Nerve damage and diabetes
Nerve damage (neuropathy) is usually caused by high blood glucose levels. People who drink large amounts of alcohol can have similar nerve damage. Vitamin B12 deficiency can mimic signs and symptoms of peripheral neuropathy. Long-term diabetes treatment over three to five years can increase your risk of vitamin B12 deficiency.
Damage can occur to the sensory (feeling) and motor (movement) nerves of the legs and feet, arms, hands, chest and stomach and to the nerves that control the actions of body organs.
Foot problems and diabetes
The feet of someone with diabetes are at risk of damage when the blood supply in both large and small blood vessels is reduced. Nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy) often results and structural abnormalities also can occur for example clawed toes.
Reduced blood supply and reduced nerve function can delay healing, increase the risk of infection, reduce feeling in the feet, and lead to ulcers and structural foot problems.
Frozen shoulder and diabetes
Diabetes is also a risk factor for frozen shoulder, although precisely why that’s so is a subject the medical community is still researching. One theory involves collagen, one of the building blocks of ligaments and tendons. Collagen is a major part of the ligaments that hold the bones together in a joint. Glucose (sugar) molecules attach to collagen. In people with diabetes, the theory goes, this can contribute to abnormal deposits of collagen in the cartilage and tendons of the shoulder. The buildup then causes the affected shoulder to stiffen up.
Overall, frozen shoulder affects about 20 percent of people with diabetes, compared with 5 percent of people without diabetes.
Other risk factors are gender and age. Women are more likely to develop frozen shoulder than men, and frozen shoulder occurs most frequently in people between the ages of 40 and 60. It usually affects only one shoulder at a time, and for reasons unknown, the non-dominant shoulder is affected most often.
Diabetes- Vascular Complications
Diabetes is a disease that affects the regulation of insulin in the body, the hormone that controls blood sugar. The cardiovascular complications of diabetes are life-threatening and disabling.
Over time diabetes can adversely affect the circulation of the eyes, kidneys and the blood vessels.
Diabetic vascular disease commonly affects the feet and can take the form of
- Wound healing
- Minor foot injuries