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Diabetes Hand Syndrome

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People who have been diagnosed with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes are often concerned with the possibility of developing diabetic neuropathy of their feet and legs. But few seldom think about the likelihood of a condition that affects their hands called diabetic hand syndrome, or diabetic cheiroarthropathy. This condition can occur in individuals with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes.

Diabetic hand syndrome, also called stiff hand syndrome, is similar to Dupuytren's contracture in that it affects the ability of the fingers to become fully extended. If diabetes or more precisely, blood sugar levels are allowed to run unmanaged, the excess sugar begins to damage the skin. As a result, the skin becomes waxy and begins to thicken and harden. Over time, the skin is not flexible enough to allow the fingers to flex and open as they should and the diabetic's fingers will not be able to fully extend. The condition is often confused with scleroderma which is also characteristic of hands not able to open fully.

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One way to determine if you have diabetic hand syndrome is to place your hands together in a praying position. Those with the condition will not be able to make full contact from their hands all the way up to the tips of their fingers. Since there are several conditions which can display this same characteristic it is important for you to be seen by your doctor to determine which condition you are experiencing.

Fortunately, the outcome for those who suffer from diabetic hand syndrome is not the same fate as those with diabetic foot neuropathy. Left untreated, foot neuropathy can eventually lead to amputation of the foot due to the loss of blood flow and the subsequent death of tissue. But diabetic hand syndrome sufferers will only experience decreased flexibility in their fingers. Amputation is not necessary.

Treatment for diabetic hand syndrome:

1. The course of treatment for diabetic hand syndrome is a two-fold process. The first half of the process involves getting the diabetic's blood sugar levels under control. If this is not accomplished, the individual will only see their condition continue to worsen.

2. The second half of the process is to have the diabetic undergo physical therapy. This involves flexing and rehabilitating the hands to encourage movement and flexibility. This can be a long and daunting process. The length of the therapy depends on how severe the condition is, how out of control the individual's blood sugar levels are and how quickly the levels can be reversed and brought back into normal range.

Type 2 diabetes is not a condition you must just live with. By making simple changes to your daily routine, its possible to protect your heart, kidneys, eyes and limbs from the damage often caused by diabetes, and eliminate many of the complications you may already experience.

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For nearly 25 years Beverleigh Piepers has searched for and found a number of secrets to help you build a healthy body. Go to to learn about some of those secrets.

The answer isn't in the endless volumes of available information but in yourself.

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