If you are suffering from type 2 diabetes, the chances of developing tendon problems increase up to 3 times. Because diabetes affects the body overall if it doesn’t manage well. And tendons are an important part (found in your arms, legs, shoulder, hips, knees, and ankles) used to transfer the force from muscles to the bone. If you fail to manage your diabetes and are not aware of the symptoms of tendon problems, it can lead to tendon rupturing which can make it harder for you to perform your daily life activities.
Keep reading this article, to avoid these tendon problems.
Diabetes is one of the most common chronic endocrine disorders in the world. Currently, 415 million people are living with diabetes worldwide. And it is believed in 2040, more than half a billion people will be living with diabetes.
Diabetes can be defined as a chronic disease that affects the ability of the insulin hormone that manages our blood sugar levels, as a result, our blood sugar levels increase. If you don’t manage your raised blood sugar levels it can lead to complications such as damaged blood vessels, blurred vision or loss of eyesight, kidney problems, obesity, heart disease, or stroke.
Whether you develop type 1 or type 2 diabetes, it can cause tendon problems because the tendon is made up of a protein called collagen. And diabetes raises blood sugar levels, which produces AGEs (Advanced Glycation End Products) that make tendons go thick and easily tear down.
In most cases, the rupture gets healed with treatment. However, if the damage is severe, it will not heal and as a result, you cannot use your limb properly again throughout your whole life. So, you must take note of the symptoms and visit the doctor for early treatment.
How does diabetes lead to tendon problems?
A tendon is a fibrous tissue that attaches the bone to muscles. It transfers the force from muscle to bones to move. It is made from a protein called collagen. Diabetes causes high blood sugar that mixes proteins or fats found in your blood to form Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs). AGEs are normally produced by the body, but when you have diabetes the extra glucose in the blood increases the speed with which AGEs are synthesized, these bind with collagen in your tendons which affects the tendon’s structure. The tendon can become thicker than normal which might not be able to hold the weight that it can. As a result, after a long time, it might get torn down.
If you didn’t manage your diabetes, you can develop these tendon problems mentioned below:
- Frozen shoulder
- Rotator cuffs tears
- Trigger finger
- Carpal tunnel Syndrome
- Dupuytren’s contracture
These are the symptoms you notice if you’re developing tendon problems:
- Irritation or inflammation in your tendon.
- Difficulty moving joints.
- Cracking sound or sensation when you move your tendon.
- Swelling of the tendon.
- Feeling pain in the tendon.
- Heat or redness of tendon.
- Feel stiff or tender.
To treat your tendon problems, the doctor makes a diagnosis of the problem you’re having in your tendon and how severe it is. For example, if you have mild tendon issues your doctor gives you pain relief medication such as aspirin or ibuprofen while the tendon heals on its own in several weeks. They can give you muscle relaxants or suggest you take physical therapy so that you can easily move your limbs.
You can also put on some ice to relieve your pain. A splint can keep your joint steady while your tendons heal on their own. Other than that, good eating, taking plenty of rest, and exercise help to heal faster.
In severe cases, where your tendon is torn down surgery is the last option, where the surgeon accesses your tendon, does the repairs, and closes the incision. After several weeks of rest and physical therapy, you can get back in shape.
You can prevent tendon problems if you manage your diabetes properly by following the steps:
- Manage your blood sugar levels with the help of medication and a good lifestyle.
- Get your blood sugar levels tested regularly.
- Eat a healthy diet that does not raise your blood sugar levels.
- Exercise regularly to maintain overall health.
- Get a good quality of sleep (7-9 hours every night).
- Always take medication on time and visit the doctor regularly for various tests that help to manage your condition.
The tendons play an important role in connecting muscles with a bone that helps you to move. And if you have diabetes, it’s quite possible that you might develop tendon problems. So, you must manage your diabetes by maintaining your blood sugar levels within the normal range. And if you have symptoms of tendon problems, visit the doctor for early treatment to avoid further complications.
Want to know how you can diagnose your tendon problems?
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