Most people are familiar with the barebones basics of diabetes. Almost anybody on the street could tell you that diabetic patients’ bodies have difficulty breaking down sugars, so diabetic patients have to be careful with their food choices and may need to take medication to help regulate blood sugar levels. What is significantly less common knowledge, however, is just how far-reaching the complications of diabetes may be
One potential complication of diabetes that many people are unaware of is the potential for nerve damage. The condensed explanation of this phenonema is that an increased blood sugar level over a significant period of time may injure nerve fibers throughout the body, a condition called diabetic neuropathy. Diabetic neuropathy is most well known for affecting the feet, but it may affect any part of the body, including the fingers. Some of the more common hand/finger related forms of diabetic neuropathy may include:
Diabetic Stiff Hand Syndrome – This condition is often described as “painless,” but that does not make it unpleasant. An increase of collagen in and just beneath the skin of the hands may severely limit mobility, to the point of being genuinely disabling.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – This condition is certainly not exclusive to diabetics. To the contrary, it is often regarded as a repetitive stress condition. Regardless of the underlying cause, carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when undue pressure is placed on the median nerve, leading to extreme pain and in some cases may prevent the patient from holding his or her hands or wrists in certain positions.
Trigger Finger – This condition leads to one or more fingers curling up and becoming, at least temporarily, difficult if not impossible to straighten. The tendons that make the fingers able to bend and release experience a “catching” sensation until it “releases,” either gradually or suddenly. Trigger finger is extremely painful. Symptoms may be worse upon waking up or following repetitive or prolonged gripping motions.