Diabetic neuropathy can be caused by high blood glucose levels, so yes, diabetes can cause carpal tunnel. It can cause damage to your peripheral nerves, which are the nerves that send signals from your hands and feet. What can you do to avoid this?
What is the Connection Between Carpal Tunnel & Diabetes?
Diabetes can also affect other areas of your body, specifically your central nervous system which consists of your spinal cord and your brain to other areas of your body. It now develops a health condition which can reduce blood flow to the hands, such as diabetes.
It’s well known that people with diabetes are more likely to get carpal tunnel syndrome as diabetes develops once the fasting blood sugar increases. Diabetic neuropathy can cause emotionlessness in your fingers, toes, hands, and feet.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition also known as CTR that is derived from the nerve in your hand referred to as the median nerve that gets pressure on it because it travels through a rather narrow channel into your hand.
Diabetic stiff hand syndrome is a painless disorder caused by an increase in collagen in and right below the skin. It can abruptly limit hand function. The carpal tunnel is the narrow area where your tendons and median nerves are and they are between the ligaments and bones at the base of your hands.
The first signs and symptoms of peripheral neuropathy are frequently worse at night. They may include:
- Emotionlessness or reduced ability to feel pain.
- Itchy or burning sensation.
- Sharp pains or spasms.
- Increased compassion to touch.
- The weakness of the muscle.
Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The main causes of carpal tunnel syndrome are split up into two groups namely the biological causes and the working causes. Although there are 2 groups of causes, it is not easy to determine the exact cause of carpal tunnel syndrome as there are no specific tests that can be conducted.
Carpal tunnel can be caused by inflammation because inflammation is the cause of all diseases and ailments. Inflammation is all over the map and you can experience this from medical issues, or from an injury to your hands, or not giving your hands sufficient rest when you are constantly using them such as typing at the computer.
Studies have shown that constant usage of the wrist may increase the pressure acting on the median nerve and increasing the chances of getting carpal tunnel syndrome.
A constant repeated motion such as swinging a tennis racquet or golf club as well as typing on the keyboard for a long period of time may aggravate the condition.
Some other medical conditions that may increase the risk of contracting CTS are arthritis, osteoarthritis, obesity, and pregnancy. Kidney dialysis patients are also prone to contracting CTS. A damaged kidney will result in the buildup of beta 2-microglobulin, a type of protein.
Genetic factors may also increase the risk of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. If any of your family members have CTS, you are at a higher risk. CTS can run in the family.
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There is an increase in fluid retention and swelling during pregnancy. It usually increases the pressure build-up in the wrist bone and compress the median nerve, causing CTS.
Nerve damage from diabetes cannot be reversed. The reason is because the body cannot naturally repair nerve tissues that have been damaged. Though, researchers are examining methods to treat such cases caused by diabetes.
If carpal tunnel left untreated, the syndrome can lead to weakness and lack of coordination in your fingers and thumb. But if treated, can relieve pressure on the nerve and eliminate the symptoms.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is typically associated with people who use computers a lot and are required to do extensive typing for long periods of time. But what many people are not aware of, is that it is also much more common in individuals who have Type 2 diabetes.
The carpal tunnel area of the wrist is, as the name implies, a tunnel for many different components, including nerves and ligaments, to run through.
In fact, the carpal tunnel itself is surrounded by a band of ligaments. Running through the middle of the carpal tunnel is the median nerve.
You can cause irritations to your hands when you use them repeatedly with the exact same constant movements as if using them to type on a keyboard at your computer.
You are doing internal harm to your ligaments which can result in your ligaments becoming thicker and inflamed and this squeezes on your median nerve. The unfortunate thing is that diabetes and high blood glucose levels can also create a higher level of collagen.
Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include a tingling sensation usually in the right hand. It generally affects the thumb, index, middle and ring fingers. However, there are some instances where the small finger will also be affected. There is also some numbness of these fingers associated with this problem.
Sometimes, the effects will resonate into the wrist, forearm and even make its way all the way back into the elbow.
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The symptoms associated with this syndrome persist over time. At first, the sufferer feels pain in the wrist and palm side of the hand. The two hands experience the symptoms. On the palm side of the index, middle and ring fingers, the person suffering from this also complains of numbness, tingling, burning sensations and others.
In normal cases, the fifth finger is not affected by the syndrome as far as symptoms are concerned. Most often, the sensations may spread to the forearm or shoulder. Since emotionlessness can be felt in hands, the patient, using the sense of touch may not be able to distinguish hot from cold objects. This can be a very serious situation.
The patient typically becomes weak and getting hold of objects can be quite difficult for the patient. The syndrome is also associated by a feeling of having swollen hands when in fact, there is no visible swelling. Such a symptom may be an indicator of a more severe carpal tunnel disorder.
How to know if you Have Carpal Tunnel
The symptoms include:
- There will be pain close to your wrist on the palm side of your hand
- You will have emotionlessness or feel tingling in your thumb, first, and middle fingers.
- You will be feeling something like pins and needles in your fingers especially if you bend your wrist.
- Your fingers seems dead, especially at night when sleeping with the wrist bent.
The carpal tunnel is not actually incurable. The mild cases of it can be relieved in-home care. Wrist splint is one of the basic and effective treatment. It is worn to neutralize the position of the wrist while in use. A wrist splint can be procured from most drugstores. This treatment lasts for four to six weeks. It largely depends on the severity of symptoms. Everyone is different.
In the event that the patient does not see any effects or results, wearing splints is obviously not ideal for his condition because it does not effectively work. If the patient wants a speedy treatment, acupuncture is the right treatment for such a patient. A variety of medicinal herbs can be used between acupuncture sessions to achieve best results.
Carpal tunnel problems related to inflammation and is the most likely cause. This can be overcome by taking a daily combination of vitamin B6 and natural thyroid hormone. You can get this over the counter. This combination should clear up your Carpal Tunnel condition in six to twelve weeks if inflammation is the cause, and you can take it up to six months to prevent a recurrence.
There are exercises you can do at home that greatly reduce the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel. Few Carpal Tunnel problems can only be taken care of by surgery, but this should be a last resort after you have exhausted all non-surgical treatments.
Several Home Treatments
- It is recommended to rest and take breaks when repeating activities. This is important to do!
- You should avoid resting on your hands. Your fingers may suffer due to the fact that the flow of blood will decrease.
- The wounds on the fingers and hand as a matter of urgency should be treated.
- Cold packs should be used to reduce the pain and swelling.
- Do exercises regularly to strengthen the hand muscles.
- Wearing warm gloves when the weather is cold will help.
- Drinking caffeine should be avoided. Smoking and caffeine should be eliminated because nicotine lessens the blood flow and that will make your blood vessels narrower.
- It is better for your body to remain warm and you can do this by making sure that your meals are hot ones.
- Gripping things with your thumb and index finger might cause stress to the wrist, hence need to grasp anything with the whole hand
- If you must use vibrator tools, you should be using gloves that are padded with specific vibration absorption.
- When you are at work in front of the computer, it is advantageous to correct your posture. Push your hips as far back as they can go in the chair and adjust the seat height so your feet are flat on the floor and your knees equal to your hips or slightly lower.
Final Thoughts about Carpal Tunnel
So what’s the bottom line? Is carpal tunnel from diabetes? It can be. In a nutshell, the wrist, hand and finger problems rise due to some injury or non-injury that includes overuse. The symptoms may be soreness, stiffness, emotionlessness or a burning sensation as mentioned earlier and a bulge might also not be noticed.
Taking into cognizant most of the points outlined in this article will eliminate this silent killer problem called Carpal Tunnel syndrome.
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