Diabetes and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Diabetes and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Diabetes can cause various types of neurological conditions, including carpal tunnel syndrome. This is because persistently high glucose levels can lead to chemical changes that affect nerve conduction and cause structural abnormalities. In fact, about a third of the diabetic population has carpal tunnel syndrome.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is usually caused by median nerve compression at the wrist. Most commonly, carpal tunnel syndrome is associated with obesity, repeated trauma from the use of the wrist joint, build-up of fluid in the wrist space, and hypothyroidism. People who use their wrists for work-related activities such as typing are more likely to have repeated undetected trauma to the nerves at the wrist.

Developing this condition usually takes some time, so because you have just been diagnosed with diabetes, your carpal tunnel syndrome might not be due to diabetes alone. But unlike other neurological conditions, carpal tunnel syndrome is not clearly related to the length of time that diabetes has been present. In your case, it might be a combination of the effect of high glucose levels and mechanical trauma. Because you often work with your hands, protecting your wrists and maintaining a neutral wrist position (keeping your wrists and forearms level) when you work will prevent the continued damage.

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