Wrist Conditions

Hand And Wrist Conditions

Tweet A number of joint disorders affecting the hands exist which have a link with diabetes. Unlike diabetes related conditions of the foot, diabetic hand problems are generally less serious and hand amputation is unlikely. However, it pays to be aware of the conditions to be able to treat them before they develop and cause pain, discomfort or limited mobility. Diabetic hand syndrome (cheiroarthropathy) Diabetic hand syndrome, also known as stiff hand syndrome and by its formal name cheiroarthropathy, is characterised by an inability to straighten joints in the hand. A typical diagnostic technique is to hold one’s hands together, palm to palm, in the ‘prayer position’. Those who cannot touch each of the joints of each hand together may have diabetic hand syndrome. Treatments may include stretching or strengthening exercises of the hand. Dupuytren's contracture Dupuytren's contracture, like diabetic hand syndrome, also prevents the fingers (often one finger) being fully extended. Most often it is the fourth and fifth fingers that are affected. Dupuytren's contracture is a result of small lumps or nodules on connective tissue of the palm of the hand causing the tissue to gradually shorten over time. Treatment will usually involve surgery which, in less serious cases, should allow full functioning of the affected finger afterwards. Tenosynovitis (trigger finger) Tenosynovitis affects the tendons and is most prevalent in the hand and wrist. The tendons move through a tunnel of tissue and when the tendons get inflamed they can start to catch on the inside of their tunnel causing which prevents the fingers, for instance, moving smoothly and can cause the finger to lock into one position. If the tendons repeatedly catch like this it can cause them to become more inflamed Continue reading >>

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