World Diabetes Day: Uncontrolled diabetes can cause joint and nerve damage, say doctors
Every year, November 14 is celebrated as World Diabetes Day to raise awareness regarding the non-communicable lifestyle disease
Pune: Every year, November 14 is celebrated as World Diabetes Day to raise awareness regarding the non-communicable lifestyle disease. However, despite being a diabetic capital of the world for a while, Indians is now paying serious attention as Covid-19 has brought back the attention to comorbid patients they are highly vulnerable to the infection. City doctors have warned that if not controlled diabetes could lead to damages to other organs and body systems.
Diabetes can cause various musculoskeletal diseases which gets neglected most commonly. A majority of type 2 diabetes patients, encounter joint pain, neuropathy pain, and muscle ache. It is essential for those having diabetes to keep blood sugar levels check frequently and keep diabetes in control with daily exercise and follow a well-balanced diet to keep their joint and muscles intact, according to medical experts.
As per the Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC) last 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 that Pune city’s population is 4,210,592 which mean that about 4.85% of the city’s population which has reported are diabetic.
A city diabetologist said, “A large number of people are having diabetes that not only invites heart or kidney problems but even joint involvement. For example - A 64-year-old patient is diabetic since 12 years and having complaints of loss of balance and difficulty in walking. In another case, a patient who was teacher by profession was suffering through both shoulder pain radiating up to hand and diagnosed with high blood sugar levels. After several clinical examination and X-rays with nerve conduction test, was diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy and frozen shoulder respectively. There are many such patients who have joint and nerve problems due to diabetes. If diabetes is not managed in time there will be undiagnosed breakdown of musculoskeletal system causing joint pain and limited range of motion.”
Dr Snehal Desai, diabetologist, Lokmanya Hospital Pune said, “Diabetes leads to unwanted changes in the musculoskeletal system, that is the muscles, bones, joints, ligaments, and tendons impacting the fingers, hands, wrists, shoulders, neck, spine, or feet. One with uncontrolled diabetes having joint pain will encounter symptoms like muscle pain, joint pain or stiffness, lessened ability to move your joints, joint swelling, deformities, and pricking sensation or loss of sensation in the arms or legs. Carpal tunnel syndrome is frequently seen in people with diabetes, as is trigger finger (a catching or locking of the fingers). The shoulder joint may also be affected by diabetes with cause of frozen shoulder. Thus, one will not be able to carry on daily activities with ease. Diabetic neuropathy can lead to 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 leave them crippled for life.”
Dr Vishwajeet Chavan, orthopaedic surgeon from Apollo Spectra hospital, Pune said, “Diabetes could lead to arthritis, but this chance is seen more in high-risk diabetes patients. While, the patients suffering from diabetes for many years may also have arthritis issue. However, not every diabetes patient suffers from arthritis. The cases of arthritis with diabetes patients are less. Due to osteroporosis or infection may cause damage to the spinal cord or knee joints. Besides, the patient may also experience lack of blood and could lead to joint pains. Therefore, diabetes patient should take utmost care of their health.”
Dr CS Yajnik, director, diabetes unit, KEM said, “Despite malnutrition, India is the diabetes capital. Diabetes is brought on by unhealthy diet, sedentary lifestyle and stress in people who are predisposed. Predisposition can be partly genetic for which there is no treatment. Recent research has shown that predisposition can also come from undernutrition when growing in the mother’s womb or pregnancy diabetes. These two conditions are in plenty in India, and may be prevented or treated effectively. If we improve the nutrition and metabolism of the young, it will benefit not only them but also their children.”