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Diabetic Hand Problems

When Diabetes Leads To Nerve Damage

When Diabetes Leads To Nerve Damage

Tingling, numbness, pain in the arms, legs, hands, or feet — these are all common signs of diabetic neuropathy, or nerve damage. Up to 70 percent of people with diabetes will develop some type of neuropathy, making it one of the most common side effects of this disease. Diabetes: Understanding Neuropathy Although tingling, numbness, or pain in the extremities are common signs of neuropathy, others may experience no symptoms at all. Nerve damage can also occur in internal organs, such as the heart or digestive tract. Diabetes-related neuropathy can affect muscle strength, sensation in various parts of the body, and even sexual function. People who develop diabetic neuropathy are typically those who have trouble controlling their blood glucose levels, blood pressure, cholesterol, and body weight. Although researchers haven't quite figured out exactly why this happens, they know that neuropathy can occur due to: Alcohol use and smoking Genetic predisposition Injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome Nerves that become inflamed related to autoimmune conditions Neurovascular issues that damage the blood vessels responsible for bringing nutrients and oxygen to your nerves Your risk also increases the older you get and the longer you have diabetes, with the highest rates of neuropathy occuring in people who have had diabetes for at least 25 years. Diabetes: Where Neuropathy May Strike Here are some of the specific types of neuropathy that occur in people with diabetes: Autonomic neuropathy impairs the functioning of the digestive system, resulting in diarrhea or constipation as well as impaired bladder function. This type of neuropathy also affects how you perspire and even your sexual response — men may have trouble getting an erection and women may experience vaginal dryne 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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

How To Control Diabetic Neuropathy

How To Control Diabetic Neuropathy

If you have type 1 diabetes, you have probably heard about diabetic neuropathy, a frequent complication of the disease. More than half of all diabetics have some form of neuropathy, or nerve damage. It is not entirely clear what leads to diabetic neuropathy, but research suggests that high levels of blood glucose damage your nerves over time. This type of nerve damage can affect various parts of the body, including the extremities, digestive system, heart muscle, and sex organs. Usually, it takes at least 10 years after diabetes is diagnosed for symptoms of neuropathy to occur. And that’s time during which you can work to prevent it. Diabetic Neuropathy: Types There are four significant types of diabetic neuropathy, and symptoms vary, depending on which nerves are involved: Peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy is the most common type. It results in numbness or pain in the feet, legs, hands, and arms. Peripheral neuropathy can be particularly problematic, since it leads to diminished sensation in the feet. Without normal sensation, minor foot injuries may go unnoticed until they become severe. If uncontrolled infection spreads to the bone, toes or the entire foot may eventually need to be amputated. Autonomic neuropathy. This type of diabetic neuropathy affects nerves that control your heart rate, blood pressure, digestive system, and sexual function. As a result, people with diabetes may experience fluctuations in heart rate and blood pressure, digestion problems, and sexual dysfunction. Proximal neuropathy. Proximal neuropathy leads to impaired nerve function in your hips, thighs, or buttocks. This can cause pain as well as leg weakness. People with this type of neuropathy may require help getting in and out of chairs because their thigh strength is decreased 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 >>

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 >>

Peripheral Neuropathy And Diabetes

Peripheral Neuropathy And Diabetes

Peripheral neuropathy is nerve damage caused by chronically high blood sugar and diabetes. It leads to numbness, loss of sensation, and sometimes pain in your feet, legs, or hands. It is the most common complication of diabetes. About 60% to 70% of all people with diabetes will eventually develop peripheral neuropathy, although not all suffer pain. Yet this nerve damage is not inevitable. Studies have shown that people with diabetes can reduce their risk of developing nerve damage by keeping their blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible. What causes peripheral neuropathy? Chronically high blood sugar levels damage nerves not only in your extremities but also in other parts of your body. These damaged nerves cannot effectively carry messages between the brain and other parts of the body. This means you may not feel heat, cold, or pain in your feet, legs, or hands. If you get a cut or sore on your foot, you may not know it, which is why it's so important to inspect your feet daily. If a shoe doesn't fit properly, you could even develop a foot ulcer and not know it. The consequences can be life-threatening. An infection that won't heal because of poor blood flow causes risk for developing ulcers and can lead to amputation, even death. This nerve damage shows itself differently in each person. Some people feel tingling, then later feel pain. Other people lose the feeling in fingers and toes; they have numbness. These changes happen slowly over a period of years, so you might not even notice it. Because the changes are subtle and happen as people get older, people tend to ignore the signs of nerve damage, thinking it's just part of getting older. But there are treatments that can help slow the progression of this condition and limit the damage. Talk to your doctors 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 >>

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 >>

Pain In Hands And Nubbness In Fingers | Diabetic Connect

Pain In Hands And Nubbness In Fingers | Diabetic Connect

By juju - 14711 Latest Reply2010-02-11 13:10:09 -0600 has any one had this it happened all of a sudden it hurts really bad It has been just since this past Oct. 22nd, after my open-heart surgery, that I have been experiencing various degrees of numbness in some very select areas. My left leg from the knee down to and including my feet and toes, if I had to put a %'age on it, would be about 80% numb. My index finger on my right hand about 20%. On my left hand, to include my thumb/index finger/middle finger/and thick pad at base of my thumb, about 80% numb. And one other area, which seems awfully strange to me(pardon my words lease, but) at the top of my butt crack and about three to four inches down is about 75% numb. All just since my surgery (had five bypasses), three veins taken from inside my left thigh, two veins taken from inside my right thigh. And of course diabetes is NOT exactly 'healing friendly' with any expedience. OK, first off, I'm a RN, not a MD, so this is NOT A DIAGNOSIS - it's a collection of pieces of information you can use to provide a physician with the max amount of info, plus to ask questions. The things that come to mind include malnutrition, medication/vitamin/homeopathy/herbal treatment reactions, Reynaud's syndrome, peripheral neuropathy (though that usually hits the feet first), among others. Please read below, I know it's long, but hopefully it will help you at least to be aimed with information when you SEE A DOCTOR. Seeing one is something you must do. If you're heavy, though (I am), watch for "fat phobic" doctors who blame everything on your size. When I developed joint pains in my hands, one of those "fat phobes" told me it was due to obesity; I looked at him & said, "I don't walk on my hands. Try again." Also watch for misogynistic (w 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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

Hand & Arm Complications

Hand & Arm Complications

Chronically elevated blood sugars can damage the upper extremities. Hand and arm (upper extremity) complications include nerve damage and tissue damage from chronically elevated blood sugars. Hand complications Neuropathy Symptoms are tingling, pain and/or numbness in the fingers and hands. Less commonly, there can be muscle weakness and loss. Carpal tunnel or ulnar tunnel nerve entrapment syndrome: Nerves can get pinched by soft tissue buildup in the nerve tunnels in the wrist (carpal tunnel) and elbow (ulnar tunnel). This pressure on the nerves leads to pain, tingling, numbness and sometimes even muscle wasting. Dupuytren’s contracture This is a shortening of tendons in the palm of the hand that bends the fingers and keeps them from being straightened. Trigger finger In this condition, a nodule on the tendon gets caught and keeps the finger from fully straightening. Shoulder complications Frozen shoulder Buildup of connective tissue causes adhesions in the shoulder joint space. This restricts arm movement and can be very painful. Self-assessment Quiz Self assessment quizzes are available for topics covered in this website. To find out how much you have learned about Diabetes Complications, take our self assessment quiz when you have completed this section. The quiz is multiple choice. Please choose the single best answer to each question. At the end of the quiz, your score will display. If your score is over 70% correct, you are doing very well. If your score is less than 70%, you can return to this section and review the information. Continue reading >>

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