carpal tunnel

By kittenpurr1 Latest Reply 2011-03-04 20:43:26 -0600
Started 2011-03-02 11:42:56 -0600

I just found out I was diabetic at the end of January. It now has caused carpal tunnel in my left hand, I have to go for a nerve conduction test on Tuesday March 8, which is my birthday. The test will show if damage is there. They sat it's uncomfortable, there is so much more I need to learn about this disease.

22 replies

Tigereyze209 2011-03-04 14:31:07 -0600 Report

Diabetes can be a strange bird. It is long diagnosed, and not a lot of mysteries about it, but that also means there is a lot of misinformation too. My understanding of the condition is, and keep in mind, I could be totally wrong, there are many other conditions you can get, that if you have them on their own, tend to be a nuisance, but relatively minor. BUT, when you mix it with the big "D", it aggravates them to the point that it can become life threatening quickly. Keep in mind, I am generalizing, and I refer to folks whose condition (i.e> Db) goes largely untreated, or is done without care for what you eat, etc.
A well maintained diabetic is generally as healthy as a "normal" and no more prone to runaway conditions than most folks. This presumes that the additional conditions are maintained as well.
A total side note: yours is the first case I have ever heard of where their carpal tunnel was caused by diabetes. Most cases Ive heard of were caused by repeated stress motions. Live and learn.
I pray they find a pain management therapy that works for you.

elaine52 2011-03-03 20:56:56 -0600 Report

I was told my carpal tunnel was a result of my diabetes, I have severe in my right and moderate in my left, dr told me to take ibuprofen several times a day, which helps to run my blood pressure up, and it's already high, was doing physcial therapy but had to stop when I lost medical coverage…

MewElla 2011-03-03 13:55:27 -0600 Report

I had the carpal tunnel surgery years before I had diabetes. The nerve conduction test was not as bad as I thought it would be prior to the surgery and I recovered a fairly short time afterwards. Consider this as a "Hic-Cup" but I think you will be pleasantly surprised. Also, let me tell you "Happy Birthday" for Tuesday March 8th…my birthday is Friday March 11th…Good Luck to you and enjoy your weekend.

Harlen 2011-03-02 16:49:35 -0600 Report

I dont think it can cause carpaltunnel as one that has had it and had it before D
and I have gone thrue the surgery on both hands its no big deal
and I got may hands back I can go back to making things again weeeee
So dont fret over the test it's a breez
best wishes

kittenpurr1 2011-03-02 18:58:40 -0600 Report

Thank you so much for that information. The nurse practioner told me, it came with my diabetes, I had it in my right hand for a long time, I think maybe she is thinking like your feet can feel numb at times. I really don't know what she is thinking.

kittenpurr1 2011-03-02 19:01:59 -0600 Report

I have only been with this practice since Sept. 2010.

Harlen 2011-03-02 20:01:27 -0600 Report

My wife is a CCRN and she is a good one a very good one .
I had it a long time before D and I was tested long before I had Das well as tested for D .
Best wishes

kittenpurr1 2011-03-03 00:27:27 -0600 Report

Like, I said, I have only been with this practice since Sept. 10, I have seen her about 3 times, they don't seem to run this practice very well. I should have been wrote out a script the day I was dianosed, for test strips, I had to keep calling. Then when I saw her last week, she ask how my testing was before I eat? My script says test once daily. The nurse was flaky, she called me on the phone to schedule a 3ggt test, that was on a Friday, told me to come in Tuesday morning, when I got there, nothing had been scheduled for that day, I said, I was called on Friday, I can prove it, it's in my phone. So, they made me come back on Wednesday. While the nurse practioner was out the entire month of December due to an emergency, I had an appointment scheduled to see her, I saw this crazy doctor from India, he didn't put anything in my file about me being there on Dec. 9th, I saw her on Jan. around the 11th, she was livid. He wouldn't give me any pain medication, that was right after they removed Darvon and Darvocet off the market, I was sent letters by the insurance company to speak with your doctor regarding a new pain med. He also, slung my bottle of (empty) Vitamin D 50,000 UI- across the room, and stated, "No one needs this amount of Vitamin D." I got a call last week from them, ha blood work, I am back on Vitamin D 50,000 UI weekly. The drug rep stocked the shelf with meds, he told this same doctor, as he was shaking his hand, "We will discuss them next year." I advise people always check out your meds. doctors don't have time to do all the research, and there's way too many meds. for them to remember everything, and they don't cross referrence, either. So, to take care of yourself, it's up to you, us, to know what's in our medications. I have been to the ER 5 times since, June for allergic reactions. I even told the doctor, I was allergic, he still wrote the script, I sent him a copy of the ER report to stop med immediately. I was considering sending him the bill. I had hives and swelling sooo bad. This was a different practice, too. I haven't been back anymore. I also had call this practice, b/c he wanted to put me on a med, I told the person on the phone, can't take it Lactrose intolerant, he ask me about it a month later, he looked it up in the computer,found out I was right. During this entire visit, this is what took place, he came to the lobby, called me back, took a page, took a phone call, looked up what I told him about the medication, walked me to the appointment desk to make an appointment- all this transpired in 10 minutes, he billed the insurance for an hour. I drove 4 hours round trip for this. I have not been back, and don't plan on going back, at all!

kittenpurr1 2011-03-03 14:07:10 -0600 Report

I am trying to go to so many doctors right now, and some of them conflict with each other, it's hard doctor shopping. I will continue to I find someone who knows compassion, and doesn't steal from the insurance company, that's just plain wrong.

kittenpurr1 2011-03-03 00:30:24 -0600 Report

Do you think you might have carpal tunnel syndrome? If you have diabetes, your assumption is more likely to be correct, because carpal tunnel syndrome is fifteen times more common in people with diabetes than in the general population.

Experts used to think that you got carpal tunnel syndrome simply from too much computer keyboarding, but that idea is fairly discredited these days.

Instead, carpal tunnel is primarily associated with medical conditions such as diabetes, osteoarthritis, hypothyroidism, and rheumatoid arthritis; it's also linked to obesity, smoking, alcohol abuse, and mental stress, as well as genetic factors.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is called an entrapment neuropathy because the median nerve is entrapped and compressed in the carpal tunnel.

The carpal tunnel is a narrow, rigid tunnel at the base of the hand, made from an arched roof of ligament that tops a U-shaped cluster of eight bones. The median nerve runs from the forearm through the tunnel and into the hand, in company with some tendons. If the tendons become thickened or other swelling makes the tunnel too narrow, pressure is put on the median nerve at the wrist.

Because the median nerve controls sensations and movement on the palm side of the thumb and first three fingers, that pressure can cause pain, weakness, or numbness in the hand and wrist, and sometimes up the arm as well. It's akin to the mechanism that makes your leg go to sleep after you've sat for awhile in a position that puts pressure on your leg nerves.

The exact cause of the swelling usually isn't known. Women are three times more susceptible to carpal tunnel syndrome than men are, because their carpal tunnel is often narrower in the first place. Carpal tunnel syndrome is associated with temporary swelling due to fluid retention during pregnancy. Diabetes also plays a big role. Carpal tunnel syndrome has been reported in up to twenty percent of people with diabetes.

Conversely, diabetes is more likely in people with carpal tunnel syndrome. In one study, researchers found that people who had been diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome were 36 percent more likely to later be diagnosed with diabetes, regardless of other diabetes risk factors.

The diabetes link is possibly due to the fact that when blood glucose levels are high, the proteins in the tendons of the carpal tunnel become glycosylated; that is, glucose attaches to the tendon proteins, inflaming them and forming a sort of biological superglue that makes the tendons less able to slide freely. If you're susceptible to carpal tunnel syndrome because of diabetes or other conditions, the condition may be brought out or exacerbated by repeated forceful flexing of your hands and wrists.

So how do you know if you have carpal tunnel? Often you'll feel a "pins and needles" tingling. You may have a burning feeling or a loss of sensation in the areas of the hand that are served by the median nerve, so that you feel as if your hand has gone to sleep. You may also experience pain going up into your forearm, and sometimes your grip might be weaker. You may be awakened by the pain at night, especially if you sleep with your wrists bent, because the condition can be aggravated by curling or flexing your wrist.

There are a number of tests that you or your doctor may conduct to diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome. A simple at-home assessment is called the "flick" test: you're likely to have carpal tunnel if, when your symptoms are worse, you shake and jiggle your hands as if you were shaking a thermometer. Your doctor may try to elicit a diagnostic response called Tinels' sign by tapping on top of your median nerve on the palm side of your wrist.

The test is positive for carpal tunnel syndrome if it produces a tingling or shocklike sensation, but it doesn't always work. Another diagnostic tool is Phalen's test, in which you rest your elbows on a table, then let your wrists dangle so your hands are pointing down with your palms pressed together in the prayer position.

If your fingers tingle or feel numb within a minute, that's a sign of carpal tunnel syndrome. Your doctor can also look for weakness or atrophy in your hand muscles, but once that's happened it's a little late in the game, so you should try to get help before it occurs.

Diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome in people with diabetes is sometimes complicated by the fact that they have tingling, prickling, or numbness due to underlying peripheral neuropathy that's unrelated to carpal tunnel syndrome.

Doctors can sometimes differentiate between the two by doing a nerve conduction study. To perform a nerve conduction study, electrodes are fastened to your hand and wrist, from which small electric shocks are sent through the nerves in the fingers, wrist, and forearm. The speed of the signal is then measured. Healthy nerves can conduct electricity at 120 miles per hour, but carpal tunnel damage slows things down. Often in diabetic patients, however, these tests don't work that well; consequently, your doctor will need to take all your circumstances into consideration in making his diagnosis.

Once you've been diagnosed, what can you do to make it better? Resting your affected hand and wrist is helpful, as is wearing a splint that prevents your wrist from flexing and extending, especially at night. You might be given a short course of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin or Tylenol. If they don't work, you can try injections of cortisone (steroids) into your wrist to reduce swelling. Injections are variably effective: they're most successful in mild to moderate cases that result from a flare-up, and often they don't help for longer than a month.

Some studies show that vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) supplements, a hundred milligrams a day, may ease the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. A dose of 500 milligrams of inositol twice daily has also been recommended. Acupuncture and chiropractic care have helped some people, though their effectiveness hasn't been proven in formal trials. Yoga has also been shown to reduce pain and improve grip strength.

If none of those measures work and your symptoms have lasted longer than six months, you may consider surgery. Carpal tunnel release is among the most common surgical procedures in the United States. The surgery creates more space for your median nerve by cutting the ligament that forms the roof of the carpal tunnel, thus relieving pressure on the nerve. It's generally done using local anesthesia and doesn't require an overnight hospital stay. Although it's not a surefire fix, it often relieves symptoms right off the bat, and eighty to ninety percent of people who've undergone the surgery are still doing fine even six months later.

If you leave your carpal tunnel syndrome untreated, you may end up with atrophied thumb muscles or other unpleasant consequences of nerve damage. Whether or not you consider your carpal tunnel symptoms to be just annoying or downright disabling, it's important to get yourself to the doctor and have yourself checked out if you suspect carpal tunnel syndrome.


kittenpurr1 2011-03-03 00:39:03 -0600 Report

What conditions and diseases cause carpal tunnel syndrome?

For most patients, the cause of their carpal tunnel syndrome is unknown. Any condition that exerts pressure on the median nerve at the wrist can cause carpal tunnel syndrome. Common conditions that can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome include obesity, pregnancy, hypothyroidism, arthritis, diabetes, and trauma. Tendon inflammation resulting from repetitive work, such as uninterrupted typing, can also cause carpal tunnel symptoms. Carpal tunnel syndrome from repetitive maneuvers has been referred to as one of the repetitive stress injuries. Some rare diseases can cause deposition of abnormal substances in and around the carpal tunnel, leading to nerve irritation. These diseases include amyloidosis, sarcoidosis, multiple myeloma, and leukemia.

kittenpurr1 2011-03-03 00:44:13 -0600 Report

This I got from another site. If you have any doubts about what I am posting here, just google it, see how many are listed under there, lots- I put in can diabetes cause carpal tunnel, and I posted 2 pages from 2 different sites, there's more, but check for yourself. I didn't just reach up into the sky and grab this, I got it from google. Because, I wasn't going to the appointment if, I was dealing with more fruit cakes. Thanks, I hope I didn't offend anyone, that is never my intent, the more you know, the better it is to be educated on these matters.

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