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Joint and Muscle Problems in Diabetes

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Diabetic patients are at risk for several disabilities caused by joint and muscle problems. In a study reported on in the Libyan Journal of Medicine, October 2012, researchers at King Abdulaziz University in Saudi Arabia looked at joint movements and muscle strength in patients who had been diagnosed with diabetes to determine what doctors should look for in their diabetic patients.

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The study included 252 diabetic patients, 91.1 per cent of whom had Type 2 diabetes.

  • 45 diabetics, or 17.9 per cent, had joint or muscle abnormalities,
  • 17 were diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome,
  • 17 had inflammation of the shoulder, and
  • 12 suffered amyotrophy, or muscle wasting.

Diabetics who were:

  • overweight,
  • performed manual labor, or
  • had complications involving blood vessels

were at particular risk.

Diabetics suffering retinopathy caused by blood vessel damage, were at more than three times the risk of joint or muscle trouble than those with healthy blood vessels.

From this information, it was concluded doctors should examine the hands, wrists, and shoulders of their diabetic patients whenever possible.

Hands are often the first place where muscle wasting is seen.

The palms can take on a flat look where muscles have shrunken...

  • the condition can be treated with good blood sugar control and physical therapy.
  • physical therapists who work with stroke and multiple sclerosis patients can also work effectively with diabetic amyotrophy patients.
  • when the condition is painful the pain can be controlled with a drug called neurontin.

Carpel tunnel syndrome is caused by compression of a nerve in the wrist. Numbness, tingling, and pain result and the hand can become weak if the condition is not treated promptly. It is frequently seen in people whose work forces them to make repetitive motions with their hands and wrists.

  • a splint can be used at night to ease symptoms, or
  • drugs such as aspirin or Tylenol can be used for pain.
  • cortisone can be injected, or surgery can be used if the case does not respond to more conservative measures.

Frozen shoulder, or adhesive capsulitis, is caused by inflammation of the joint.

  • as the name implies, the shoulder feels stiff and sore.
  • it is often diagnosed after the shoulder has gone through a period of not moving, such as when a fracture is healing.
  • patients tend to be over 40 years of age and are usually women.

Besides diabetes, conditions with a high risk for frozen shoulder include thyroid disease, heart disease, tuberculosis, and Parkinson's disease. It is treated with stretching exercises and cortisone injections. Occasionally, a particularly stubborn case demands to be corrected with surgery.

Watch for any signs or symptoms of problems with your hands, wrists, or shoulders, and if you discover any, don't hesitate to discuss them with your doctor. Remember to keep your blood sugar until control to prevent any of the complications associated with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is no longer a condition you must just live with. It need not slowly and inevitably get worse. You can take control of the disease... and take back your health and your life.

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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.

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

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