World Diabetes Day: Uncontrolled diabetes can cause joint and nerve damage, doctors say


Pune: Every year, November 14 is celebrated as World Diabetes Day to raise awareness of the non-communicable lifestyle disease. However, despite being a diabetes capital of the world for a while, Indians are now paying close attention as Covid-19 has returned attention to comorbid patients who are highly vulnerable to infection. Doctors in the city have warned that if left unchecked, diabetes could damage other organs and systems in the body.

Diabetes can cause a number of musculoskeletal diseases that are most often neglected. Most patients with type 2 diabetes experience joint pain, neuropathy, and muscle pain. It is essential for people with diabetes to monitor blood sugar levels frequently and manage diabetes with daily exercise and eat a well-balanced diet to keep their muscles and joints intact, according to medical experts.

According to the latest Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) survey on comorbidity under the ‘My family, my responsibility’ scheme, during the Covid pandemic, 402,343 people were found to be comorbid, of which 140,926 reported only diabetes and 63,407 reported diabetes and high blood pressure as well. The central government has estimated the population of the city of Pune to be 4,210,592, which means that approximately 4.85% of the reported city population is diabetic.

A diabetologist from the city said: “A large number of people suffer from diabetes that not only causes heart or kidney problems, but even affects the joints. For example: a 64-year-old patient has been diabetic for 12 years and has complaints of loss of balance and difficulty walking. In another case, a patient who was a teacher by profession suffered from shoulder pain radiating to the hand and was diagnosed with high blood sugar levels. After several clinical examinations and X-rays with nerve conduction test, he was diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy and frozen shoulder respectively. There are many of these patients who have joint and nerve problems due to diabetes. If diabetes is not managed in time, there will be an undiagnosed failure of the musculoskeletal system that will cause joint pain and limited range of motion. ”

Dr Snehal Desai, a diabetologist at Lokmanya Hospital in Pune, said: “Diabetes causes unwanted changes in the musculoskeletal system, that is, the muscles, bones, joints, ligaments and tendons that impact the fingers, hands, wrists, shoulders. , neck, spine or feet. A person with uncontrolled diabetes who has joint pain will encounter symptoms such as muscle pain, joint pain or stiffness, decreased ability to move the joints, swelling of the joints, deformities, and a prickling sensation or loss of sensation in arms or legs. Carpal tunnel syndrome is often seen in people with diabetes, as is trigger finger (a grip or lock of the fingers). The shoulder joint can also be affected by diabetes with the cause of frozen shoulder. Therefore, one will not be able to carry out daily activities easily. Diabetic neuropathy can cause numbness in the feet and ankles. Over time, one may feel little or no sensation in these areas. People with diabetes can also get arthritis, which can cripple them for life. ”

Dr. Vishwajeet Chavan, Orthopedic Surgeon at Apollo Spectra Hospital, Pune, said: “Diabetes could lead to arthritis, but this possibility is seen more in high-risk diabetes patients. Whereas, patients suffering from diabetes for many years can also have arthritis problems. However, not all diabetic patients have arthritis. The cases of arthritis with diabetic patients are minor. Due to osteoporosis or an infection, damage to the spinal cord or knee joints can occur. In addition, the patient may also experience a lack of blood and it can lead to joint pain. Therefore, the patient with diabetes must take maximum care of his health “.

Dr. CS Yajnik, Director of KEM’s Diabetes Unit said: “Despite malnutrition, India is the capital of diabetes. Diabetes is caused by an unhealthy diet, a sedentary lifestyle, and stress in predisposed people. The predisposition may be partly genetic for which there is no treatment. Recent research has shown that the predisposition can also stem from malnutrition during growth in the mother’s womb or diabetes from pregnancy. These two conditions abound in India and can be effectively prevented or treated. If we improve the nutrition and metabolism of young people, it will not only benefit them, but also their children ”.



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